Author: Bobby Barrett
March 29, 2013

SYNOPSIS: When only one can survive, which will it be: the man or the bat?

Batman, Incorporated is entering its final act, and issue #10 finds the players all finding their places for the finale. The Dark Knight is preparing for war with Talia al Ghul's army by utilizing every resource available to him…including one that is sure to be a shocker. Batman, Incorporated has officially "gone into liquidation", and Bruce is prepared to end the battle how he started it: just Batman vs. the bad guys.

The Bat Family may have different ideas on that matter. Nightwing and Red Robin are rounding up the surviving "Incorporated" members to help take down Talia once and for all -- for Batman and for Damian. Squire has assumed the role of The Knight, and has partnered with Dark Ranger to track down Jason Todd/Wingman -- who, it turns out, is not in the clutches of Talia, but of someone with perhaps good intentions. Someone who (if suspicions are correct) just might be a familiar face whose fate haunted the first run of this title. Indeed, it looks as if the "Spyral" plot from Volume 1 may have some relevance in Volume 2 after all.

Meanwhile, Talia does her best to convince herself and her followers that she is ready to take on Batman. Plagued with guilt over allowing the death of her son to be carried out, she puts on her best game face to her father--who sees right through it. She then proceeds to take out her rage on the henchmen who fired arrows at Robin in issue #8. Harassing phone calls are made to the Mayor, gloating the tightening grip Leviathan has on Gotham City, as demonstrated by the incapacitation of the GCPD's vehicles. Finally, she demonstrates the control she has over her muscle -- Damian's clone -- The Heretic, stating that Damian disobeyed her, but The Heretic does not physically have that option.

BATMAN, INC. #10's Fold-out Cover

Many key supporting cast members make appearances in issue #10. Particularly enjoyable is one by Lucius Fox, in which he and Bruce Wayne discuss the state of their latest endeavor (and reveal what the public's knowledge is concerning Damian's fate), and Lucius offering one last "toy" to help out the Batman, in a grand Nolan Trilogy fashion. Truth be told, Batman, Incorporated has been the first Batman monthly to adapt the relationship between these two characters as depicted in the Nolan films to comics, and it's really been delightful to see. Hopefully this characterization continues in the other Bat titles as this one draws to a close. Fans of said film trilogy will also be pleased that the nods to it in this issue are not limited to this scene.

Chris Burnham crushes the art duties, mixing his usual concoction of animated-meets-hyper-realism with glorious results for the eye. His attention to detail is rewarding--an aerial shot of Talia and co. on the roof of Wayne Tower reveals the safe that Batman escaped from in issue #8 still resting at the bottom of the swimming pool -- the art alone definitely warrants a second look-through, just to soak in the details. As has become custom for this book, Jason Masters fills in on art for a few pages, and while the change is noticeable, it is commendable how much effort he makes to match his style with Burnham's.

All in all, Batman, Incorporated #10 is a solid read, even if only a setup for what comes next. The action level is on the low side for this title, but seeing the plot coming together makes it worthwhile. My biggest regret for the issue is that the grand reveal at the end is spoiled by the fold-out cover. Trust me -- you ain't seen nothing 'til you've seen the last page. Something BIG is happening, starting now. - Bobby Barrett


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