Batman Incorporated: Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn, Patrick Brosseau, Jason Fabok
Above all else, this was a fun issue to read. I definitely enjoyed figuring out a tune for the song the lady sings (if it’s a real song, I don’t know), and the dialog throughout is really great. The issue starts with an explanation on how Leviathan has been infiltrating Gotham and its citizens, how they were able to quiet protesters and keep everything secret where it mattered. While it’s somewhat of a fantastical series of events, it’s still well thought out.
The biggest deal with this issue is the return of Matches Malone, a street-smart thug-for-hire who’s done work with just about every major player in Gotham…and somehow lived to tell about it. This is, of course, Bruce Wayne. He meets up with a midget, Small Fry, to try and get the scoop on Leviathan. A couple of big knuckleheads try to hassle the lady singer, Lumina, and Matches intervenes with his three cronies.
Now, those three are actually part of Batman Incorporated. Gonzalo is El Gaucho, Bulldog is The Hood (with whom I’m unfamiliar), and Ogo is Batwing. That’s awesome, first of all. Second, I love seeing the other members of Bat, Inc., in this series - or any other for that matter. It reminds me of that excellent first volume series, and helps to show that the world is a lot bigger than it sometimes feels in these issues.
To give us readers a red herring, Batman shows up with Matches and tells him to watch his back and keep his nose clean, basically. Luckily, the next page shows us that it was Dick as Batman, and Bruce was, indeed, beneath the glasses and mustache. Bruce, Dick, and Damian look over their Leviathan notes— oh look, Damian IS alive! See, because I was confused. Last issue never really resolved how that worked out, other than everyone thinks he’s dead.
They discover chemicals of Professor Pyg’s in the blood of bat-cow, revealing that Leviathan has tainted the meat supply for Gotham. We also find out that Bruce made Damian step down from Robin for now, letting the world think he was killed. This, of course, leads Damian to adopt a different disguise….
Burnham’s art…I actually don’t mind it this time. Usually I’m all conflicted over it, but here I enjoyed just about every panel. The blood still looks like a jelly/paste mixture, but that’s the style, and I just have to go with it. But what I love most, I think, is how Burnham can draw characters. Not just people. But interesting people. That’s always impressive. The look on David Zavimbe’s face as Ogo is just priceless.
Batman Incorporated #3, the verdict: So, this issue is now a month behind, just so you know. You’re not crazy that a Second Wave title is on issue #3 in August. That took me a quick moment to figure out, and then I remembered that this book wasn’t released in July. This is, actually, the first known occurrence of a late issue in the New 52. That was one of their mantras: no more late books. For a title in which I was never really interested since the relaunch, I’ve been enjoying this, and that’s saying something.
(Photo Source: Batman Wikia)