‘Batman Inc’ No. 10 first look: Batman recruits Azrael

April 21, 2013 | 9:00 a.m.

The cover for "Batman, Incorporated" No. 10, written by Grant Morrison with art by Chris Burnham. Click through the gallery for a first look at the issue. (DC Comics)

Batman and Talia al Ghul deal with the death of their son Damian in “Batman, Incorporated” No. 10, due out Wednesday.

The series, written by Grant Morrison with art  by Chris Burnham, has focused on Damian’s evolution from bratty child to a leader in Batman’s crime-fighting corporation. Damian became the latest in a long line of Robins before dying at the hands of a cloned version of himself.

“In many ways this has been Damian’s story as much as it has been the story of Bruce Wayne, and it’s a story that had its end planned a long time ago,” Morrison wrote in a post on DC Comics’ blog, “for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?”

In issue No. 10, Talia al Ghul and the supervillain group Leviathan retain their ruthless grip on Gotham, Batman Inc. has been liquidated, and Batman, now a wanted man, turns to an old acquaintance for help. At long last, Michael Lane (a.k.a. Azrael) makes his New 52 debut.

Cover | Cover 2 | Cover 3 |  Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Cover 4

Though it’s unclear how closely Michael Lane’s character will follow his previous iterations, Michael Lane originally was a Gotham cop trained as a potential replacement for Batman, but the plan went awry, and Lane became the villainous Bat-Devil. The Order of Purity took him in and turned him into Azrael, a deadly assassin who killed in God’s name.

Hero Complex readers can get a first look at the comic in the gallery above.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark

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