Batman Incorporated #5 was a really great issue. In fact, I thought it was probably the best issue of Batman Inc. so far. Which is great since I find myself thinking that after every issue every month. This month, Morrison takes us back to alternate future of Gotham City that we first saw in Batman #666. In this world Gotham has become a literal Hell on Earth as Bruce’s son Damian wears the cowl as The Dark Knight.
After the defeat of Leviathan’s henchmen in Gotham, Bruce reveals to Damian that the only way to end the war between him and Talia is for Damian to return to his mother. Damian of course opposes Bruce’s decision, so Bruce goes on to explain the vision that he saw while he was stuck in time during the events of the Batman and Robin/ The Return of Bruce. We fast-forward to the future with Damian as Batman trying to stop the spread of a Joker toxin that is turning the citizens of Gotham into Joker zombies. What also makes this issue great is not just the story itself, but the references to previous Batman stories from Morrison’s run including those before like The Killing Joke. One of my favourite aspects about Morrison Batman stories for the past six years is how he uses all of Batman’s seventy-three-year history to make one conglomerate Batman story where everything is in continuity. This issue also features the return of one of my favourite Batman villains Dr. Hurt. Hurt doesn’t do a lot in the issue, but just seeing him and his sinister grin again was really a treat for this story and his appearance overall made it feel more complete.
Chris Burnham’s art is absolutely perfect for this issue. Everything is gritty, violent, and disturbing which is what the future Gotham is all about. However, there were some scenes that were a little too over the top in violence. Sometimes less is more, and there were some moments that didn’t have to be so explicit and could have left to the readers imagination. The only other negative thing I could say about this issue is if you are not familiar with the Batman stories before the DC relaunch than there are many cool moments that you will likely miss and thus hinder your enjoyment of the comic.
There are questions answered Batman Inc. #5, but at the same time builds more and more anticipation of what’s going to come next. Batman Inc. has become my favourite Batman comic out right now. Morrison and Burnham really delivered this month; I can only see this series getting better. I give this a 9.5/10.