This Week in Comics — 2011/12/21

Its Mind Con­trol / Mem­o­ry Manip­u­la­tion week in the Bat­man uni­verse as the Leviathan sto­ry­line con­tin­ues past the hav­oc of the Flash­point and into the “52” era and the Birds of Prey bat­tle an ene­my who uses inno­cent (and not so inno­cent) indi­vid­u­als not only as unwit­ting spies but bombs as well.

Batman: Incorporated #1

The post-52 Bat­man: Incor­po­rat­ed sto­ry­line seems unchanged from the pre-52 era, a con­tin­u­a­tion of Bat­man’s quest to dis­cov­er the truth behind Leviathan, a ruth­less inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tion. To that end, Bat­man start­ed fran­chis­ing the Bat­man name inter­na­tion­al­ly, build­ing an army of crime fight­ers across the world to bat­tle and equal­ly world-wide threat.

This issue is a spe­cial issue with two sto­ries, both writ­ten by Grant Mor­ri­son, so expect weird­ness espe­cial­ly of the mind-warp­ing kind. The first sto­ry is about an exclu­sive girl’s school that is actu­al­ly a school for crim­i­nals, espe­cial­ly assas­sins and killers. Bat­girl, the daugh­ter of a for­mer Bat­man foe, infil­trates the school to dis­cov­er it had been tak­en over to pro­duce mind-con­trolled killers for Leviathan. The sec­ond sto­ry con­sists of a weird­ly con­fus­ing sequence of the same con­fronta­tion played over and over with dif­fer­ing results, until at last the final result reveals the true iden­ti­ty of the leader of Leviathan and its true purpose.

Birds of Prey #4

The sto­ry opens with the Birds of Prey (con­sist­ing of Bat­girl, Black Canary, Katana, Poi­son Ivy and Star­ling) rid­ing an out-of-con­trol train with sev­er­al unwit­ting (and one wit­ting but not com­pli­ant) bombs aboard, ready to be men­tal­ly trig­gered by hear­ing a nurs­ery rhyme. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the one vic­tim who is aware of her state is Black Canary, who is saved from death by a good right to the jaw from Starling.

How­ev­er, the real sit­u­a­tion is more insid­i­ous: the oth­er peo­ple weren’t walk­ing bombs, they were walk­ing, unwit­ting spies. Every­thing they saw and heard was unde­tectably trans­mit­ted to the orga­ni­za­tion called the Clean­ers (who use invis­i­bil­i­ty suits) and run by some­one named Choke, who was the men­tal voice that was about to kill Black Canary. A very angry Poi­son Ivy used her own spe­cial way with men to get the infor­ma­tion the team want­ed about the loca­tion of the Clean­ers and Star­ling described exact­ly where that loca­tion was. Each team mem­ber used their own spe­cial abil­i­ties to enter the Clean­ers head­quar­ters. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, what they found was a room full of sud­den­ly not-so-invis­i­ble Clean­ers and the mys­te­ri­ous voice telling them:

That won’t be nec­es­sary. Wel­come to the Cage.
I’d explain …
… but you won’t remem­ber any of this anyway.

The issue ends with the Birds of Prey stand­ing out­side, with Star­ling won­der­ing “Uh … What was I just saying?”

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