I want to begin this post by stating that in any form of media in the world, be it literature, television, film, music, or comic books, personal opinion reigns supreme. So to that effect, I simply must post my opinion on the matter.
After reading Batman R.I.P I decided that I would never again spend money on a Morrison-written book, and I haven't. Remi asked me to read the first two issues of Batman Inc., and my wary suspicions about the idea were spot on: it is terrible. Is Batman Inc. really 'progress' or 'evolution'? No. It's just a sideshow, an avenue for Grant Morrison to display how ‘drastic’ and ‘complex’ he can make a situation. As a close friend of mine perfectly put it: “Grant Morrison is interested in showcasing how wildly creative he can make a story, not how he can use that creativity to make a GOOD story.”
Batman Inc. is essentially taking the idea of Batman's worldly involvement in the Justice League, i.e: world problems, things TOO grandiose for one superhero, but Morrison has reduced these to Bruce Wayne focusing solely on crime. Sure Bruce Wayne hates crime, it killed his parents and created Batman, but he's going to turn his back on 70 years (canonically) of fighting crime in Gotham City and attempt to train Japanese Batmen? Attempting to unravel Batman/Bruce Wayne from Gotham City is a supremely bad idea based on premise alone, and with Grant Morrison at the helm with complete control, this can only mean it will become more permanent and worse. Case in point? Bruce Wayne is now actually associated with the Batman; it is publicly known that Bruce Wayne helps fund this global Batman Inc. force. One of the absolute MAINSTAY themes of Batman comics throughout the decades (and numerous other superheroes, i.e: Spider-man) is the attempt to keep their alias’ separate. It’s what makes them vulnerable, what keeps them grounded. Again to quote my buddy with whom I’ve had this conversation countless times, “Morrison isn’t really that interested in telling a Batman story, but a Morrison story with Batman in it.” I believe that to be very true, and how Morrison gets away with it I have no idea. How is he given such leeway over these iconic characters? Why do the publishers allow it? A purple, red and yellow garbage-clad Batman, with a radio transmitter and a faery-sized friend. That was actually part of a Batman storyline! And it’s not just localized within Batman or the DC Universe.
Remember Xorn in his New X-Men run? Or how about how he essentially made Magneto akin to Hitler? Morrison doesn't delve into the character(s) and carve out a niche from their history or canon to explore and make new. He creates these outlandish exploits that can only, AT BEST, be vaguely associated with the character in question. What do I like about Batman? Fights crime. Now I will do whatever I want with that. What do I like about Magneto? Fears humanity. Okay great. Now he will wipe them out.
Essentially Morrison is once again setting the stage for a painstaking and frustrating retcon, as he did with X-Men. Ultimately it will be other writers who will take the blame for his mistakes, when they have to deal with this down the road. Is he really taking Batman in a new direction? Morrison tried that. R.I.P was his last chance. He failed.