Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
Bruce reveals to Damian the future he saw if Damian were to grow up and become Batman.
Yes! Yes! Yes! What an incredible issue. When I picked up Batman & Son, which introduced us to Damian, in trade paperback form I was stunned and somewhat confused by the Damian in the future as Batman thing. Sure I loved that part of the story, but it didn’t fit in with anything in the book. I assumed it was just a stand-alone issue that was included in Batman & Son as a bonus. Well Batman Inc. #5 takes us back to the hellish future.
Batman tells Robin about a vision of the future he sees if Damian were to inherit the mantle of Batman, and its not good folks. In the future Gotham is taken over by people who have been exposed to Joker gas, a parting gift from Mr. J. They siege the city like zombies in the Walking Dead as the survivors are holed up in Arkham Asylum. Damian now as Batman is on a mission to save a little baby who may hold the answers to curing the swaths of people infected by the Joker gas. As Bruce in the present recounts this to Damian, its apparent that things will never be the same between the father and son again.
The tale that Bruce is telling Damian was just superb. Talk about a great story, it had me on the edge of my seat. As a comic fan I love seeing alternate versions of charaters and so forth, so this was right up my alley. Seeing Damian as Batman in the future was great and he has some nice interactions with a familiar Gothamite who has managed to survive the Joker apocalypse. If you’ve read pre-New52 Batman #666 then this character may surprise you. The end of the story and the end of the book were quite sad as we see things starting to change between Bruce and Damian. I know Batman must protect the future, but I wonder where this will leave Damian going forward through Inc. as well as Batman & Robin. I know some people don’t care for Damian much, he is a bit of a dick, but I loved the dynamic between him and Bruce and I really hope it continues.
Burnham delivers some excellent art in this issue, including some great scenes of a hellish future Gotham. I particularly loved the scenes with the Joker gas zombies piling up outside the Arkham gates; it was a nice little twist on the zombie craze that’s going on currently. The Joker zombies were also done quite well, could you imagine a zombie hoard all bearing that trademark twisted Joker gas victim look, scary stuff. The splash page at the end was also excellent, and pretty brutal as well.
Batman Inc. #5 delivers the goods, hands down, period. You get it all here, great art, great story telling and a great cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the next issue now, which means Morrison and Burnham are on top of their game here.
4.5 out of 5 nerds
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