Review – Batman Incorporated #3: The Lost Sidekick

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Batman Incorporated #3 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman Incorporated #3 – Ed Brisson, Writer; John Timms, Artist; Rex Lokus, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The heroes of Batman Inc. are still scattered around the world in this issue, with each squad hunting down a different member of Ghost-Maker’s morally questionable tutors before they’re hunted down by a mysterious villain and killed. We only see most of these teams for a page or two as they continue the dialogue from last issue—which can be a little hard to keep track of, given how many characters there are in this series. Ghost-Maker himself only appears for a few pages, trying to save the life of one of his mentors and getting some shady medical help. But while he doesn’t have that much of a presence in person, he looms large in this issue—because the main villain is Phantom-One, a new character who is revealed in flashbacks to be Ghost-Maker’s first sidekick and his bizarre attempt to duplicate the experiment that Batman did with Robin. And this twisted protege has now captured Clownhunter.

Life-flight. Via DC Comics.

While it would have been easy to make Phantom-One a straight villain given how many bodies he already has on his record, Brisson takes a slightly defter touch than that. This is someone who has been deeply hurt and betrayed over the years, and he’s taking his revenge in a way that makes a surprising amount of sense. Rather than targeting innocents, he’s targeting the criminals Ghost-Maker lets get away with their atrocities—and he wants Clownhunter to join him. Flashbacks show just how much Ghost-Maker’s twisted version of training has left Phantom-One in an unstable mental state, and provide a nice contrast with Batman’s training methods. While Batman certainly has his flaws, he still views his Robins as people rather than tools—and he would never abandon one in the field. This is a tense issue with some great action, and another strong installment as this new team is fleshed out.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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