Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham are joined by Frazer Irving in an issue that proves an important fact to us; Batman is never alone. With appearances from almost every member of Batman Inc. this issue is stuffed to the brim with characters and awesome art.
Read on for my full review!
This issue plays out pretty similarly to Batman Incorporated #6 (from volume 1). We get Bruce traveling around and recruiting a bunch of heroes from around the world for his cause, but where the theme of that issue was that Batman is everyone and that he’s always watching, this one focuses more on the fact that he’s never alone. No matter what, no matter when, and no matter where, Batman always has a partner in his fight against crime.
The highlight of the issue is probably the scenes going deeper into the new Dark Ranger, Johnny Riley. His characterization was criticized back when #6 came out, saying that he was made out to be too much of a stereotype of aboriginal Australians, but here we have a more intimate look at him as a character, and we get an interesting love connection between him and Squire. Also notable was the development of Jiro, the Batman of Japan, and the fact that he’s no longer just wearing a Batman costume like when we last saw him in Batman Incorporated Volume 1 #3.
Frazer Irving has long been a favorite artist of mine, and in this issue he continues to impress. He’s certainly not for everyone, but his moody style and expressive color palette really are a treat for the eye. He also has no trouble making the numerous characters featured in this issue stand out as individuals from different races and nationalities rather than seeming like carbon copies of the same few character models.
The issue doesn’t necessarily drive forth Morrison’s ongoing story in Batman Incorporated, but I think it adds a necessary bit of character to all those involved in this series, not just the main players. Hopefully, we get a lot of great character work for all the secondary players in this cast before Morrison wraps up his run in another nine issues. And hopefully we can get a bit more of that Dark Ranger/Squire relationship.
GO Rating: 4/5