Comic Reviews: The Return

Batman, Inc.

Batman: The Return
Batman, Inc. #1

 As we all know, I haven’t been the world’s biggest fan of  Grant Morrison’s idea to start “franchising” Batman to different countries. I’ve been fairly vocal in my belief that it’s the wrong direction for the character, and that Mr. Morrison’s ideas lately have been way too out there for the common reader.

Here is where I eat crow.

Both Batman: The Return and Batman, Inc. debut this week, and to be completely honest, they were great. The Return one-shot serves as a prologue of sorts to the first issue of Inc., and perfectly showcases how Bruce now takes his solo “war on crime” viewpoint and modifies it for a global setting. This new belief is showcased perfectly in a scene in which Bruce gives Dick Grayson, Damien, Red Robin, and the Stephanie Brown Batgirl their “orders”, which includes Batgirl being enrolled in a school in England without her knowledge and some great banter between Bruce and his son, Damien.  We also get Bruce recruiting Catwoman to help him, as well as some scenes with Lucius Fox showcasing new WayneTech designs, which obviously makes any bat-fan think of the Christopher Nolan Batman films.

Batman: The Return

Batman, Inc. brings us to Tokyo, where Bruce and Catwoman are trying to find Mr. Unknown, a vigilante that Batman wants to train to be the “Japanese Batman”. However, a mysterious villain named Lord Death Man  has already disintegrated his hands and killed him with a fresh bowl of acid to the face. While LDM is one of the more strange Morrison creations, his design is very cool, and I look forward to seeing more from him. I even enjoyed Morrison’s nod to the 60’s Batman  series at the end of the issue, which involved a death trap that featured a giant squid!

David Finch provides the artwork for Return, and as usual, his artwork is absolutely stunning. As a fan of his from his early days on Aphrodite IX, and Marvel’s Moon Knight series. It evokes the serious tone of Batman’s new vision, and sets the appropriate mood. Yanick Paquette handles the art duties on Inc., and while it’s not the super detailed art that Finch draws, it was still excellent. His slightly cartoonish pencils really gave the issue the feeling of a good old-fashioned adventure comic, and fit the tone perfectly.

I’m both pleased and relieved to tell you that Batman, Inc. is not only good, but actually makes sense. I can’t wait for the next issue.

X-Men #5

Well, we have one issue left of X-Men vs. Vampires. Thankfully.

This issue finds Xarus (the son of Dracula) and his army of vamps finally attacking the X-Men, and their ace in the hole is Wolverine, who has recently been turned into a bloodsucker. However, things don’t go so smoothly for the new lord of the vampires when Cyclops reveals his convenient way of returning Wolverine back to his normal self, and of course, when a certain previous Lord Of Vampires returns.

Victor Gischler’s plot seems to finally be going somewhere, and while this may seem like a good thing, when you consider the fact that this is the fifth part of a six part story, it suddenly makes you realize that the previous issues could have been condensed. I’m also still having a hard time trying to make sense of Xarus’ motives for attacking mutants. If he wants to do it just to have super-powered vampires, why doesn’t he just go after the other heroes as well? Is it just that the X-Men are closer?

Paco Medina’s art is still fine, just like this book is. It’s not essential for anyone except absolute X-Men die-hards, and the only reason I’ve kept up with it is because I’ve wanted to read an X-Men book. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Uncanny X-Force is going to be where I get my mutie fix from now on.  

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Posted on November 18, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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