Aug 5, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 527: Batman Incorporated #4, December 2012

There's a great moment in this comic where Matches Malone pulls a plastic bag off his head and proclaims that he has just set a new world record for holding his breath. I have to read this as a little tiny jab at the interruption of the zero issue from yesterday. Funny guy, that Malone.

As I near the end of the Batman run, I'm getting less and less enthusiastic about reading each comic. It's not because I'm tired of them, or because they're not good. It's because they're so good, because I love these characters so much, that I just don't want it to end. Which is an odd thing to say about superheroes and their..ongoingness. But as Morrison's run winds down, this particular version of Batman and his allies is about to end, to shift into something else. As I've suggested, the Batman Incorporated run in the New 52 is really a final holdover from the pre-Flashpoint universe, one for which I have a great deal of affection. I'll admit, up front, that I haven't looked into any of the "Rebirth" stuff yet, but that's because I've been so let down by DC's treatment of its various properties across most of its media (with the exception of the TV universe, which I love). I've been told that the "Rebirth" stuff is good, but I just haven't taken the plunge yet. There's a lot of comics I'm following that haven't taken a 5 year hiatus on being good that have far more of my attention than DC does right now.

At the end of this issue, there is a truly heartfelt moment. Bruce tells Damian that in order to stop Talia's mad rampage across the globe, he will have to return to his mother. "Son, I wish it wasn't true.." he says, and if I'm not mistaken this is the first time we've heard Bruce call Damian "son." It's a single moment in a 7-year opus, a single word in a comic full of many different kinds of language, but it's a word that says so much in three little letters. How much does Bruce miss his own father calling him "son?" To use that word himself encompasses in this character a remarkable range of joy and sorrow, and tells us, really, everything we'll ever need to know about Batman.


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