Batman Incorporated #3 is another piece in to puzzle of the large story Grant Morrison has been building to since his first issues of Batman. This issue is focused on Bruce still gathering information on his enemy, not ready to strike on the offensive yet. There is still a long way to go in Morrison’s epic and these early issue are likely full of setup and clues for payoffs down the road. Bruce and co. are trying to figure out what they are up against, but their foe might be ready to strike before they find out.
Leviathan is everywhere and the opening scene shows us how deep they have already gone into infiltrating Gotham. It’s a very simple example of how the people of Gotham have already lost a fight they don’t even know has started. Morrison writes some brilliant, quick witted dialog for Bruce’s Matches Malone persona. It has a slick, 1960’s noir feel to it. Bruce is taking to the streets to find out info on Leviathan. Morrison finds a clever way to bring in many of the Batman Inc. members into this issue as part of Bruce’s Malone scheme. Matches finds a singer who may know a thing or two and the hunt begins. It’s still unclear at this point just how ready the Bat family is for the coming assault. The way Morrison has portrayed Leviathan as this huge empire doesn’t bode well for our heroes.
Chris Burnham is emerging as one of DC’s top artistic talents. The line work that he is able to deliver on a consistent basis is stunning. I love the way he draws faces. This issue has a lot of close ups and Burnham draws every wrinkle and line of his characters. Their uniquely expressive looks really sell the emotion of the story. Burnham also excels at creepy and disturbing, as a few pages in this book will attest. He can make things very unsettling and it fits perfect for the tone of the series.
If you’ve been reading Grant Morrison’s run on Batman since the beginning, you know how big this story is. Each issue offers clues to Leviathan’s endgame. I’m most interested in seeing how Bruce plans on combating such a large, highly organized group with his small team of allies. Building up Bruce’s foes has been something Morrison has done before. Think how long Doctor Hurt was around and how deep his schemes went. I can only imagine what Talia has planned for the man who stole her son from her. Batman Incorporated is a massive, well built story that has been in the works for years. This latest issue serves to keep teasing, though I’m sure with the position Matches was left in will make sure that we learn some big things next month.
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