artist: Chris Burnham
The most memorable single issue of Dark Knight adventures that Grant Morrison has written to date is Batman #666, which flashes forward to the future, where Damian Wayne has assumed the famous mantle. In many ways it's a preview of how Morrison would later write both incarnations of Batman Incorporated, having fun writing as normal a Dark Knight adventure as he can. This was more evident in the first volume, because in the second it's become more apparent that all of this is leading somewhere.
So it's only appropriate that we finally revisit that world of tomorrow. The twist this time is that it's a manifestation of Bruce Wayne's, the current and iconic Batman, fears of the future, specifically of Damian, the current Robin, inheriting the cowl. Much like the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths version of Jason Todd (who ended up being killed off in "Death in the Family" but later returned as the new Red Hood, a role he still inhabits), Bruce sees a bad future for Robin, and as much as he's been motivated since the events of "R.I.P." to expand his legacy to include the more active participation of others, he now seems just as concerned to make sure that his own son doesn't bring things back full circle, a Batman who functions alone, and thus more dangerously.
It's a great spin on Batman #666, and as I've suggested is a strong indication that Morrison has been deliberately unfolding the story begun with his introduction of Damian from the start, even when it's seemed like the story has gone off in other directions. That's a good argument for the Batman Incorporated reboot that occurred last year, because it allowed Morrison an opportunity to begin a fresh statement without undoing what he'd previously done, much as the transition to Batman and Robin helped put the focus back on Damian in the first place.
Batman Incorporated #5 may not be standalone essential like Batman #666, but in the grand scheme, it's essential to the greater arc Morrison has been weaving since Batman #655 in 2006.