It was hard to get through the week without hearing one of the bigger spoilers in the final issues of Grant Morrison’s run in Batman Incorporated. If you haven’t heard about the ending of issue #8, then I won’t spoil it for you. Naturally for collectors, this is the issue to get which I found vanished quickly from my local comic book store, which forced me to purchase the comic online to read it.
If you are simply reading the comic for its ending, you are seriously doing yourself a disservice. I have always been a fan of Morrison, but was not completely into his work on Action Comics, but have found his work on the multiple Batman titles to be where he feels at great ease with.
The issue picks up with Damian racing to the fight in Gotham City where Red Robin, Nightwing and Batman are well outnumbered. Batman is a little worse than everyone else as he is trapped inside a safe which is falling deeper under water. Talia is taunting Batman as he is under the water, commenting on how he is like her father.
Damian arrives to give aide to Red Robin and Nightwing, while he needs to face off against the heretic monster of a clone. While the battle is going on, Batman is trying to get out, while Talia explains to Bruce about how Damian is a failed clone experiment foreshadowing what is about to come. During the fight, which lasts a few pages shows Damian calling out to his mother to get her to stop.
One of the reasons this issue works so well is because (even without knowing the ending) you feel that Morrison is leading up to something and no one is sure what it is. In the end, you are left with the wind knocked out of you and mourning. Seeing Dick and Damian fight side-by-side is a nice tipping of the hat to their relationship from the previous comics and is a subtle goodbye to the character that feels like a brother.
The artwork is impressive and clean. You will notice the stark difference on certain pages as the panels don’t follow convention. While previous issues jump backward and forward in time, this issue stays in the present and it is well-laid out where the action keeps flowing.
All in all, this issue is definitely the build up to what they have begun with this storyline back in the first issue, but we know that the emotional arch of the comic will come at the end of Morrison’s run. I thought this issue held together perfectly and never felt like it was rushed to get to the end. The ending was fitting and definitely will impact you whether you were a fan of the character or not.