Comic Reviews: Batman, Inc. and The Guild
Sorry for the delay folks, I was on an overnight field trip at Pawtuckaway State Park.
Batman, Inc. #1
Grant Morrison’s Bat-opus returns to the comic racks this week with the new volume of Batman, Inc. Alongside artist Chris Burnham, who teamed with Morrison for he second half of the “Leviathan Strikes” one shot, get right to the point with this issue, as Batman and Robin head after a mysterious Leviathan assassin who looks strikingly like a goat. Along the way, the duo are being tracked by an assassin named Goat-Boy, who is looking to cash in on the bounty put on Robin’s head (which was put on him by Leviathan, which is run by Talia Al Ghul, Damian’s momma).
Caught up? Good, cause the action comes fast and relentless in this book. I’ve been pretty vocal about my criticisms of Morrison in the past, but this issue squarely fits into the “awesome Grant Morrison” category, and not the “wtf was that all about” one. Morrison even acknowledges some of the events that Bruce and Damian have been through since the relaunch. While not everything syncs up entirely (I would’ve liked to have seen a nod to the Court Of Owls somewhere), it’s good to see Morrison play well with the other writers of the Bat-books. There are some weird moments here and there, but for the most part the events that take place here are really cool, and in the case of the Leviathan’s way of strong arming new recruits at a dinner party, extremely disturbing.
Chris Burnham is one of my favorite artists to pen the adventures of Batman, and is now officially in the same realm as Frank Quitely as an artist who elevates Morrison’s material to a “must read”. From a panel depicting Batman and Robin as projections on the sides of buildings to a panel in which Damian bounces his way through an army of goons, the art here is easily some of the best panels of the year, and needs to be reproduced as a posters NOW. Burnham is one his way to becoming one of the masters of the medium, and this issue proves it.
Batman, Inc. is a fantastic re-introduction to the “Batman, Incorporated” concept, and while I was against the idea of Batman franchising himself out at first, I’ve warmed up to the idea. Plus, the beginning of the issue has a great tease of what’s to come. If you’ve been wary of Morrison’s work in the past, fear not, as Batman, Inc. #1 is a fun, exciting, and yes, readable comic that won’t disappoint fans.
The Guild: Fawkes
Felicia Day’s latest “The Guild” one-shot focuses on Fawkes, the Wil Wheaton portrayed antagonist of Season three of the popular web series. Co-written by Whedon and with art by Jamie McKelvie, this one-shot issue takes place immediately after the finale of that season, with Fawkes’ Guild defeated by Codex’s Knights Of Good. As Fawkes tries to make his way through life, even though he’s still focused on Codex, the rest of his Guild start to notice how oddly he’s behaving. We also get some hilarious insight into Fawkes’ job as a Philosophy T.A. at a local community college. The art by McKelvie is great as well, keeping the running theme of showing us the fantasy world of the game that these people obsess over in an over-the-top way, while also showing how boring their lives can sometimes be.
Fans of “The Guild” would be remiss to pick this up, especially since it adds to some scenes that appear in season four. Felicia Day keeps her comic writing hot-streak going, even if it is bittersweet, since this is the last one-shot, at least as far as I know. Here’s hoping we get another installment soon.