So we have finally got the latest installment of 'Batman Incorporated' after about a month and a half break and where do I begin? That's not a rhetorical question; I'm really not sure when to begin! Do I start at the beginning where we have 5 pages of unknown superheroes shout thing like "BLOOPEETA" or shall I start with the beginning of the relevant story, the one that the previews focused on? Well I guess I should try and tackle this from the very start of the issue, otherwise my summary will be far too short.
We open the issue with a map of no place that I've ever seen along with unsearchable co-ordinates. A superhero is lying on the floor surrounded by dead bodies after being revived by a soldier, the hero is asking lots of bizarre questions such as "who am I now?" and "when does this wear off?". We then (I think; it's not very clear) go into a flashback of some kind of war, meanwhile 5 superheroes enter an old lighthouse but when they get in to the building they are confronted by a supervillain, 'Dedalus'. The flashback then cuts out but it's revealed that the supervillain was locked in the lighthouse by the team of heroes and he won't get out, we can also assume from this that the only surviving member of the superhero team is 'Knight', not to be confused, however, with Cyril Sheldrake as he looks nothing like him!
And, after three pages of head-scratching and a prefix of "Today" we enter the 'Batman Incorporated' storyline. We're in Argentina and an unmasked crime fighter, "Black Miguel" is tied to a chair and surrounded by men in green suits. A villain named 'Papagayo' shoots the hero in the kneecap just before Batman and Gaucho enter the scene. Papagayo makes a run for it and pushes over some crates which are filled with hundreds of blue scorpions which advance on our heroes. Papagayo is escaping in a hot air balloon as it is revealed that these scorpions are actually bombs, using their grappling hooks the heroes escape the explosion and climb up to the balloon to confront Papagayo but he falls from the balloon, we also find out that Batman has already asked Gaucho to become a member of Batman, Inc. but he refused. We also find out the name of Papagayo's boss, 'Oroboro'.
We turn the page and once again are thrown into confusion as several text boxes contain Spanish text, as far as I can tell these go some way to explaining some background on Gaucho but I do not speak Spanish and I'm pretty sure most of you don't speak Spanish, in fact, I'm pretty sure that 90% of the readers of this book don't speak Spanish! So why was this is Spanish? It's Grant Morrison, that's why! Perhaps the translating of this text is the reason for the delay of this book… that is if it's even a real language of course.
Bruce Wayne is at Gaucho's home, he dances the "Tango of Death" with Tristessa, one of Gaucho's many girlfriends, before Gaucho storms off in apparent anger. This was just an excuse for both Gaucho and Bruce to retreat to Gaucho's secret base but we find out that Gaucho is under the impression that Batman is masquerading as Bruce Wayne whilst Bruce unbuttons his shirt to reveal the bat-symbol underneath. Gaucho and Batman are tracking down Oroboro when Gaucho's police alarm goes off, the duo arrive at the scene and enter a building where three kidnapped children are supposedly being held hostage. The issue closes with the reveal of 'El Sombrero' on a monitor, behind him are the three children in a tank which is slowly filling with sewage, El Sombrero says he will let the children go if Batman and Gaucho fight to the death using the taser-gauntlets that he left for them. The issue ends with the line "Find out next month in Batman, Inc."… which is stupid because the next issue is coming out this week!
Overall the issue was enjoyable but SO confusing, perhaps I'm just ignorant but as far as I know, nobody who has read this issue understands it and if you do, please feel free to write up a review for people like me! I really did not understand the first three pages and whilst I'm sure it will be explained, I can't help but feel it won't happen for a while, perhaps not even in this title. I do, however, have mixed feelings about the Spanish text in the book, whilst it was frustrating from a readers point of you and it messed up the flow of the book it was cleverly used. If I'm right in assuming that the text was information on Gaucho's alter-ego then it makes sense for it to be in Spanish as it is then a secret from us and makes us look deeper into the book, unfortunately, I tried an online translator and half of the words don't translate. Either I'm doing something very wrong or it was never meant to be read.
Once we got to Argentina the story was quite a fun one and in a similar vain to the previous arc, I particularly enjoyed the scorpion bombs and I'm very interested about the return of 'El Sombrero' as, like it states in the book, he died in Arkham Asylum.
On the other hand, all of this was tainted with the confusing opening to the comic, even DC didn't understand it as they chose three pages into the comic as the start of their preview. There was also a noticeable art change in the book, for just two pages, Pere Perez took over the duties with no explanation.
Was this issue enjoyable? Yes! Was this issue worth the wait? Definitely not!
Batman Incorporated #3:
Reviewed by Joe