BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES #1
What did the
Art by CHRIS BURNHAM and CAMERON STEWART
Cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
Size: 80 pages
Let me get this off my chest: Screw you DC for almost running this book! The design for this super size one shot is so poorly done this became almost unreadable at times. Pages would sink into the spine and it was hard, at times, to read word balloons. So what will already be a tough read by a tough writer has not made it a hell of a lot worse.
Having getting that out of the way this was a strong, but insanely weird, ‘mid season finale’ to Batman INC. The first story in this is basically cheesecake paradise, if your into that sort of thing, of an all girl academy that Stephanie Brown is spying on. This story is so crazy because we just have to accept that fact that yes, an all girl school just for training killers is real and it’s okay to dress up as little as possible. In fact I did like that was the recurring joke as the more classes Brown attended, the less clothing the teachers appeared to be wearing. Then you have Cameron Stewart’s artwork which makes an all girl school prettier then you can already imagine and add in his usual flares to make the fight scenes more exciting.
The second story is where the real mind fuck begins as we finally get the reveal of who actually runs Leviathan. To basically make you understand what this story is I recommend you take a lot of acid and watch ‘The Prisoner’ because that’s what it felt like reading. I’m a fan of Morrison testing the boundaries as a writing but there were some points in this that made me do double takes and I still don’t quite understand after several re-reads. The overall story in this is simple, but Morrison puts so much contextual elements to get us to the finale it’s a bit too jarring. Of course the art by Chris Burnham relives a lot of that confusing by making this look pretty as hell. When you want over the top violence, with lots of blood being expelled, Burnham is you man. If you want complicated layouts and backgrounds, Burnham is you man. If you want Batman to look pretty much like an orangutan at points, Burnham is you man. In all seriousness this is some of Burnham’s best work and while his issue involving the Native American Batman will be my favorite looking issue of this run; this is a close second.
So as usual a Morrison issue ends with a hell of a lot more questions then answers. The reveal of the big baddie didn’t surprise me too much but it’ll be interesting to see where Morrison takes it. At the end of the day you have a lot of 2′s in this issue. 2 crazy stories, 2 fantastic artists, and 2 ways to make your head scratch.
Art: 5 - Excellent