Batman Incorporated #1
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yanick Paquette
Batman goes international with a trip to Japan as the book launches in style. Well, actually, the book launches with murder, but from then on it’s style. Continuing out of Batman: The Return, it’s a long awaited team up with Batman and Catwoman! It’s the first issue of this title, Morrison’s new big thing for the Bat franchise, like Batman and Robin a year and a half ago, and just like that last successful launch, Morrison does everything right here.
Batman is in Japan to train a man named Mr. Unknown, essentially to make him into the Japanese Batman. That’s the goal of his first stop, and despite breaking away long enough to rip off a treasure from Dr. Sivana, he stays relatively on point. Selina Kyle, Catwoman, is along for the ride, and I couldn’t be happier. Bruce needs a love interest, and it’s been far too long since he’s seriously had one that the reader couldn’t tell was going to stab him in the back a mile away. At the same time, the Batman and Catwoman pairing is the stuff of fanboy dreams, and it translates well on to the page. Few are the women who know Bruce Wayne is Batman, and fewer still are the ones that can swing across cities with him on grappling lines.
But this issue is about murder, as Batman stumbles across the scene of a vicious killing and finds himself solving it. There is more to it than meets the eye, however, as the victim appears to be the same man he went to find. So who is Lord Death Man? Who is Jiro Osamu? There are a lot of questions that come together throughout the issue, lots of things to keep the readers interest piqued until the next issue.
I really like Yanick Paquette on this book, I mean, it’s not the dark and gritty David Finch art that I was gushing over in my review of Batman: The Return, but it’s something very much its own. The pencils are clear, and the characters look great. There’s a nice element to the style on the book which really does get across that it’s a cast of normal people, I mean, even a scene of a shirtless Bruce Wayne lifting weights doesn’t pass off the overly-buff he-man vibe that some artists let slip with Batman. The end result is that we’ve got a book that really does feel like Batman, and yet doesn’t stay nearly as dark as one would expect out of a Bat book. It’s a nice happy medium that gives us Batman the hero, without trying too hard to be dark and gritty (and hey, Finch has his own book in which to do that. So does Tony Daniel).
As far as first issues go, this is the kind that you’ll never see me complain about. It accomplishes enough in one issue to make me feel at home with this new title and concept, and yet it leaves me wondering and wanting for more. Very well crafted, and along with The Return, this marks another great jump on point for Batman.
Tags: Batman, Batman Inc, Grant Morrison, Reviews, Yanick Paquette