Aug 11, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 533: Batman Incorporated #10, June 2013

http://www.comics.org/issue/1105976/

What seems like lifetimes ago, we saw what happened when Bruce Wayne was, unwillingly, stripped out of Batman: the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, a back-up personality created to deal with a dire situation and reinstall, so to speak, Bruce's personality. What we see in this issue is something quite different. There is a remarkable calm over Bruce in this issue, in his recruitments and business dealings at Wayne Enterprises (BTW, Lucius Fox plays the "I don't know you're Batman" role so frickin' well). Considering the last page of the last issue, the scream that we did not need to hear in the depths of the Bat Cave, we could almost be forgiven for thinking that this icy persona is another iteration of Batman without Bruce. But it's not. Bruce Wayne is, at heart, a strategist, and he understands that, before he does what he's about to do, before he's incapable of planning for contingencies, he has to place everything in play. And then he chooses to remove Bruce Wayne from the equation, and, truly, become a bat, thanks to the Man-Bat serum of Kirk Langstrom. That cover up there? Not hyperbolic or metaphoric. It's literal. As Talia sees him soaring vengefully toward her, she utters the words "He wouldn't." He has done what she thinks he never would, and removed the strategist, removed the thinking part of the World's Greatest Detective. The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh was Batman the detective. What we see at the end of this issue is Batman the monster.

Onward.

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