Aug 3, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 525: Batman Incorporated #3, September 2012
We've had only a few instances of Bruce demonstrating his propensity for disguise, but I think probably his most beloved alter ego must be Matches Malone. The reason for this is that he's just about the most developed character that the Bat has created. Now, if I want to jump into theoretical realms, we're reading a fiction about a created character who has created a character that he has brought out of fiction and into his "real" world, which, of course, is still fiction.
But enough of that.
As I noted yesterday, there's 10 issues or so left, and we can see the concurrent traps and webs of both Bruce and Talia closing and closing. Bruce tries to gather intelligence in his Matches guise, but first we're shown a brief glimpse of how Leviathan, aka Talia, has infiltrated various levels, and, really, all levels, of Gotham society. I'm finding it interesting that she's targeting children specifically as her pawns in the game, which makes me realize more and more that this whole thing could really be put down not just to a woman spurned by her lover, as I suggested yesterday, but to a mother spurned by her child. Talia just takes a more proactive stance on dealing with these rejections than most.
And why don't I rave about Chris Burnham's art for a bit? In the beginning, I saw him as aping Quitely just a little bit too much, until I realized that FQ is so good at what he does that he's inspired a wave of artists to take in his style and create their own styles out of it. Burham's characters are more robust than Quitely's. A Frank Quitely-drawn comic features numerous willowy characters, looking both fragile and steely all at once. Burnham's characters are firmly rooted - they have girth and weight. Unlike a lot of artists, he's not afraid of putting action into the backgrounds, and he's very good at designing that action so that it gives movement to a setting, but doesn't take away from the main action of a sequence. And if I was near a scanner, I'd put up pictures of his sequence of Redbird (Damian's "disguise") taking out Leviathan agents. The chopped pacing of the panels, and the off-panel beat-downs, give a wonderful feel of how this young man moves swiftly and deftly through the night. Truly the scion of Batman.