Artist: Chris Burnham
This has easily been one of my favourite series in the New 52, and this series has been a vast improvement over the previous Batman, Incorporated series. It has however had a few down points over the series, but overall it has been amazing, and looks to be the perfect way to end Grant Morrison's fantastic run on the character.
Batman now souped-up with Man-Bat formula takes the fight to Leviathan, and mainly The Heretic.
This was a fantastic issue, and one of the best in the series so far. Although last issue was interesting it was nice to see Grant Morrison's story back in the limelight, and with the way issue 10 ended I was desperate to find out what happened next, and I wasn't disappointed. Morrison did a phenomenal job of showing Batman's rage, and fury, with the emotional Batman getting straight down to business. The action was also perfectly written, and due to Morrison getting straight into the action, it was exciting all the way through. The dialogue was also brilliant, and although there weren't many detailed discussions, it had perfect fighting dialogue. Morrison also did a great job of showing what the other character's were up to, as well as add yet more mystery, setting up next issues finale perfectly.
Chris Burnham returns to arts on this issue, and although he did a decent job writing the filler story in last issue, he's much more suited as an artist. The detail in Burnham's art is simply amazing, and his rough, and gritty style really suits the series, and especially this issue. The best part of Burnham's art in this issue was naturally the action sequences, which were simply outstanding, and although Morrison's script was perfect during the fight, it was Burnham's art that made it extraordinary, making the fight that much more exciting, and dramatic. the layout of Burnham's art was also superb, especially in the more mysterious sequences, adding ton's of suspense. Burnham also did a fantastic job of showing the character's emotions, and although Batman was the best example of this, the rest was also brilliant.
I've already talked a bit about the action, but felt that I'd go into a little more detail seems this was my favourite part of the issue. I will however avoid spoilers though, so don't worry about that. What was best about the action in this fight was that it had lot's of impact, and tone to it, giving a brilliant atmosphere. It also had plenty of emotion in it, on both sides, as you could see the rage, and determination for revenge in Batman's eyes, as well as a desire for victory from Heretic, to win his mother, Talia al Ghul's approval. It did however have to be good, as with it taking up most of the issue it would have really hurt the issue if this wasn't the case, but thankfully it wasn't.
Talking of Talia, she didn't really make much of an appearance, appearing at the start, as well as another couple of times for brief periods. Without going into details, as to avoid spoilers, the time she did appear was however brilliant, and very dramatic, as well as shocking. Another character who slightly shocked me in this issue was Knight (Beryl Hutchinson), who really showed her emotions towards Heretic over the former Knight's (Cyril Sheldrake) death, which added yet more drama to the issue, as well as more emotion.
Besides the fight the thing that interested me most in this issue had to be the mysterious woman who offered to help Batman Inc. Now I love mysteries, and with this story, as well as the series coming to an end what a better time. Both Morrison, and Burnham handled the mystery perfectly, showing the profile of the woman, without actually revealing her identity, which was smart. It also makes me question whether this is a person who has already featured in the series. It does appear however that Nightwing (Dick Grayson) knows the woman, recognising the voice, so this would indicate that she has a connection to Batman at least, if not Talia as well.
This was a brilliant issue, and one of the best in the series so far. It had brilliant action, amazing dialogue, and some emotional sequences. It also had a hint of mystery, and sets up next issues finale perfectly. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue, as well as the series, which has been brilliant, and one of the best Batman stories in a while.