3 out of 5
This is a mostly excellent issue, setting up Batman Inc. for DCs let’s-reboot-continuity-every-fifteen-minutes New 52 line at the time. Grant, as always, juggles a lot of big concepts with a precisely compressed splice of words and art, and Frazier Irving bests himself with some of his most animated, colorful artwork yet.
It’s just also a rather frustrating issue, because it should be unnecessary: Batman Inc’s first run of books already did the setting up summarized here, and the forced line upheaval from DC already seemed to upset a good rhythm Grant had going there, and then there were publishing delays with the first few issues of Inc. volume 2… making this zero issue come across as almost a type of apology – letting readers know that the book’s still here, telling the same story: of world-conquering bad guy Leviathan, and Bruce Wayne’s franchising of the Batman “brand” across an international line of Batmen. So there’s not much for the book to do beyond that, reintroducing these Bat-men to us in variations or additions to scenes we’ve kinda seen before.
Setting that context aside, it’s a fun read, and it looks unique. But, like, we’re buying this book monthly, or you’re reading it as part of one of the collections, so it will always have that context, in one way or another. So, yeah, fun, but also rather pointless.