COMICS: Batman Incorporated #2 Review
Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated continues into its second issue...can this series earn its place in the scores of current Batman comics?
With Batman Incorporated's second issue, Grant Morrison attempts to tell the story of Talia Al Ghul as a standalone story, can he succeed at characterizing Talia in a single issue?
Batman Incorporated #2 almost completely skips over the events of the stellar first issue. It opts to tell the story from Talia's point of view rather than resolve the cliffhanger of the previous issue. It covers Talia's entire life, from her conception to her present day conflict with Batman. It's a testament to Grant Morrison's skills as a writer and to the quality of this series that an issue comprised almost entirely of exposition can be so fantastic.
Morrison effectively characterizes Talia as an extremely sinister villainess while still being very sympathetic. Not only does he grasp Talia's character so well, but he bring her father, Ra's Al Ghul, back into the story in an interesting way. His handling of the father-daughter relationship between Ra's and Talia is fantastic, and I don't think I've ever seen the relationship done so well. It's clear that Ra's does love Talia, but that his overly ambitious attempts at world domination have completely alienated the two.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the issue, however, occurs in the present day parts of the story, wherein Ra's attempts to end Talia's current war against Batman, only to learn that his daughter is far more dangerous than he thought. Talia successfully usurping her father's rule was something I never expected to see. I was always under the impression that Ra's was the more imposing of the two Al Ghuls, but after reading this issue I think otherwise. It's clear that Talia has a plan, and her war with Batman can only escalate.
Chris Burnham's art is as fantastic as always. He is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, and he is probably one of the most underrated artists working today. I wasn't a fan of his somewhat cartoony style at first, but his consistent quality and fantastic action choreography have turned me around. His art here is no exception (barring a single strange panel in which Ra's' pupils are comically large).
Overall, this issue might leave readers who were expecting a direct follow-up to the previous issue in the cold, and it does occasionally seem to contradict the continuity established in "Son of the Demon", but it is easily one of the best characterizations of a villain in recent memory.
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