It was towards the end of 2010, Bruce Wayne had just come back from certain death (a body had been discovered at the end of Final Crisis that Superman verified was Batman). Dick Grayson (NIghtwing) had taken on the role of Batman in his absence. So how do you decide who’s Batman? You don’t! If you're Bruce Wayne you not only have 2 Batmans (Batmen?), you hold a press conference to announce that you are the financial backer behind Batman. You also announce that “Batman” is starting an international crime fighting force under the banner of “Batman Incorporated”. All this, the brain child of writer Grant Morrison, took place in the final pages of Batman & Robin #16 (November 2010).
This “corporation’s” mission official began in Batman Incorporated #1 (November 2010) with Batman traveling to other countries to recruit international agents to his cause. These agents included:
Nightwing – Gotham City
Robin – Gotham City
Red Hood- Gotham City
Red Robin – worldwide
Oracle – World Wide Web
Batwoman – Gotham City
Knight and Squire – Great Britain
The Hood – Great Britain
El Gaucho – Argentina
Nightrunner – France
Batwing – Tinasha, Democratic Republic of Congo
Blackbat – Hong Kong
Mr. Unknown – Japan
Dark Ranger – Australia
Batman of Moscow (Ravil) – Moscow, Russia
Man-Of-Bats and Little Raven - South Dakota
Batman would also recruit others when a situation called for it such as when he asked for Catwoman’s help in Japan in Batman Incorporated #1.
Grant Morrison said that he was inspired by the idea of Batman Incorporated from the ways he saw the Batman character marketed in real life. The first volume of Batman Incorporated ended with a special, Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes (December 2011) where it was revealed that the evil Leviathan was actually Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul and mother of Damian “Robin” Wayne.
Volume 2 of the series took place in DC Comics New 52 continuity. This series reflected the changes of the new continuity, such as Dick Grayson was once again NIghtwing and eventually an appearance of a new Batwing after the first’s retirement. Volume 2 had 13 regular issues, a Zero issue, and final special like volume 1. Volume 2 featured such monumental events as the death of Damian Wayne (don’t worry he got better).
The series ended with Talia (Leviathan) killed by original Batwoman Kathy Kane. Morrison made it his mission to incorporated every story element from Batman’s long history. In his eyes, every story mattered, they all happened, even the wacky sci-fi stories of the 50’s. After Damian and Talia’s deaths, Ra’s stole their bodies and planned to make an army of assassins that were clones of Damian. After volume 2 eneded, Batman disband the company. What do you think the next mission would have been? Global peace? Let me know at the following:
@nightwingpdp or @beforethebatpod on Twitter
I also have a Facebook fan page that is named, coincidently enough, Batman Incorporated. Please check it out and give it a listen.
You can also hear me on Before the Bat: the Gotham Podcast where I discuss the TV show Gotham and all things Batman with my cohosts Kelly (@supersquint) & Tyler (@JTYPatrick).
Until next time, be good! Remember, It’s a job AND an adventure!