Batman Incorporated is a storyline written by Grant Morrison with illustrations by Yanick Paquette, Pere Perez, Chris Burnham, Scott Clark, and Cameron Stewart. It is part of the multi-year Morrison's Batman saga, directly following the conclusion to his Batman and Robin run in Batman and Robin Must Die. There is also an intermediate one-shot titled The Return. This story is published in the first volume of Batman Incorporated, which was canceled when the entire DC Universe got rebooted in The New 52. The unpublished stories were printed in a one-shot several months later titled Leviathan Strikes!. The series continued in a second volume of Batman Incorporated taking place in the new continuity, beginning with the storyline Demon Star.
Mr. Unknown is Dead
Batman has Catwoman help him steal a top-secret weapon from Doctor Sivana, and afterwards Catwoman decides to accompany him to Japan, where he is recruiting the newest member of Batman Incorporated. They seek out the famous crime-fighter Mister Unknown, but find that he has been killed by a gangster named Lord Death Man. They learn that Mister Unknown has been training a replacement named Jiro Osamu. They find him as Lord Death Man is threatening to kill Jiro's girlfriend with a giant octopus. Jiro shoots and kills Lord Death Man, activating his trap. Batman and Jiro battle Lord Death Man's henchmen while Catwoman rescues the girl. Batman learns that Jiro is the new Mister Unknown, but refuses to enlist him because he used a gun. Jiro vows to prove himself. Death is only temporary for Lord Death Man, and he rises from his autopsy to slaughter a hospital's worth of people. Lord Death Man begins a violent crime spree and blows up a bus full of disabled children. Batman deduces that he is targeting crime-fighters, and his next target is Shiny Happy Aquazon of Super Young Team. Batman takes down Lord Death Man while Jiro as Mister Unknown rescues Shiny Happy Aquazon. Jiro is apparently killed, but it is revealed that Batman helped him fake his death. Because they cannot kill or imprison Lord Death Man, Batman has the Japanese Space Program launch him into space. Jiro becomes the new Batman Japan for a probationary period, and is last seen battling Professor Gorilla.
The original Knight was once part of a British superhero team called the Victory V's. They were called to the Falkland Islands by the military. His teammates Captain Carnation, Fadar, Iron Lady, and Mister Albion, were killed while imprisoning the super-spy Doctor Dedalus of Spyral. The Knight was carried away, holding a drawing of an eye inside a spider-web, and rambling about a never-ending ring.
Now, Batman teams up with El Gaucho in Argentina to investigate three kidnapped blind orphans. This leads them to the crimelord El Papagayo, who has also captured the hero Cimarron of Súper Malón. Papagayo falls out of a hot air balloon to his apparent death, but his parrot repeats the name of his employer "Oroboro." Later on, Bruce Wayne and El Gaucho's alter-ego Don Santiago socialize at Santiago's estate. Scorpiana in her civilian identity tries to kill Wayne with a tango of death, but she fails. Bruce finds her carrying an Oroboro ring, shaped like a snake eating its own tail. El Gaucho tells Batman that he refuses to join Batman Incorporated, because he is his own man and doesn't want a repeat of John Mayhew's Club of Heroes. Batman and El Gaucho find that "Oroboro" is the name of a book written by Espartaco Extrano, a famous author who was killed by three blind assassins. The book is about a sinister figure named Doctor Dedalus who was killed by three blind assassins in Argentina. However, Gaucho explains that Extrano was a fictional author created by Avante Garde poets. They suddenly receive a police alarm at the location where Extrano was supposedly murdered. The entire place has been booby-trapped, and they discover that Gaucho's nemesis El Sombrero is still alive. El Sombrero reveals that he is working with Scorpiana for Oroboro. Batman and El Gaucho must fight to the death, or El Sombrero will drown the three blind orphans he kidnapped. Scorpiana reveals that El Gaucho is responsible for the death of Kathy Kane, the first woman Batman ever loved. Batman short-circuits their heart monitors to save the children. Scorpiana escapes, and the wheelchair-bound El Sombrero is left to face Batman's wrath.
Some time ago, Kathy Kane and El Gaucho were both members of a spy agency called Spyral. El Gaucho was in love with her, and convinced her to come out of retirement when her husband Nathan Kane died. Kathy was tasked with getting close to Batman and learning his secrets. To accomplish this, she created the identity of Batwoman. Batman and Robin resented her at first, but she later became part of their family along with Ace the Bat-Hound and Batgirl. Batman asked her to marry him, and Kathy refused to betray Batman to Spyral. Her superior, Agent Zero, turned out to be Doctor Dedalus, who revealed to Kathy that he was her father. Kathy had one last meeting with Bruce, teaching him the tango of death, and then saying goodbye. She broke off their engagement, so as not hurt him. Alfred remarked later that this was the first time someone had broken Batman's heart. Doctor Dedalus, meanwhile, began his career as a Nazi scientist, promising Adolf Hitler that he could discover Oroboro. He switched loyalties to England, where he fought the law and the underworld to continue pursuing his experiments. The U.N. made him head of Spyral, which is when he took the name Doctor Dedalus from a fictional character.
The new Batwoman pursues Johnny Valentine to Kane's Kolossal Karnival, which was owned by the original Batwoman. Valentine had shot three marines, leaving bullet-holes that spelled "O," "R," and "B," in braille. Batwoman found him because he'd dropped an Oroboro pendant. They are interrupted by an impostor in the original Batwoman's costume, who attacks the new Batwoman. Batwoman takes down this impostor, but Valentine escapes. Her military contact Colonel Kane explains that Oroboro is some kind of ultimate weapon, and she needs to get to the Falklands. Batwoman arrives in the Falklands and runs into British spy The Hood, who is investigating the same shooting for T.H.E.Y.. Batman and El Gaucho arrive also, having followed Scorpiana. Unknown to them, The Hood is under direct orders to infiltrate Batman Incorporated. Batwoman takes down Scorpiana, and they breach the prison where Doctor Dedalus is being held. Dedalus declares that he has made a ring around the world, and it is a hangman's noose. Dedalus has designed a meta-bomb, which he plans on using to start another world war. Batman disables the bomb, while Batwoman determines that Dedalus has Alzheimer's. Batman explains that Dedalus escaped long ago, and the man they've captured is a pawn who has lost his mind. Batman uses the goggles of the fake Dedalus to sends a message to the real Dedalus, who is watching him from space. Dedalus confers with the skull-faced leader of Leviathan, who has promised him Batman as a last great challenge before dying. They set to work on their ring around the world, which is stations of Leviathan around the globe.
Later in Africa, Batman works with a new agent named Batwing. They bust up a school where Leviathan is training small children to be ruthless killers. Batwing is unable to deal with all the guns, and Batman helps lift him out in the Batplane, welcoming Batwing to Batman Incorporated.
Nero Nykto, the private detective of the underworld, delivers a report on Batman to the franchising criminal Joe Average of the Average Joes. Bruce Wayne has expanded his initiative in the public eye with new members including Batwing in Africa, Blackbat in Hong Kong, Dark Ranger in Australia, El Gaucho in Argentina, Nightrunner in Paris, and a mysterious new Wingman. The Emoticon-Man attacks Bruce during a public interview, but is quickly stopped by Alfred and the Batman Robots. Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne continue to act as the Batman and Robin of Gotham. Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon has been framed for murder by Mayor Hady. Gordon's name is cleared, and he is given a secret Batman Incorporated badge. Red Robin is made the leader of Batman Incorporated's stealth team; the Outsiders. Bruce Wayne begins participating in internet message boards to sow misinformation about the secret identities of his allies. Batwing begins working with the Kollektiv. They shut down Leviathan bases all across the world, and are horrified to find more bloodthirsty children. Joe Average tells Nero Nykto that they plan on participating in a flashcrime event, with crimelords from around the world. Nero Nykto reveals himself to be Batman in disguise, and tells Joe Average that he should have stayed in Pennsylvania. Leviathan and Doctor Dedalus prepare for war, with their first 500 soldiers in place.
Batman goes to visit Man-of-Bats and Raven Red on their Native American reservation in South Dakota. Man-of-Bats struggles to be Batman on a budget, in an area that is largely overlooked by the government. When he's not working as a doctor at the hospital, he tries to do good deeds for the impoverished community. Man-of-Bats has a public identity, and he is arrested by the police when he assaults a local drug dealer. Raven Red tells his dad that he quits, and goes home to their cave which happens to be a roadside museum. Batman arrives and tells Raven Red that they are being targeted by Leviathan. The cop who arrested Man-of-Bats is revealed to be a Leviathan agent, as is the drug dealer Red Rippa. Rippa stabs Man-of-Bats, and they take him into the desert to be lynched by Rippa's gang. Batman and Raven Red arrive on horseback, and then take the entire gang down. When Rippa is about to execute Raven Red, the townspeople whom Man-of-Bats has helped over time arrive to help him. And Man-of-Bats jokes that he put out a "bat-signal" for them, and they are his "Man-of-Bats, Inc." In the aftermath, while Man-of-Bats is recovering, Batman tells Raven Red that they are about to fight a war. Batman offers to give them more support, and Raven Red responds that any support they're given will be distributed back to the people who need it.
Nightmares in Numberland
Bruce Wayne holds a meeting inside Internet 3.0 with his wealthy investors. They are attacked by a virus called the Worm Captain, who threatens their entire fortunes. Oracle acts as the antivirus program, and her avatar battles alongside Batman. The investors are unable to quit without losing their fortunes, and they have to navigate through cyberspace like in a video game. Oracle identifies that the culprit is one of Wayne's investors named Mr. Tanaka. Tanaka is revealed to be working with Leviathan to destroy Bruce Wayne's assets. Oracle defeats Tanaka, and the investors are impressed by the technology. Tanaka had planned to launder money through Mtamba, home country of Jezebel Jet. They conclude that Jezebel Jet must still be alive, and could possibly be the leader of Leviathan.
The School of Night
Batgirl goes undercover at St. Hadrian's, a finishing school in England where they train teenage girls to become weapons for hire. Initially she has trouble fitting in, but quickly establishes herself as a top student. The school has a business arrangement with Leviathan, and Batgirl is selected to become one of their Death Girls. Her brainwashing ceremony is conducted by Son of Pyg. Batgirl blows her cover and fights her way out. Batman arrives to help, and goes after the headmistress while Batgirl fights the entire student body. They are able to shut the school down, but the mysterious headmistress escapes.
When El Gaucho sends a distress signal, the members of Batman Incorporated are called to a floating tanker in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This boat is normally used as a mobile Leviathan headquarters, but Doctor Dedalus has converted it into a Spyral labyrinth, designed to break the toughest enemy spy. This is same labyrinth that drove Professor Pyg insane. The air is filled with a mind-eroding gas that mimics the effects of Alzheimer's disease, making Batman mentally ill, like Dedalus is. Dedalus detonates explosives, making the boat sink to the bottom of the ocean. They are told that a member of Batman Incorporated will be killed every five minutes.
Bruce Wayne, Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake are trapped inside the center. It is a rotating room that leads to different chambers, each with a different false version of Dedalus. Batman loses track of the different rooms as dementia begins to set in. Man-Bat Commandos are sent to murder Batwing. The Hood is executed by a double agent in his organization. Dark Ranger and Nightrunner are brainwashed, and then used to attack Batman. The Outsiders manage to infiltrate Leviathan's orbiting space station, but it is empty except for Lord Death Man, who blows it up with them inside.
El Gaucho is revealed to be a traitor working with Dedalus. However, he then betrays Dedalus and gives Batman the antidote to the gas. Dedalus stabs Gaucho through the neck, apparently killing him, announcing that he has bombs around the world set to explode. He challenges the weakened Batman to stop him. And though Batman manages to turn off the computer, Dedalus prepares to deliver his killing blow. Damian kills Dedalus to stop him from killing Bruce, and Batman Robots lift the boat out of the water and carry it to shore. Batman theorizes that Doctor Dedalus was only a distraction, meant to keep them from discovering the real threat. They continue through the labyrinth and find the severed head of Jezebel Jet. There is a red hotline next to the head, and Batman receives a phone call. Talia al Ghul reveals herself as the true leader of Leviathan, explaining that Batman drove her to this, and they are now at war.
- Batman Incorporated #1 -- Mr. Unknown is Dead
- Batman Incorporated #2 -- Resurrector!
- Batman Incorporated #3 -- Scorpion Tango
- Batman Incorporated #4 -- The Kane Affair
- Batman Incorporated #5 -- Masterspy
- Batman Incorporated #6 -- Nyktomorph
- Batman Incorporated #7 -- Medicine Soldiers
- Batman Incorporated #8 -- Nightmares in Numberland
- Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
|Batman Family Storyline|
This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.