So today was the release date for the first issue of Batman, Inc. the comic about The Batman starting franchises of Batmen around the world. Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Yanick Paquette, this issue focuses on The Batman traveling to Japan to recruit a hero who draws on the same basic morals as the caped-crusader. I should also mention that The Batman is being accompanied by Catwoman because of his need to recover a mysterious jewel from Doctor Sivana’s secret project called “Project X” which Catwoman appropriately makes fun of while The Batman takes care of a few pesky robot animals that are guarding it.
The very beginning of this issue shows the original Mr. Unknown, who The Batman intends on making the Batman of Japan, being killed by the worst titled of all Batman villains, Lord Death Man. The first few frames of this issue show some very gruesome things happening to Mr. Unknown, including his hands being eaten away by corrosive acid. So what is The Batman to do? His first employee is dead and there’s a murderer on the loose. Luckily, Mr. Unknown has a sidekick who serves as his body double and shares his moral code. I won’t explain any further because I don’t like to give away intricate parts of a story, but rest assured that there are plenty of very much unexpected surprises for a first issue of a series.
I have been awaiting this series since it was first announced earlier this year because it is, to a great extent, a spin-off of Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight. This is very important in the tales of The Batman because it shows that there are others in the world who share the same moralistic ideals of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. It is very dangerous to have a masked vigilante running around with access to high tech gadgetry, but if you take into account The Batman’s moral views on killing people then the game changes entirely. The only problem is that the authorities don’t like it at all because of how The Batman works outside of the law to get things done, making the whole idea of universalized Batman very dangerous to the general consensus of authority.
I have to say that I really like Grant Morrison as a writer; he’s able to use classic comic book style language while still recognizing how cliché it is to use names like “Project X”. I also really enjoyed the art style of Paquette. It’s not cartoonish but it also isn’t too realistic keeping with the idea that this is a fictional work enabling the clichés of Morrison to work throughout the story. This is also very good because of the incorporation of the highly sexualized character of Catwoman, considering the scene where there is some obvious sexual tension between Bruce and Selina. Because of this scene and some other violent images that I will not mention due to story details, this comic is not for those who are too young meaning that it is intended for more mature audiences. This fact, however redundant I make it appear to be, has a very important meaning behind, which is that Morrison and Paquette are creating something for adults that enables them to engage in their child-like imagination and make them truly interact with the comic.
For all of these reasons, I truly think that Batman, Inc. is going to be a great and important arc in the history of The Batman. For those of you who have been wondering why I’ve been calling him “The Batman”, it’s because that’s how he was introduced in Detective Comics #27, so I think Bob Kane would want it that way. And some of you thought that comics were for kids. Shame on you! I have spoken.