Saturday, November 20, 2010

Batman Incorporated #1

Grant Morrison & Yanick Paquette

Grant Morrison's highly-anticipated new Batman series begins with a bang as he brings Jiro Kuwata's Lord Death Man to American comics (see the character's debut from the original Japanese comics in the Chip Kidd-edited Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.)  In this new series, Morrison has Batman travel abroad to establish a Batman presence in different areas of the world, beginning with Japan, where he hopes to recruit and train Mr. Unknown in the way of the bat.  Catwoman is along for the ride, as he needs Selina's expertise in cat burglary to help him break into a vault.  Unfortunately for him, things don't go as planned when it comes to his new recruit, and Lord Death Man makes his ghoulish presence known.  I love the concept of the series, and Paquette draws a mean Batman book, with great action scenes, and he brings Morrison's pretty gruesome opening scene to life, setting the tone for the book.  There's an odd cliffhanger that's absolutely ridiculous, but you kind of have to admire the off-the-wall, logistically-impossible ideas that Morrison throws into this superhero title, adding a splash of color to a rather dark first issue.  With Kuwata's introduction to America last year, it was a pretty solid choice for Morrison to begin with Japan in this trek for recruits to expand Batman's reach, and a pretty impressive overall first issue with the glimpses we have of the creepy villain.  I'm going to miss Morrison on Batman and Robin, especially since he wrote Damien so well, but I can't say that the transition wasn't made a hell of a lot easier by this exciting new series.

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