Batman, Incorporated is the highly anticipated return of the franchise under Ed Brisson and John Timms – only this time, Ghost-Maker is in charge. How does an international team of Batman-centric characters get along, and more importantly, how are they run differently under new management? With Batman out of cash, it makse sense to use Ghost-Maker, but in its first mystery at launch, how is Ghost-Maker tied to a series of murders?
Batman, Incorporated #1 opens in Dublin, Ireland, where a man is running for his life. He’s bleeding and scared, but turns to face the perpetrator. Smash cut to a team of detectives determining what happened to him and what could have stabbed him up against a brick wall. Batman, Inc. is on the case, and soon we’re meeting a few familiar Bat-centric characters and then whisked off to Buranda, Nyasir where Ghost-Maker is totally losing his sh*t.
Right out of the gate, Ed Brisson does a great job juggling so many characters while establishing a different management style for Ghost-Maker. He’s rude, yells a lot, and is clearly not a natural born leader. This mixes things up and also allows Brisson to play around with the different personalities who mostly fall in line for Ghost-Maker.
While the character work is solid, this first issue is also quite good at jumping around across the globe. It truly feels like an international operation with some plot-progressing clues as to who might be killing folks thrown in too. It’s nearly impossible to be bored with this book due to the fast pace and multiple location changes.
All that, and the book also seems to tie into Chip Zdarsky’s Batman: The Knight. It’s not a huge spoiler to say the people turning up dead are those that trained Batman and Ghost-Maker. As Ed Brisson told me in today’s interview, that was a happy accident, but an interesting tie into a very recent book.
Timms’ art is the glue that holds it all together, with some of the most detailed work you’ll see all year. We’re talking highly detailed costumes, photorealistic environments and location-establishing shots. This first issue is insanely detailed, right down to every brick in the opening scene. For a series with so many different characters, Timms does not skimp on details at all here.
If you’re looking for a globetrotting series of superheroes, Batman Incorporated is all that and more. Brisson and Timms are firing on all cylinders with a robust cast of characters that economically give us a taste from everyone while progressing a plot that intriguingly ties into Ghost-Maker’s past. The fact that his same past also includes Batman is the cherry on top of a series that is sure to be a huge hit for fans of big team books.
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