Review: Batman #19

“I am Bane” Part 4

Writer: Tom King

Artist: David Finch

Some spoilers ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The penultimate chapter to writer Tom King’s latest Batman storyline is a completely unnecessary interlude before it races to the finale.

The biggest problem with this issue is that it slows the pacing down and does not advance the overall plot much. This comic is really a 20-page excuse to show Bane beating on Batman’s rogues gallery. While there is some primal joy in watching a Bane versus everybody storyline, it falls flat. I appreciate King’s attempt to inverse the plot of Knightfall and have Batman force Bane to fight his bad guys, but it barely makes sense.

Batman knowingly armed his villains and let them loose in Arkham Asylum to buy some time as he recovers from the previous issue’s beatdown. Instead of the villains logically using their weapons to, say, break out of Arkham, they inexplicably go along with Batman’s plan. When faced with a choice to escape or risk getting my face smashed in by Bane, I would think busting out is a no-brainer.

To make matters worse, the villains are treated like chumps. It is not much of a spoiler to say that they all get thrashed pretty thoroughly. The comic makes them look pretty non-threatening and worse, it gets boring. Bane encounters the villain, they make an effort, and then he pounds on them. Rinse and repeat. King does not even find inventive new ways for Bane to defeat the rogues gallery. He literally wins every fight by punching them really, really hard.

This issue offers no new insight on Bane’s inner workings. Much of Bane’s pontifications are rehashes of lines he said in previous issues. He sounds like a broken record on repeat after a while. This issue does not offer any thing we have not seen already. It has no twists or new revelations.

The brightest spot in the comic is easily David Finch’s art. His art is pretty great here, despite my past complaints. Part of the fun of issue is seeing his artistic spin on the various rogues gallery. Like, Finch has never drawn Amygdala before. Finch’s version of him looks appropriately hulking and creepy. Finch’s depictions of the villains are a real visual treat.

Conclusion

After several strong issues, “I Am Bane” stumbles due to a nonsensical plot and decompressed storytelling.

 

 

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Eric Lee

Eric Lee

Eric Lee hails from Los Angeles, California and has been one of the biggest fans of Batman since he was 2 years old when his dad showed him Tim Burton's 'Batman' on a fuzzy VHS. Currently, Eric is an avid comic book reader and writer and illustrator working on his own graphic novel. You can see his doodles at meeleeart.com.