Review by: keith7198

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Avg Rating: 4.5
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Written by GRANT MORRISON; Art and cover by CHRIS BURNHAM; 1:25 Variant cover by FRAZER IRVING

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

When I first saw the cover for Batman Incorporated #7 I worried that I was in store for one of Grant Morrison’s self-indulgent mind trip issues. Instead it’s a great book which is easily one of the best Batman Inc. stories. I have a love/hate relationship with Morrison’s work. He’s done some stuff that I’ve really liked (most of his X-Men work) and some stuff I really didn’t like (I’m looking at you R.I.P.). So far he’s kept the Batman Inc. concept together and it’s really a shame that come September the series will be put on hold.

The story follows Man-of-Bats and his son Raven, a version of Batman and Robin for a Native American territory in South Dakota. Regardless of how unusual it sounds, the story and setting work very well. Morrison throws in a touch of social and political commentary by showing the harsh poverty, corruption, lack of modern business or industry, and crime rate in the territory. It’s a violent, sometimes dark story that also explores topics such as gang violence, animal cruelty, and father and son relationships. I could go on and on because this issue provides memorable scene after memorable scene. Morrison took what I thought was silly idea and slapped me across the face with it. Such a great story.

Chris Burnham’s art at times looks original while at other times it looks like a clone of Frank Quitely’s work . I’m not the biggest fan of Burnham’s art and there are examples of why in this issue. But that said, there is something about the look and flow to his work here that really grabbed me. His art harshly conveys Morrison’s vision with emotion and grit while painting a sobering and detailed atmosphere. I mentioned this was a violent book and Burnham isn’t afraid to let the blood spill. While it never feels gratuitous it does resemble spilled or blotched ketchup more than actual blood. Regardless, his art is really surprisingly good and effective here.

As I said earlier, this is easily one of the best Batman Inc. books. This is so much more than a “Batman goes to find another Batman” story. It packs a lot of punch and is almost flawlessly constructed. Morrison’s storytelling really shines here and while Burnham does lose his characters in a few panels his art is a great compliment to the story. This is a strong issue and hopefully we will get more of Man-of-Bats and Raven soon. 

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

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