I was going to get to this one yesterday, in fact it was the comic from yesterday that I was most excited about reviewing, but I couldn’t because Midtown Comics was all sold out of copies by the time I got off work. Why were they sold out of copies? Because everyone bought them. Why did everyone by all the copies of “Batman Incorporated” #8? Because in this issue the current Robin, Damian Wayne, Batman’s son, dies.
Oh noes! SPOILERS!
Well, not exactly. Robin’s fate was already leaked on Monday by the NY Post. Which is why everyone knew to go out and grab a copy of the issue, and why I had to go without. Stupid NY Post.
Anyway, Damian’s demise was actually handled very well here. For a tiny pre-teen, this kid was always a nasty fighter and it was great to see him go down in a bloody, balls-out fight, rather than blown up or decapitated by the Penguin or something. He died on his feet, is what I’m saying. Right up until the end he’s breaking the rules of the superhero sidekick, making his trademark little defiant “tt” sound, leaping into the fray, and going right for the jugular. I guess if you have to show an 11-year-old getting killed in your superhero comic, that’s the best way to do it.
It was also great for Dick and Damian to have one last fight at each others side. Their little moment together where Damian says that he and Dick were the best Batman and Robin was extremely gratifying, especially since their time together in 2009’s “Batman and Robin” is probably my favorite Batman run in recent memory. It added a lot to Damian’s final moments for that extra little blast of nostalgia to be there.
And of course, Batman was locked up in a safe throughout the issue, which is pretty on-point for whenever one of his Robins gets killed.
I’m a huge Grant Morrison fan, but I decided to put this series down late last year because I was really growing tired of New 52 and wanted to try jumping onto some new Marvel books once their Marvel NOW! refresh hit. I’d been following Morrison’s work on Batman from the very beginning, and after 6 years I was beginning to feel lost in the sub-mythos that he’d constructed around his personal Batman universe and I really couldn’t tell if it was actually going anywhere. Now that I’ve read this issue, I have the urge to go back and re-read the whole run, starting with “Batman & Son.” Or at least I want to go back and re-read all 9 issues (counting #0) of this series. This issue makes me regret taking this series off my pull list.
Also, the art in this issue is phenomenal. The whole issue is one massive fight scene and Chris Burnham brings his A-game with jagged panels that add to the impact of each hit and a sense of timing that makes the hand-to-hand combat feel simultaneously fluid and improvised. And the little homage to the ’60s Batman TV show as Dick and Damian rush headfirst into the brawl? Priceless.
Okay, that’s all for now. Great series, great comic. Morrison is a genius. I want to come back later and talk more about Damian Wayne and his time in the Bat-verse now that he’s gone, but for now I just wanted to weigh in on the issue itself, which I had a lot of fun with.
Go out and buy it. If you can. If it’s not already sold out.