Sunday 21 July 2013

#CBR5 Book 90. "Batman Incorporated" by Grant Morrison and various artists

Page count: 256 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Following on from the events of Batman R.I.PFinal CrisisBatman and Robin and The Return of Bruce Wayne, this trade paperback collects a lot of stories setting up the new and international Batman Incorporated. Bruce Wayne has gone public as the financier of Batman. He wants to make sure that anywhere there is crime, there will be a Batman, or someone closely linked to him. Batman and his associates travel the globe to recruit new members for their organisation, while fighting the emerging crime syndicate known as Leviathan.

Unfortunately, much of this collection is just setup, quite a few of the stories are really confusing, and if All-Star Superman is Morrison at his best, some of these issues show Morrison at his most annoying and bewildering. I enjoyed some of the stories a lot, such as Batman and Catwoman fighting Lord Death Man in Japan (there's a giant squid in an apartment building!) and the new Batgirl, Stephanie Brown infiltrating a posh girls' boarding school where the girls are taught some pretty unorthodox things. But then there are stories like the Internet 3.0 story, which is just so awful that I barely have words. The final reveal of who is actually behind Leviathan was really nice, though, and sets up an intriguing cliff hanger for later issues.

There's a lot of interesting ideas in this - the idea that every country or even large city should have their own Batman or affiliated superhero fighting crime is a fun one. If Morrison wasn't so fond of stories with flashbacks, and convoluted plot twists, and characters with similar names that I get confused by. He also writes a version of Catwoman that irritates me deeply, having her make strange cat noises all the damn time. Not cool, Grant. Not cool.

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