• BATMAN is hot on the trail of whoever is trying to kill DAMIAN – and he’s not going to like what he finds!

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
Cover by Chris Burnham

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.0%


mrblasphemy08/28/12NoRead Review
The_Mike08/24/12NoRead Review
flapjaxx08/22/12NoRead Review
Creyes24708/22/12NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.4
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. I always liked Matches Malone. Should be fun!

  2. Gonna be another fine issue, me thinks!

    Just hope the story continues where #1 left off or more background to the incidents re-lated?!

  3. For a second, I thought the cover was by Steve Dillon. Burnham is just getting better and better.

  4. Who the hell is Matches Malone

  5. Can’t wait for this one!

  6. Kinda funny how this is up on the site considering the news just an hour ago.

  7. I just read that #12 will be Morrison’s last issue of this series. Do you think another writer will take over or will they just end the title? Ending the title is probably the best bet as it would be pretty hard to follow in Morrison’s footsteps.

    • Considering this is Morrison’s project I doubt he’ll let anyone continue it.

    • Batman and Robin is still going on…..

    • @TNC: Morrison has no say in the matter. They’ll continue publishing the title with a revolving door of mediocre creators until it dips so far under the radar that they cancel it.

      I’ll be sad to see Morrison go, but I can’t complain in good conscience. To have one of my favorite writer work on my favorite character for this long has been a dream come true. Between Morrison’s comics and Nolan’s films, this has been the most memorable decade in my life as a Batman fan.

    • tripleneck tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

      I think they’ll let the title die with Morrison’s departure. That way they can start up another Bat title at issue 1.

      What interests me more is who will be taking over Action when Morrison leaves after #16. Scott Snyder has tweeted that Jeff Lemire is working on a secret big project coming up for DC. I have no inside info, but wouldn’t it be cool if Lemire took over Action so that he & Snyder could work towards a big crossover event with Batman & Superman like they’re doing with Swamp Thing & Animal Man?

    • Lemire has said his new secret book is neither a batman nor superman title.

    • I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if the secret project is Captain Marvel related.

  8. Just realised august is a five wednesday month, i wonder if #3 will come out on the fourth week (the 22nd) and #4 will come out on the fifth week (the 27th)? That would be a bit of a pick me up, and would keep the second wave numbering in line as well. Just a thought.

  9. my shop had it out asked my shop owner why he didnt wait he said ” I bought the damn thing and my money is wraped up in it so I dont care I’m selling it”.

    • So will this continue to be “your shop”?

    • thats a very fascinating POV…..most shops probably can’t afford to buy a book and hold it back for a month. I’m seeing quite a few anecdotes saying the same on the twitters.

    • @wally: I will admit to not knowing the ins and outs of comic book retailing, but if this book had been delayed before it shipped, wouldn’t they be in the same financial predicament? When do retailers have to pay for their inventory?

      If a shop is selling this book after DC has asked them not to, it seems to me like they’re acting in bad faith as a business partner. If a store has a problem with fulfilling that request they should communicate with DC and try to work out some kind of compromise. Saying “I don’t care, I’m selling it” seems pretty unprofessional.

      I get that Batman Inc is a popular book, but even if they only stock DC and Marvel, that’s over 100 new books a month. If a store can’t make it a month without one book, I’d imagine their business is already in pretty rough shape.

    • It sounds like DC wanted to “cover their ass” by asking retailers not to sell it in case of backlash. If a retailer decides to offer the product and a customer wants to buy, that should be their option.

      No crime was committed here. Grown-ups should be allowed to make grown-up decisions. If Batman, Inc. #3 is available when I go to buy my comics, I’m buying it. It doesn’t make me or my retailer any less sympathetic to the recent event and the victims.

    • @ken most likely jus cause I dont drive and it the olny one in walking distance I kinda see where hes coming from but I dont agree with it .

    • @Kmanifesto: If the retailer puts it on the shelf, and you buy it, you haven’t done anything wrong in my book. We’re just the consumers and at the end of the day our role in the industry is to buy the books available to us.

      But like with early delivery (shops getting books on Monday night or Tuesday, but not selling them until Wednesday), I think this is an issue of professionalism on the retailers’ parts, and has little if anything to do with the murders in Colorado.

      Again, I don’t know the details of the publisher-retailer relationship, but it seems to me that if one of your biggest and most enduring product suppliers asks you to do them a favor in some bizarre circumstances, you’d help them out. The “I don’t care, I’m selling it” attitude seems kind of petulant.

      @matthew: I hear you. I have a few good shops in my area, but my LCS is in walking distance from my house too, so it’d be difficult to go somewhere else. It just annoys me when I hear stories of retailers that behave more like fans than responsible business owners.

    • @ken–i think the shops are on COD or pretty short terms so it can be a cash flow issue if its a big order. The more i read about the retailing side, the more shocked i am at how month to month some of them are with very little wiggle room for risk taking or absorption of losses or flops.

      I agree that attitude mentioned by that one shop is a bit gauche considering the circumstances.

  10. I got mine today too, but the owner of my shop didn’t realize it was out on the shelf until I mentioned it, and then he said he’d pull the rest. (It was still pretty early in the day.) Although after reading it, I don’t think anyone would’ve made a fuss about it even if it had been released like normal.

  11. Had it in my hands and at the last minute my retailer said I couldn’t have it. He said he doesn’t see the parallel and didn’t think it would have caused a fuss or any notice at all if they had just released it but that DC are his favourite guys to deal with so he figured he would just do them the favour.

  12. Just picked it up, out of the three shops I go to, two had it for sale and had heard nothing about it being delayed.

  13. Hopefully I will get this book when I pick up my stack of books on Friday. I really don’t see why one moron’s actions should cause a delay. I mean the shooting has absolutely nothing to do with Batman or DC, except that it happened at a cinema where Batman happened to play. If this had happened at the Aurora McDonald’s, but all bracnhes worldwide stop selling burgers for a day??? I don’t think so.

  14. I saw it in a shop in the uk, mentioned it had been pulled and wondered if that was just in the US. He checked and had a message to pull them off the shelves and so he did.
    The right thing to do. I think if there is anything in there the press can jump on it is a good idea. Even if there is no direct parallel, if there is anything shocking that they think the lazy press will jump on, best to get it out of their reach.
    They will be looking for some anti comic string they can sensationalize, good to see the comic book community taking the lead. Look forward to reading it.

    • You’re right. The press has pretty much always had it in for comics (‘Seduction of the Innocent’ anyone?) and its easier to jump all over comics in the wake of a new hit Batman movie followed by an apparently Batman-inspired massacre.

      Though I personally fail to see how this particular issue could have caused offense, anything Batman-related in the weeks following the murders would have grabbed headlines and possibly generated negative press for DC, something they really don’t need given their recent image shift and very public re-vamp.

      Anything even remotely sensitive needed to be held back, if only as a gesture of respect the the victims of this tragedy.

  15. My shop did not have it out. I even asked the owner if he’d gotten it, just to make conversation, but he insisted they hadn’t. My view: DC, as a publisher, gets to make decisions as they see fit. And we, as customers, just have to deal. I’m sure there were a lot of reasons for the pull.

    Maybe they were worried that Batman books would be under a microscope this month, being scoured for any provocative and violent imagery. Which is a completely valid concern. The last thing any publisher needs is some talking head on Fox News shouting: “Look at this book! It’s no wonder people are killing each other!”

    I think it’s responsible business to keep Batman out of a negative spotlight, attempting to sever any further ties his character could have with this tragedy. Sometimes shit happens. And sometimes really terrifying shit happens. Either way, its our job to pick up the pieces and move on with our lives.

  16. I picked it up yesterday, it was shipped to germany before the pullback was announced and i read about it after i picked it up. Good issue and my POTW but classy move by DC, would have accepted it.

  17. I read this and loved it. I was so wrapped up in it I didn’t think about the controversy once. When it was over, I remembered that there was supposed to be something unsettling about this issue and I couldn’t think of anything that would make DC think twice. I have no idea what all the fuss was about! This issue was nothing but fun Grant Morrison.

  18. From Belgium here, got the book, I have a nice shop with good people.First I would like to pay my respects to the victims and family of the shootings. But I don’t get why postponing the book is respectfull to the victims. Batman has nothing to do with the shootings, it was just some nutcase. America has some weird sense of sensitivity, you pull all batmanrelated things of the shelf and radio, but it is still possible to buy a gun anywhere you want. I just don’t get it.

    • As an American I agree. If DC wants to show respect to the victims and their families, then pick up the hospital bills. Help them with paying for psychiatric care. Offer to give them a stipend or gift of some form. Withholding a comic book or refusing to release the box office results does nothing for the families. If you are going to do something, then actually do something of import, not just an empty gesture of respect.

    • @Cedric
      they didn’t pull all batman related things.
      DC asked the retailers not to release Batman Inc. right before the comic shop owners received it via Diamond. like the day before, but i suspect at least 70% of us(consumers) got our copy. that’s just from the “information” that i have gathered which may deserve the prefix “mis”.
      on one hand it appears classy because of the opening page, but on the other hand it seems(as @Lebahn puts it) “empty”, because there was no real repercussion for not following this mandate.
      and we don’t buy guns at convenient stores along with beer and smokes or anything like that.
      u can purchase rifles and shot-guns easy enough from gun retailers, but handguns and semi’s(more compact, usually) can be quite a hassle if you’re not the type of person who would be responsible with that American constitutional right. laws are there for a reason. BUT, there’s always the black market.
      which exists everywhere, so what are ya gonna do? enforce stricter global gun laws? sounds like a good idea.

      for DC to pick up the tab for all that would be to accept, at least partially, responsibility. that would be like box cutter companies picking up the tab for the World Trade Center on 9/11.

    • I have to make an apology for my earlier statement about the hollow gestures made by DC and Warner Brothers. It would appear that they created a foundation that they endowed with one million dollars to be used in helping the victims of the Aurora shootings. I am VERY glad to eat this crow, in fact, it’s delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy to be wrong! (Well except for that time with the STD scare…)

  19. There was nothing in this that warranted it being pulled.

    • I suspect it was pulled to make it a collector’s item. Not that I’m bemoaning DC or I’m outraged by it. That just objectively seems like the only possibility. They’ve released 36 other Batbooks in the last month.

  20. Okay I loved the first two issues and patiently waited through the delay to buy #3. Unfortunately I have not been able to find this comic anywhere in town. Frustrated!

  21. My LCS guy knew nothing about this being delayed (he’s not the owner but is there most of the time). So it’s been out there for weeks – and honestly, nothing in this book was worth delaying any more than any other Batman comic or any superhero comic or any comic at all. The loser with red hair didn’t use comic books to take anyone’s life.

  22. Pumped

  23. did anyone else get this when it was originally scheduled to come out? Cause I did hehehe

  24. It was delayed at my Comic Shop so I will be getting it tomorrow.

  25. As someone who didn’t read much of Morrison’s Batman prior to this series, I’m really excited for this issue this week.

  26. jesus christ now i have to wait until freaking october to read issue 4??

    thats ridiculous, why couldnt they have just released four and whatever copies of three got delayed this week?

    • Fucking exactly!!!

    • Yes, it’s terribly inconvenient that you had to wait an extra few weeks to read a comic book.

      Maybe we should set up a fundraiser for you like this one?

    • @ferretmaster: I think complaining about Grant Morrison books coming out late was played out at least four years ago.

    • Fuck me sideways you two are original!

    • lmao @conor.

      it is terribly inconvenient that i have to wait 2 extra months to read a comic book. how is that not inconvenient?

    • @lmaferretmaster: It’s not inconvenient. Considering the reason for the delay it’s not a big deal at all.

    • @conor well now you’re arguing two things, never said it was a big deal, said it was inconvenient, which it is. there is no real reason for the delay other than a tragedy in aurora happened, which to me isnt a real reason. i get that its basic PR, and normally i’d have no problem with it, but the fact that they waited until tuesday night to try to stop the comics from getting out and failed miserably at that fucked that up for them. right now as we speak a child is probably being molested and murdered, that doesnt mean im going to stop checking out what comics come out tomorrow. the whole thing is they didnt stop issue three from getting out in july, so now those of us who read it have to wait all of this month, all of next month, and part of september before we get to the next issue. that is a huge inconvenience.

    • er, part of october i mean.

    • obviously you cant compare this being an inconvenience to what happened in aurora. my car breaking down is an inconvenience and it pisses me off, that doesnt mean im not happy to be alive and healthy though.

    • @imaferretmaster: Well, no. The reason for the delay was the shooting. You are complaining about how awful the delay is. This isn’t some vague connection: the shooting and the delay are linked as one is the cause for the other.

    • The delay wasn’t caused by the shooting. Some people dying was caused by the shooting. The delay was a choice made by DC. It wasn’t something that had to happen.

    • @WillupsBrighton: Incorrect. Without the shooting there would have been no delay.

    • This exchange is incredibly surreal. I can’t believe Conor even has to say these things.

    • I believe, yet I still don’t see the relation as to why DC had to delay this?
      Especially where there is no incident directly linked, what DC should’ve done was delay everything due for release that week since I’m sure something would’ve come out more likened to what actually happened!

    • It doesn’t seem to me like issue 4 being delayed had anything to do with issue 3 being delayed. This book was done and printed and shipped a month ago. Why couldn’t they have had issue 4 come out in couple weeks, between issue 3 and issue 0? It feels like they are just running behind schedule – which I’m okay with – but issue 4 ended up being delayed 2 months. I don’t believe that delay has anything to do with the shooting.

    • These delays don’t bother me at all. This is Grant Morrison’s final Batman story, and it ends at issue #12. So I want to savor them as long as possible.

  27. As far as I’m concerned: some **COMMENT MODERATED** thought he’d go out and kill a bunch of people and used Batman as an excuse. This is a terrible, terrible tragedy (not least because he didn’t just kill himself and have done with it). However, I think DC did the right thing in holding it back. From a PR standpoint, it was a sound move. Donating all that money to the families was also a sound move, as well as a kind one. The media loves picking on comics (and has a long history of doing so) and they would have jumped at the chance to do so again, as many people on this thread have said.

    Complaining about the delays is completely missing the point and is actually quite stupid. Life could be worse, a lot worse if you were in any way connected to the tragedy in Aurora.

    OK – I’m all done talking/reading about the delays and the tragedy.

    The issue itself was really, really cool. Chris Burnham’s art is consistently brilliant and brings a cartoonish, pulpy feel to Batman that hasn’t been a part of the character’s iconography in far too long. I LOVED the way that Burnham drew Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Matches Malone so convincingly. The closest comparison I can make is shy, bumbling Clark Kent’s metamorphoses into the easy-going, God-like Superman of Grant Morrison’s ‘All Star Superman’, (which was expertly crafted by Frank Quitely). Yes, the comparison is valid. Burnham is an emerging master of the form.

    The writing is excellent and full of twists and turns (with a lot more to come, no doubt). I felt that this issue, with its recurring motif of smokey bars, jazz singers and old-style outlaws, struck the perfect note. It was fun and evocative, a real detective story. Characters like ‘Small Fry’ and ‘Goatboy’ are really interesting to me and I loved seeing ‘Matches’ again (I hadn’t read about him since the Alan Grant comics of the 90’s).

    Damian taking on a new identity was an awesome insight into his psychology – here he is playing tribute to his two heroes: Bruce Wayne by switching identities as it suits him (something that was the theme for the entire issue) and Dick Grayson by adapting the Robin persona and donning a costume that resembled Nightwing’s in more than just a superficial way. It was probably all subconcious on Damian’s part, but isn’t that what being a super hero is about? Wrapping your id around you in the form of a pervert suit and beating the hell out of people you disagree with? Answers on a postcard, please.

    POTW for sure.

  28. Fun issue. Not trying to be snarky, but I have no idea what content prompted DC to hold it up a week. Was it the first page, where a teacher pulls a gun on her class?

    • Honestly, that’s really the only thing it could possibly be.

    • Yeah, I’m guessing that was it. Being as the shooting had just happened when this issue was supposed to come out I could see why they were hesitant to release it. I saw the Dark Knight Rises right after the shooting too and it totally ruined the movie for me. Especially with all the gun violence there was in the movie. I should have waited a couple of months before I saw it. I’m sure when I see it again I will feel differently. But seeing it the first time left me with a really ‘blah’ feeling.

  29. So this actually came out? No shop in Sacramento has it.

  30. Excellent issue, I must have stared at that “web” panel for five min. And the return of bat-cow! Good stuff

  31. This was an awesome issue. I love how Grant seems to be going to tie all his Batman work together. I recently re-read all his stuff starting with Batman and Son. I forgot how good it all was. R.I.P. is still a classic. It will be fun to see how he decides to end everything.

    • I would say the start of the run is actually in 52 Week 30. Here’s my preferred reading order that no one asked for…
      Batman: The Black Casebook (just a collection of Silver Age stories pertinent to the run)
      “52” Week 30 (One chapter of the weekly series that Grant co-wrote, contains some key scenes that set up Grant’s run)
      Batman and Son
      Batman The Black Glove
      Batman RIP (stop before reading “Last Rites”)
      Batman RIP The Missing Chapter (Batman Issues 701 – 702 which can be found in the “Time and the Batman” trade)
      Last Rites (to be read in the middle of Batman issue 702 – right after he is captured by Darkseid’s forces)
      Batman and Robin vol. 1
      Batman and Robin vol. 2: Blackest Knight
      Batman Issue 700 (can be found in the Time and the Batman trade)
      Batman and Robin vol. 2: Batman vs. Robin
      Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne issues 1-5
      Batman and Robin vol. 3 (read until the end of issue 15)
      Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (issue 6)
      Batman and Robin vol. 3 (issue 16 – the end of the volume)
      Batman Inc.

    • Hey cool, thanks for this list. The first issue of Batman I ever picked up was the first issue of Batman & Son, so 52 and the Black Casebook were before my time. I will have to check those out too.

  32. Nice buildup issue. It’s a blast to see Morrison back writing Damian as only he can, being an asshole and disobeying orders.

  33. After all the wait this issue was disappointing. Not nearly as interesting as the previous issue. There was nothing in it that should have caused it to be delayed. Grant Morrison is so frustrating. One minute he’s engrossing, the next minute he totally loses you. For all the praise he gets he could be twice the writer if he would stop going out to left field on his readers without taking them with him.

  34. Finished work early so thought I’d pop into my local (well local to my work) comic book shop and try something new (and order most of my books online).
    I can’t say I’m shocked this was delayed.
    But there was nothing actually offensive in this book that should lead to that happening.
    I honestly don’t believe DC thought the book was in “bad taste” rather that some reactionary news outlets *cough*FOX*cough* would be scouring high and low for anything they could paint as remotely controversial so they could start a lovely witch hunt and milk this tragedy for even more lovely ad revenue. So I understand why DC wanted to cover their asses and I also understand why retailers didn’t bother to comply.
    And I don’t blame them (I certainly wouldn’t call them ‘jerks’ either) I don’t even think DC cares that retails sold the issue, as long as they could say “Well we told them not too. It’s not OUR fault” then they’re covered.
    Anyway the issue itself was great, the first of this series I’ve ever picked up and look forward to more. My POTC.

  35. POTW!

    Worth the wait

  36. Matches Malone reminds me a lot of Plastic Man; who would have thought Batman had thatin him? Also, very intrigued about Redbird, and the Batcave hologram that brings into the current continuity what happened before the relaunch.

    Please check my non-review of Batman Inc #3 here:

    Comments and feedback are always welcome!

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