From writer Ed Brisson (Ghost Rider, Beyond the Breach) and artist John Timms (Superman of Metropolis) comes a new era and the return of one of the best bat-concepts from the last 20 years in Batman Incorporated #1. Featuring colors by Rex Lokus and lettering from Clayton Cowles, this international team-up comic offers an intriguing plot and entertaining character dynamics that I can’t wait to watch be fleshed out more. Backed up by some stellar visuals and sequential direction from the art team, Batman Incorporated is off to a strong start, but will have to build some serious momentum to compare to the now-classic Morrison-era.
“From the pages of Batman comes an all-new, all-exciting adventure for Ghost-Maker and his Batman Incorporated team! The team’s trust issues and detective skills are immediately put to the test when someone from Ghost-Maker and Batman’s recent past is brutally murdered…Is this an isolated event, sending a message to the two? Or is this the start of something darker and more sinister? (Hint—it’s sinister and dark!)”
Writing & Plot
Ed Brisson has the unenviable task of following up on the legacy created by industry icon Grant Morrison with his script for Batman Incorporated #1. Fortunately, this comic is clearly planted in the here and now rather than trying to capitalize on references to the now classic original series of the same name. Directly following recent events in the main Batman series, Ghost-Maker now leads the international cabal of masked crimefighters made up of members new and old. Batman of Japan, El Gaucho, Knight, Chief Man-Of-Bats and Red Raven, and more are joined by newcomers like Clownhunter and Grey Wolf for a team that’s as varied as they are interesting. What makes this idea so intriguing is seeing how these characters interact with each other and under the new command of the ice-cold Ghost-Maker. Batman’s newest ally and protégé is one of the best things to come out of the current era of Bat-comics, and Brisson nails his prickly nature perfectly. Every character feels different and reads with a different sort of inflection, allowing these many personalities to shine through. The core plot, while not very unique in the world of Batman, is still intriguing enough to keep readers glued to the page while following the clashing conversations. If there’s anything that could be improved upon in upcoming issues, it would be creating more moments for readers to familiarize themselves with the team and their relationships. Brisson is off to a solid start with this new iteration of Batman Inc., and it will be interesting to see where this series goes next.
Bat-books have received their fair share of high-quality stellar art in their pages. That trend continues with the work of John Timms for Batman Incorporated #1. Timms brings a visual style that combines modern superhero comics standards with some elements from the late 90’s. His lines and shapes are sharp and angular, with some heavy shading and moderate hatching for texture. His characters are obviously recognizable, but still have a slight spin on them due to Timms’s personal art style. As per usual with the bigger DC comics, there’s a very high-fidelity look here that Timms first nailed in his work on Superman of Metropolis, and he’s able to translate that over to a Bat-book with ease. His sequential direction is sharp and well-paced, with a great mix of overlaying panels and splash pages to highlight the big moments and keep the story’s momentum moving forward. The colors from Rex Lokus are vibrant and varied, with his work being much of the reason this comic matches the aesthetic built in other current Bat-comics. The palette Lokus uses is dense, with a high-fidelity appearance on every panel. The lettering from Clayton Cowles looks surprisingly hand-drawn for a mainstream superhero comic, while also having great font shifts and SFX work to keep the reading experience feeling natural. Overall, Batman Incorporated #1 is an outstanding looking comic thanks to a great visual team.
Batman Incorporated #1 is a solid start to this reimagining of a modern classic. Ed Brisson’s script successfully juggles character interactions with an engaging plot to create a chapter that stays compelling from beginning to end. The visuals from John Timms and Rex Lokus offer high-fidelity and intense visuals with great pacing and action to pull readers into the DC universe with this team. Be sure to grab this debut issue when it hits shelves on October 11th!