January 15, 2013

Batman, Incorporated Ending

Just a few more issues remain with Grant Morrison's long-running saga involving Batman, Talia al Ghul and their son, Damian. How will this storyline possibly reach it's conclusion? We examine some scenarios leading up to the grand finale.

The origin of Talia al Ghul
Not even a New 52 universe reboot could totally affect or derail writer Grant Morrison's seven year family drama involving Batman and his one-time "escapade" with Talia al Ghul.  Morrison's initial foray into Batman involved resurrecting a detail left behind by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham back in the 1980s, with their Son of The Demon graphic novel. A tryst with Talia al Ghul, daughter of Batman nemesis Ra's al Ghul resulted in Damian Wayne, the centerpiece of Morrison's entire adventures involving the Dark Knight these past years.

Two new series were spawned under Morrison's involvement with the Dark Knight: Batman & Robin with Dick Grayson as the Dark Knight and Batman, Incorporated. Both series have consistently remained with Diamond Comics' monthly top 50 comics charts. This despite the latter being only written by Morrison.  The reintroduction of the new Batwoman should also be credited to Morrison and the launch of that Kate Kane's own solo series written by one-time Morrison collaborator, J.H. Williams III.  Morrison's work with the Dark Knight also touched on classic elements and long forgotten characters like the Club of Heroes in the Black Glove storyline. Some of which still figure prominently today, in the current series.

The clock is ticking on Morrison's Batman-related work and his eventual departure towards other projects. The New 52 series though has been a mixed bag of sorts, comprised mainly of recaps and origin stories for a newer audience to jump onboard. However, Morrison has been allowed to portray Future Damian/Batman recently as well as reviving Barbara Gordon's original fate, pre-New 52 reboot. Damian has yet to fully come in contact with his mother Talia though, so it leaves us to ponder if Morrison has something tremendous and exciting planned when the series reaches it's climactic conclusion.

Damian as Future Batman showing some mercy

Without further delay, here are a few thoughts on the upcoming Batman, Incorporated series ending:

1. Final battle: Talia's forces which are mainly mutated humans/Man-Bats will engage Batman, Incorporated forces (whoever is left) leaving many casualties on both sides, especially Batman's team.  Could we see Kirk Langstrom play a part somehow?

2. Batman, Incorporated is defeated: The team is completely wiped out and disbands after the epic final battle. We've seen heavy casualties suffered by the global heroes already and Morrison will go for the jugular as he did with Dick Grayson Batman. Although a few others have yet to make their appearance, Morrison may just wipe out the team leaving DC Comics free to create a fresh new team and series.

3. The Death of Talia al Ghul: Damian's mother might not survive this final ordeal. We've yet to see her fully used in other books, however she could eventually be resurrected via a Lazarus Pit.

4. Ra's al Ghul: Don't count him out as he may factor in the remaining few issues. The extent of his role is still a mystery to us since his character hasn't been seen as much, given his capture by Talia.

5. The Hole in Things: We could see the return of previous villains such as Thomas Wayne aka Dr. Hurt and perhaps, Professor Pyg, as elements in the series conclusion. The former played a part in the Future Damian/Batman story in issue five.

No matter how the series ends, Morrison has certainly contributed far more to the Batman mythos than most recent writers within the past decades. It's not about new villains and challenging adventures for Batman, but how much he has added to the character's legacy.

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