cover image Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 2: Gotham's Most Wanted

Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 2: Gotham's Most Wanted

Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. DC Comics, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4012-4400-2

Chaos rips across Gotham in the second and concluding collection of Morrison's series about Batman's attempt to franchise himself around the world, a move which provokes crime syndicate the Leviathan and Ra's al Ghul's even more sinister daughter Talia. Morrison's tight but occasionally tangled writing flips from Bruce Wayne's interrogation by Jim Gordon back to the battle that followed the brainwashing of hordes of children and teenage punks by Leviathan (Frank Miller's Mutants get a cameo), which brought the city to its knees. Batman, absent for much of the story, becomes an even more distant idea here, with Nightwing and the young Damian Wayne (Bruce and Talia's son) moving to the center of the dizzying action. There are glimpses of a worldwide war, with Argentina's El Gaucho fighting the good fight, as does Jiro, the "Batman of Japan" (he gets a couple standalone adventures near the end). Burnham's art remains both highly detailed and epic in scale—the story is occasionally too tongue-in-cheek for its own good, though the Bat-cow standalone story is comic gold. All in all, it's thunderously bravura storytelling, with a notable subtext about the dangers of privatized crime fighting. (Dec.)