Comic Vine Review

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Batman, Incorporated #8 - The Boy Wonder Returns

4

There will be a lot of talk and attention given to this issue but it turns out the story is well executed.

Let's be realistic, there will be some spoilers here. The spoilers are already out. We can't avoid them but we won't spoil everything. You know what happens. We won't reveal how it all happens.

The Good

In case you haven't heard, this issue is a little grim. Even though the Leviathan story may not be completely over, it's reached its climax here. This is an intense issue where something does happen. There's no dancing around or stalling.

There is a lot of Damian Wayne action here. Having been recently grounded by Batman, we saw last issue his patience reached its limit. Damian was prepared to join the battle. He does and it's glorious. Like him or hate him, seeing little Damian swoop in using Wayne Tech is something worth seeing. He's not the only Robin here as there's also plenty of Red Robin and Nightwing action as well. The best part of this issue is seeing Damian and Dick fighting side by side.

So far, I'd say you've been my favorite partner. We were the best, Richard. No matter what anyone thinks.

This scene makes you want more. Dick and Damian's time as the Dynamic Duo was cut short. Just as the two were finding their stride, Batman returned from the 'dead.'

The fight scenes by Chris Burnham (and Jason Masters on the Red Robin scene) look great and are highlighted by having each panel focus on the characters rather than incorporate a ton of detail to the backgrounds (that isn't to say the backgrounds are completely bare). Nathan Fairbairn's colors also make each panel pop off the page. As the action heats up, the focus is pulled back a bit resulting in a page with twenty chaotic panels (the chaotic part is a great touch). And the expression depicted on a couple pages at the end were priceless.

As for the certain big event that occurs, it's a fitting end for this issue. I can't say I'm in favor of the direction the story takes but there will obviously be some fallout and repercussions for what happens here.

The Bad

I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of "comic book deaths."

We have a few situations in this issue. Batman needs to make his escape. Red Robin is fighting alone. Damian ends up fighting close by Nightwing. Of these, the Red Robin scene felt unnecessary. Given that the story shifts to Jason Masters' art, it feels even more separated by the story that clearly focuses on a different character. Those four pages almost feel like filler.

It's really too bad the ending of this was revealed before we had the chance to read it. That's the nature of these sort of things. It's understandable to a certain degree that there's always a need to try to appeal to new readers in the comics market. It would just be nice to read an issue without already knowing the outcome. It takes away some of the impact. When we saw the [fake] Damian death in issue #1, it was surprising. When it happens here, it is tragic. I can only imagine if we weren't already expecting it to happen in THIS issue. This isn't a strike against this issue but it could have been more powerful if we had been caught off guard.

The Verdict

The moment teased in issue #1 is finally here. We get a good issue showcasing what Damian is capable of. Seeing his interaction with Dick Grayson makes you long for the time when they were partners. Batman's battle against Talia and Leviathan has reached its climax but it's not quite over yet. Talia makes a bold move that will cause repercussions in the rest of the Bat-titles. The comic is well laid out and the action is highlighted by the focus each panel has on the action and the colors enhance it all. A scene with Red Robin unfortunately feels a little out of place but does serve to explain where Tim is when it all hits the fan.

It's not the fault of the comic but the events would have been more powerful to readers if the outcome hadn't already been announced earlier in the week. Is this the end for a certain character? We'll have to see what happens in the next issue and other Bat-titles. R.I.P. indeed little fella.