Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 (2010-2011)- Grant Morrison
Verdict: Read it!
Batman Incorporated Volume 1 follows Bruce Wayne on his new business venture: creating a franchise of superheroes who promote the idea of Batman and his crime-fighting, fear-inspiring shenanigans across the globe. The fact that this franchise is unconventional makes it a perfect fit on paper for Grant Morrison, who thrives on the eccentric. Batman Incorporated hits high notes often, though it has a few detracting moments.
The series frequently paces itself at a very fast action packed clip. The story arcs are generally 1 to 3 issues at length making it easy to read in quick bursts. But that’s as fast as you are likely to read anything by Morrison. His several series long web of a story can be a tough entry barrier for new readers. Morrison’s work on Batman has spanned over five years at this point, and much of those years are integral to understanding exactly what’s going on. Fortunately, I have kept up with several of his series, but even I am forced to re-read various segments and consult Wikipedia. But Morrison isn’t afraid to put off some readers. In one arc of Batman Inc. an entire segment of story direction is in Spanish. When I first read this section I fell in love with the idea. I thought: “Morrison is writing in Spanish, because the issue is set in Argentina! How cool!” But on a second reading, the charm wore off quickly. Dialogue in Spanish is fine, characters would do that, but story direction? I’m not sure how many will follow or try too. Again, Morrison doesn’t seem to care. And in all honesty, there’s a good reason why: Batman Incorporated is well worth the effort.
Watching (or is it reading in this case?) Batman assemble his team and uncover the mystery behind the secret nefarious organization called “Leviathan” is enthralling. The art is consistently fabulous (even the 8th issue for me), and the writing, though it’s sometimes intentionally meant to be a mind-bending workout, is top-tier. While the collected volume doesn’t come out until April, when it does, if you like comic books at all, do yourself a favor and put in the work to catch up on Batman Incorporated. You will be glad you did. Read it!