Batman Incorporated 13

Alternating Currents: Batman Incorporated 13, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman Incorporated 13, originally released July 31st, 2013.

It never ends. It probably never will.

-Jim Gordon

Drew: What does it mean to end a run writing Batman? How do you “end” a story featuring a character that has been published in perpetuity for over 70 years with no signs of slowing down? Sure, Grant Morrison “killed” Bruce Wayne, but that was back at the close of his epic’s second act. No, the ending here had to be something much grander, something much truer to the unrelenting nature of Batman. The sheer scope of Morrison’s epic is deserving of the same pomp and circumstance of “the definitive end” of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, but Morrison manages to approach that same grandiosity with modest deference, keeping in mind that, while the he may be done, Batman will keep on going. That simple nod turns his elaborate love letter to Batman’s past into an equally impassioned love letter to Batman’s future, and gracefully shifts Morrison from center stage to the audience. Continue reading

Batman Incorporated 12

Alternating Currents: Batman Incorporated 12, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman Incorporated 12, originally released July 3rd, 2013.

Drew: I don’t know when exactly I learned the phrase “grand finale,” but for much of my childhood, I only associated it with Fourth of July fireworks shows. I don’t know if it was just youthful impatience, or just excitement over getting to use those special words, but that was the only part of the show I ever cared about — who wants to see brilliant explosions paced out slowly when they can all go off in rapid succession? To some degree, I think there’s still an expectation for finales to be grand — remember everyone’s reaction to The Sopranos finale? — even if that ignores that narratives aren’t the same thing as fireworks shows. A satisfying conclusion to a narrative features consequents to the antecedents set up throughout the story, effectively closing all of the open parentheses. That job is already tough (think of how many otherwise decent stories have been totally ruined by a botched ending), but becomes exponentially tougher as the antecedents and open parens pile up over the years — especially when Grant Morrison is writing. His Batman Epic has been truly epic — it features both a global scope and a historical perspective, and has introduced countless characters, relationships, and histories — all of which require additional consideration as the story winds to its close. This entire final chapter of Batman Incorporated has been about starting that process, but issue 12 suggests that Morrison might actually intend to close ALL of his open parentheses AND give us the grand finale our inner child has been begging for for the past seven years. Continue reading

Batman Incorporated 7

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing the Batman Incorporated 7, originally released January 30th, 2013.

Patrick: If the last issue of Batman Incorporated was a little heavy on the heady themes and explicit symbolism (it was), then issue 7 is the antidote. The issue starts with Batman in free fall, then zips ably through surprise reveals, heartwrenching goodbyes, booby-traps  and betrayals. As Talia calls the members of Leviathan into action — be they security guards or children — it’s immediately clear that The Plan is in motion, and Damian is uniquely positioned to put a stop to his mother’s attacks and save his father.

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Batman Incorporated 6

batman inc 6

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing the Batman Incorporated 6, originally released January 2nd, 2013.

Patrick: There’s a moment early in this issue when Batman realizes that Talia is going to put him through the Ten Ox Herding Pictures before being able to confront her directly. Batman asks, “Can’t we just have a conversation, like normal people?” to which, Talia replies, “We’re not ‘normal people.’ We’re special.” Batman’s got a point: Batman Incorporated is in ruins and Leviathan is everywhere. To make matters worse, Talia is moments away from making Bruce choose between his city and his son — with conflict so clear and so immediate, what room is there for a Zen parable about the process of becoming enlightened? Continue reading

Batman, Incorporated 4

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing the Batman, Incorporated 4, originally released October 24th, 2012.

Shelby:  When I set out to write a review, I like to be as fully caught-up on the story as I can be.  I don’t feel that I can accurately judge an issue without taking into consideration the story which has has taken place so far. That’s why the relaunch has been so easy; even if I pickup up a new title, I’ve only got 13 back issues to get through. There is certainly merit to the uninformed opinion, we proved that with zero month, it’s just not the approach I prefer to take. Batman, Inc puts me in an unique and frustrating position; I am fully caught-up, in that I’ve read all 5 issues, and yet I still have no idea what’s going on.
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Batman Incorporated 1

Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Batman Inc 1, originally released May 23rd, 2012.

Peter: Batman Inc. has been a very intriguing concept since the first issue came out last year. The idea that there could be others who work in the same style of Batman and share ideals and resources sounds like a good idea, right? I am inclined to say yes, but, I don’t think this first issue really gets the point across. Continue reading