Tuesday, November 30, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Batman Incorporated #1 (Review)

Written by Grant Morrison
Pencils by Yanick Paquette
Cover by J.H. Williams III

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

A little late but I could not go without mentioning what comic made it to the Top of the Stack for the week of November 17th. The week was heavily dominated by Batman related books so the pick might have seemed inevitable but surprisingly it was a fill-in issue of Zatanna written by Adam Beechen and the final issue of the opening arc of Geoff Johns' Flash that brought the competition. In the end however, the premiere issue of Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated was too good to be denied.

Morrison's several year run leading the direction of the Batman books is still going strong and after the grim RIP storyline and its gritty aftermath, the new lead Batman book is entering a bold new era for Batman that seems to be bringing back the fun action missing from Bruce Wayne stories of this generation.

This first issue is very much a starter of a much bigger story, but the seemingly more permanent team-up between Bruce and Selina Kyle was what made this issue so much fun. The instant chemistry that snaps back into place like Bruce wasn't gone and Selina didn't have that mess during One Year Later was magical and brought about many of the good feelings I experienced when reading the Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money one-shot a few weeks ago. I dare not hope that Catwoman will be a permanent fixture in this book to tangle with Batman, but I do hope she is around for a lot of it.

The cover by J.H. Williams III is amazing, and reminiscent of the fantastic style he became well known for during his Batwoman issues of Detective Comics. The interiors were drawn by Yanick Paquette, who has worked before with Grant Morrison on an issue of the recent The Return of Bruce Wayne mini-series and the Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer mini-series from a few years back. The beautifully clean style reminds me of a blend between Cliff Chiang and Mike Norton and is perfect for the tone of this series.

Grant Morrison seems to be moving away from the grim and gritty (if you ignore what happens to Mr. Unknown), and Paquette's art is definitely topnotch. Turning Bruce into a globetrotting adventurer in his own solo title much like he is seen in group books is the perfect way to reestablish his presence without seeming to step on the new era of Batman and Robin in Gotham. And I am always a fan of superhero relationships, so if issues with Bruce and Selina are going to become more common, I am all for this new direction from Morrison to continue on end.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Batman with a dash of Catwoman themed picspam.

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