There is really no way to talk about this without spoilers, so consider yourselves warned. Maybe it’s just my opinion but Grant Morrison’s seven year run over “Batman”, “Batman and Robin”, and “Batman Incorporated” has been a bit of mixed bag.
With “Batman and Son”, the world was introduced to Damian, the prodigal child of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. In sitcoms, this is usually shark jumping territory but, somehow, this was a compelling new development in Gotham. This was followed up by the lackluster “Black Glove”.
When Morrison had Darkseid kill Batman in “Final Crisis”, everyone assumed this was the death knell for the Dark Knight. But Dick Grayson wore the cowl with Damian as his Robin. Together, they romped through mostly stellar twenty five issues of “B&R”. With the return of Bruce Wayne (And though time? Come on!), the wheels got a bit wobbly again.
“Batman Inc.” came next and was very up and down. There were some truly amazing issues like the “Leviathan Strikes” special but the focus was all over the place as too much time was spent individually on the Batmen of other countries. Call me ethnocentric but I don’t care about Knight and Squire or El Gaucho (who looked suspiciously like Lobo).
The way the whole saga began was with Talia using Damian to distract Batman and this was expertly weaved in through out “Batman Inc.”. It deserved to be the constant focus. In the special, she was revealed to be the head of Leviathan, the terrorist organization razed from the ashes of the League of Shadows. The next issue out after the New 52 renumbering had her placing a bounty on Damian’s head for choosing his father over her.
Eventually, she had the boy killed after he made with the heroics. Creatively, this may have been the highlight of the run but it was, undoubtedly, the lowest readers would feel. Batman felt that loss as fans felt his pain. After that, Morrison had a license to let Batman go off the rails but that never came.
The final showdown between Bruce and Talia just doesn’t really satisfy as Kathy Kane shows up in the cave to shoot Talia between the eyes. Of all the people to do it, couldn’t it have been someone we actually cared about? Talia had just made the prophetic comment about who would save Batman (who is poisoned) now that his Robin is dead again. In comes Jason Todd, dressed as Wingman (which I have never understood) and makes a deal with her for Bruce’s life. It’s true that maybe he felt like he owed her one for putting him in the Lazarus Pit all that time ago, but he has been the Red Hood for some time. Killing is something that he hasn’t been shy about in the past and this might be the one time that it would have seemed justified. There could have even been a moment where he tells Batman, “I did it so you wouldn’t have to.” Maybe some other bit about how he was never going to be able to live up to the ideals of his mentor anyway. Damian and Jason were so alike and I find it difficult to think that he wouldn’t have been tempted to dispatch his murderer, no matter what he thinks he owed her.
The ultimate ending is pretty good with Jim Gordon seemingly deducing that Batman is Bruce Wayne. He had all the reason in the world to retire the Dark Knight but, as always, the Detective lives on. Now, who’s going to write this Ra’s al Ghul story?