Thursday, May 24, 2012

Paul's Picks! - May 24, 2012

Well, it's that time again folks: Wednesday! And you know what Wednesday is?... Well, of course you do, you're reading a blog about comics, so you obviously know it's New Comics Day, a.k.a. Paul's favorite weekly holiday! And now for his much-anticipated pick-of-the-week...

The week has come and gone, and it's time for me to return to you all for my weekly installment of Paul's Picks! As I'm sure everyone noticed, there was no Pick article last week, since I was unable to obtain my pulls last week due to our trip out of town to visit family. As such, I completed the first entry into my new (for now) monthly column, titled "What If." A shout out to Allen Boone for his comment placed thereon, which is greatly appreciated. Interaction is key ladies and gentlemen, and here at the AC  we would love to hear more from you guys. After all, without you all coming and reading, what would we be writing for?

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, the big reveal, the pullback of the curtain, the shocking revelation: Paul's pick from this week of comics is without a doubt...

Batman Incorporated #1 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham

If you have been following us on the site or tuning in to the podcast for anytime at all, odds are you have heard Seth and I mention our undeniable love for what Grant Morrison has done in the Batman universe over the last half-decade. From his quintessential run on Batman to his mind-blowing Batman and Robin series, it could be said that Grant Morrison has done more for the character than anyone else in the history of DC comics (short of Bob Kane, of course). With that in mind, it is safe to say that we have been anxiously anticipating the return of Batman Inc. to the lineup at DC since it went on hiatus at the launch of the New 52. Grant began something of epic proportions when he launched the concept of the series back in late 2010, and now we are on our way to seeing the ending to everything that Morrison claims he has been building up to for basically the last 5 years. While Scott Snyder has been absolutely been blowing our minds on Batman since the relaunch, Grant Morrison is the man who brought many readers over to DC, or even back into buying comics monthly, much like Geoff Johns did on Green Lantern.

Ever since it was announced as a part of the Second Wave of DC's New 52, I've been wondering just how Morrison was going to come out of the box with this one. I mean, in terms of the "relaunch," this book is less of a reboot and more a continuation of the previous ongoing series. DC put out the double issue of Batman Inc. a few months back, which was essentially a bridge between the previous series and this number one. Since that was the case, I was a bit nervous that this book would feel out of place alongside its DCnU peers. Also, his current run on Action Comics, while good, has been short of great since the beginning. While we can certainly expect something big from this series, I'll admit I wasn't sure exactly what that was going to be. While I am certainly an advocate of the New 52 and what DC has been trying to do since September, I will also admit that there have been a fair share of disappointments, even from some of the best creators in the business.

I would like to publicly state now that any concerns I may have had going into this series were completely abolished by the first issue. Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham have come right out of the gate swinging, never even giving the reader the chance to be disappointed or critical. Any fears that the book would feel out of place in the DCnU were completely unfounded, as I found myself making connections between this book and its peers even more so than in the other Bat books. As for the fact that this book is a continuation, I believe that a person could pick up this first issue without ever reading another page of Batman by Morrison (although to do so would be missing out to the highest degree). The story is top notch, the dialogue is spot on, and the Morrison Madness that we've all come to know and love through his work is here in full power. Honestly, I feel like I'm back in 2009 reading his run on Batman and Robin, and after just one issue I can't wait to see where he's going next.

I can't say enough about Chris Burnham. Prior to his work on the first run of Batman Inc, I have to admit I'd never heard of the guy. When I read his work from before the relaunch, I thought, "Wow, this guy's good. Reminds me a lot of Frank Quitely." In my opinion, there are few higher compliments for an artist than to be compared to Quitely, as the man is a master of his art. After reading this issue, I stick to my first impression that he has a similar style, but Burnham isn't here to copy another man's art; he's making a niche all his own in the Batman universe. Quitely draws beautiful scenes, but Burnham is creating something with a bit more grit to it, with expressive faces and without the smoothness of line that many of his peers adhere to. With the first issue behind me, I hope that these two work together for the remainder of the series. I don't believe there is any one more fitting for the job.

I can't remember the last time I was more excited about a comic book. Don't get me wrong, I'm in love with what Snyder is doing on Batman, I'm crazy about IDW's TMNT, and I can't wait to find out what's to come from AvX. But with one issue, Grant Morrison has reminded me why he is my go-to guy for the world of Batman in comics. I don't know what he has in store for us, and I doubt anyone in the world could figure it out, but I believe Seth will agree with me when I say that I can't wait to find out for myself. Batman Incorporated is set to be a book to remember.

You agree? Disagree? Comment! Let us know what you think, share on Twitter or Facebook. If you don't want to comment here, shoot us a tweet @AncillaryTweets or myself @jollygreen05.

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