Author: Bobby Barrett
July 5, 2013

SYNOPSIS: Leviathan and the Heretic are on the ropes...could Batman be on the verge of avenging all he’s lost? - DCCOMICS.COM

This is it! The climax we've been teased about and building toward! Everything Grant Morrison has been doing with Batman for the last several years leads to this moment. Years of plot threads converge in a violent, gut-wrenching penultimate chapter that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat.

"Why can't he admit defeat? Why doesn't he stop?" These are the words uttered by Talia al Ghul on page one of BATMAN, INCORPORATED issue #12. This statement carries a heavy weight--it has truly set the tone for Morrison's time writing Batman, and is ultimately what resonates through generations of fans who have been captivated and inspired by The Dark Knight for the better part of a century: He. Won't. Quit.

The setup from the end of issue #10 gives its big payoff as Batman, heavily armored and jacked up on Man-Bat serum, charges Leviathan forces who have set up camp at Wayne Tower. Talia, with her hulking beast of a "son", and army of Man-Bat soldiers prove no match for a desperate Dark Knight pushed to the absolute edge of reason. Easily a finale only this writer could get away with, the sincerity of the delivery easily compensates for any cheesiness of the premise (Seriously, this guy had Bruce time traveling not too long ago…pretty sure a Man-Bat-turned Batman is almost the only way you could wrap this up). The battle is a whirlwind epic--grisly, intense, heartfelt. Morrison manages to take the most enraged Dark Knight you can imagine and somehow he's still fun as all hell to watch. I hope other creators are paying close attention, because this is how it should be done.

The cover of BATMAN, INC. #12

Meanwhile, Nightwing and his group of allies are closing in on what appear to be the loose ends of the ongoing BATMAN, INCORPORATED saga. The return of a decades-gone character is again hinted at, and the three ex-Robins all give some solid character moments as the puzzle starts coming together. The former Batman, Inc. teammates proceed to track down Batman and aid in his fight with the Heretic, culminating in the long-awaited unmasking of the Damian clone that readers have waited three years to witness. This sequence is captivating and even more disturbing than you might expect. The war is not over yet, though. The stage is then set for the final issue of the series as Bruce and his team part ways en route to their respective last stands.

For the first time in several months, Chris Burnham pulls off his first complete issue with no guest assistance, and we are all blessed to have him. The artist shows a true understanding and appreciation for the work that has led us to this point, and brings his "A" game for this first part of the series' conclusion. His stylized action flows briskly to the point where it feels like your eyes are not making any effort--the page is leading your eyes from panel to panel. The grisly action is captured in sinister detail and the artist's vibrant style shines like never before.

All in all, this is a series I'm going to be sad to bid farewell, but we've still got one final issue to go. Let's see what this team has in store for their finale…(holds breath). - Bobby Barrett


Bobby Barrett is a lifelong Batman enthusiast living in Fresno, California, with his wife and several cats.
He enjoys reading, writing, acting, and playing very loud rock music.

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