"It's open season on Bats. Welcome to the frontline, Raven."
Grant Morrison's Batman is not just about the demonic connection, but also the symbol of the Bat. What makes Batman Inc so entertaining is that Grant Morrison is redefining Batman. Bruce Wayne is not Batman, Batman is that urban myth, that protector. Most of this comic deals with Man-of-Bats and Raven Red, the Native American equivalent of Batman and Robin. Like how Dick Grayson splits the role of Batman to show that the symbol is bigger then the man, Grant Morrison again shows that the idea doesn't need millions of dollars. Batman can live on a budget and that is the strength of this issue, that the idea is what is important because the idea grows and become an institution.
There is one scene where a toddler is soiled and he is not crying because he is dirty, he is cry about something on the TV that is bothering him. Moments like that in comics really hit me that "Escapism" is life for most people, even if its a child who is escaping, it is still getting lost from the real world. In this same page a mother dies from drugs, again... "Escape" is what Grant Morrison and Co. is highlighting early off in this comic.
The back to basics approach this story takes is refreshing. No fancy "bat" gadgets and no multi-million dollar tech to solve crimes. This story is a gritty and dirty as a wild western should be, complete with Horseback riding and bad guys compensating their intelligence with fire arms. I also enjoyed the attention to detail. There are many small messages that can be read if you focus on the fine print. Then there are things in the backgrounds that really make you feel like you can walk around in this world.
Batman Inc has to be my favorite mainstream book on the shelves. Grant Morrison is writing with the depth he carries from his Vertigo work and the artists he gets on his books all seem to share his vision because they all have done splendid work on giving life to Morrison's true mainstream Tour de Force: Batman. Grant Morrison's run has been the best investment DC has provided its readers over the last few years because of the reread value. Morrison has done such a great job on the Bat books that he really has brought back the "Detective" in Detective comics. This issue can be read as a jump in since the story-telling is clear, but of course the more familiar with the older issues you are the better the read. I am loving Batman Inc and have not been disappointed yet.