Comic Review: Batman #19 (DC Comics)

“He broke Gotham Girl. He shot Selina. He hanged the boys… he hanged my son from a rock in the cave. I’m not running. “ After the first bout, Batman […]

“He broke Gotham Girl. He shot Selina. He hanged the boys… he hanged my son from a rock in the cave. I’m not running. “

After the first bout, Batman escapes into Arkham Asylum to mend his wounds as an enraged and vengeful Bane tails him.  Standing in Bane’s conquest to kill Batman is a handful of inmates that happen to be part of Batman’s rogue’s gallery. Will Batman’s trust in his enemies be enough to subdue Bane? Or will Bane prove to be more than all that Arkham Asylum can handle?

It seems Tom King has reeled me back in with this latest chapter of the I Am Bane arc. After the last two issues which were pretty fine, they were cool but felt a bit hit and miss in certain aspects of the story. But this issue manages to pick itself off its feet and perform well in terms of story, pace, and action.   What I enjoyed about this issue is seeing certain villains from Batman’s rogue’s gallery stepping up to the plate against Bane. It’s interesting to see Bane just mosh right through each pair of opposition in a way that feels reminiscent and parallels Grant Morrison and Dave Mckean’s 1986 Arkham Asylum series.  It’s great to see classic villains, some obscure like Maxi Zeus and Amygdala to some classic mainstays.  King really knows how to write a good Bane that hasn’t been this awesome or as intimidating since the 90s introduction of the character (aside from the I Am Suicide arc. Bane is written as a force to be reckoned with which makes the story engaging. I love Alfred’s response to Bruce in regards to Batman’s decision to utilize Arkham Asylum as a fortress and its inmates as an army. Bane seems to be reaching as an equal to Batman as an adversary that rivals the Joker in terms of superior status. While there have been doubt’s about Tom King’s handle on Batman, it seems King has an ideal direction with this series. At least that’s what this issue seems to indicate. What I enjoy about this issue, and along with this series is how flawed and desperate Batman can be. King seems to have a knack of displaying Batman as a flawed superhero than a godly one as portrayed in the prior Batman run by Snyder. Which is cool.

David Finch’s art coupled with  Danny Miki, Trevor Scott, and Sandra Hope’s inks are the very best in this arc and this issue. Seeing Finch’s handle of all of the various inmates and seeing them combat against Bane is just fantastic. Each skull crushing interaction that inmates have when they come across Bane just evolves with every turn of the page. They’re some subtly hilarious moments with Bane when he interacts with characters such as Amygdala and The Riddler.  Jordie Bellaire’s colors are wonderfully scummy, fitting the kind of visual flair that the Asylum and this story required. Everyone brought their A game in this issue which creates some anticipation for the conclusion of this arc and which will cap it off in the next issue. This issue really brings King’s writing up a notch and the whole team follows suit. Definitely, pick this issue up.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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