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Bane is nearing Gotham City and Batman has 4 more days to get ready for the inevitable collision between the two iconic DC characters. Batman #16 is the second installment in the “I am Bane” story arc, which is building up to be King’s best Batman story yet. Our Bat-a-holic Abel Loza is here to break down I am Suicide Part 2 for us.
Review: Batman 17, I am Bane Part 2
“You are very brave.”
Still feeling the effects of the Venom withdrawal, Bronze Tiger is going cold turkey, and sweating out the reaming Venom. While in withdrawal mode, Tiger hears a knock at the door. Struggling to get up, Tiger is able to get to the door. After opening the door Bronze Tiger is immediately shot down by an unknown assailant.
Superman is greeted by Batman as he walks in to the Fortress of Solitude. After what happened to all three Robins in the last issue, Batman decided to take them to the Fortress to help heal them in Superman’s healing pods. Batman then makes Superman promise to keep them there for four days while he deals with Bane. Superman reluctantly agrees.
While Batman is dealing with Superman and the Robins, Alfred is busy infiltrating Arkham Asylum by disguising himself as Jeremiah Arkham. He is sneaking in Gotham Girl, to get her second round of treatments from Psycho-Pirate.Batman wanted Gotham Girl and Psycho-Pirate isolated in Arkaham so nobody, namely Bane, could reach them. With a literal gun to his head, Psycho-Pirate continues the treatments for Gotham Girl.
At the ruins of the old Thomas and Martha Wayne Home for the Boys and Girls of Gotham, Selena is gunned down by the same people who captured Bronze Tiger. An attempted was made to capture Jim Gordon, by the same guys who were able to take down Selena and Tiger. With the help of Duke, it looked as though Jim and Duke had escaped. They were wrong.
Bane appeared 4 days sooner than what Batman had expected, with Tiger, Catwoman, Duke and Gordon all captured.
I am Bane is turning out to be the best arc Tom King has done so far on his run on Batman (in my humble opinion), and its only two issues deep. The reason I can say this is because to me, this is the first time I have felt the tension that has been building up was built up almost to feel like a horror story, and I love me some horror stories. We are expecting Bane to show up, and almost like Jason Voorhees, he shows up early. As expected. You sort of expect Bane to jump out at any second, but when it actually happened, I was still genuinely surprised. That’s good writing by King.
This works well to add an element to the story that character development can’t do, and only fantastic writing can. The capturing of Batman’s allies is just seasoning on top of the already mounting anger and tension that was built prior, thus making Batman and Bane’s inevitable confrontation that much more satisfying.
Obviously Tom King’s Batman is not a horror story, but the tension that exercised when Bane jumps into the story , its relatable to a jump scare in a horror movie. The idea of using Bane as a shadow villain plays perfectly and it adds to the story. It’s like a single note playing for two issues, and the song’s breakdown hits as Bane busts through the wall. It’s fantastic and I could talk about it for days, but I digress.
THIS is the Bane I expected to see in the earlier I am Suicide arc. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect to see Bane, juiced up out of his mind and being the most menacing figure on the page. Not that I did not like, appreciate or understand the purpose of the “other” Bane, but I do like me so classic Venom raged Bane.
With that being said, I know why King chose to portray Bane in such a light in I am Suicide. It does of a few things for the development of the story: 1) It gives legitimacy to the powers of Psycho-Pirate and it makes him a more important character, one that is vital to the story. 2) It humanizes Bane for the audience and it makes him more relatable, which in turn makes his more iconic form into something that doesn’t seem so out of reach, or doesn’t seem so bad. With everything that King has been doing, Bane just like everyone and everything else has been layered. It gives depth to these characters and builds the story, which I’m enjoying.
Layering the characters and threading all of the story arcs into one “final arc” is something that I’m legitimately enjoying. I know that starting on issue #21, Batman will have his hands full with a Flash Crossover so the current story line has to be wrapping up, and I’m excited to see where Tom King takes us before that happens.
The ride that King is taking us on I am Bane picked up on Batman #17. The tension that has been building up for the better part of two issues, was finally broken. This then is building towards the inevitable confrontations between Bane and Batman. This is a must read story arc!
Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @St_Abel45
Source: DC Comics
Author Tom King perfectly builds up the tension between Batman and Bane. I am Bane is quickly becoming a favorite of Bat-fans and perhaps the best arc under the current artistic team.