The DC relaunch (whatever your feelings on it may be) is an interesting concept. The problem is it forces several books to end rather prematurely or not end properly at all. In the case of Batman, Inc, Grant Morrison was setting up to tell a tale that expanded long after the August deadline, and you can see it at play in this issue.
Batman, Inc 8 is set in cyber-space. No you didn’t read that wrong, the entire thing is set in some WayneTech, Second World-inspired business meeting. While on this conference call with other powerful people, Wayne and the various corporate figures are attacked by a viral infection, and Cyber Batman and Batgirl come to the rescue. If any of this sounds odd to you, just remember I’m not making it up.
The set-up in a way reminded me of part Reboot, and part Ninja Turtles: Back in the Sewers. As the rules in the virtual world aren’t the same we play by, but a death in the virtual world also means a death in the real world. And without spoiling too much, can also lead to solving real world problems apparently. Don’t ask me how, but it does!
The idea of Batman in cyber-space isn’t too far-fetched when you realize this is Grant Morrison, and actually had the potential to be good, but I’ll be honest I spent the whole issue just disgusted with the art.
Now I hate to be Mr. Negative here, and I do want to say that the art style is interesting, its bold and its unique, but it really doesn’t work for Batman and this story. Most of the time, I found myself more distracted by trying to figure out what exactly was going on in the panel/pages than I was in reading and enjoying the story.
Take the above panel for example, I must have examined it 3-4 times while reading to really try and break down the image. And even as I post it in the article, it still seems extremely busy and distracting to me. Its just really difficult for you to focus your eyes on anything for too long without being overwhelmed.
Then there are the character models/designs, which I guess they intended to look like cheaply made characters from a video game, but once again it doesn’t look good in a still. Perhaps, if this was a CG show or something, the style would be more fitting, but in a comic it is just jarring.
Really, the art held back my enjoyment of this issue from the beginning so sorry if I can’t give it a fair shake. I will say that I think the art style itself has some merit, and its one of those cases where it was just a mismatch for the material. If DC spun the style into its own type of series, it has the potential to do well. To me anyhow!
New Reader Accessibility: 5- There’s really not much that ties this issue into the rest of the Batman, Inc line other than a brief mention of Batman, Inc and Leviathan at the end. So it is the perfect pick up and read comic.
Recommendation: Avoid It- I love Grant Morrison, I love Batman, I’ve really liked the two together, but this isn’t a shining example of what he can do with the character and his world.