I review Batman #23.4 – Bane by Peter J. Tomasi and Graham Nolan, published by DC Comics, the fourth Batman issue of DC’s Villain’s Month.
Story: Peter J. Tomasi | Art: Graham Nolan | Colours: John Kalisz | Cover: Guillem March | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 (3D) / $2.99 (2D)
Batman is gone, and the inmates of Arkham Asylum are running wild in the streets! Bane is in Gotham City with one goal…to take it over no matter who he has to break!
Peter J. Tomasi’s last addition to Villain’s Month is the last Batman book, Batman #23.4, focusing on one of Batman’s greatest nemesis and a character truly deserving of one of these issues, Bane – one of the villains who I have encountered the most of in a variety of different forms of entertainment – Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are the video game examples, The Dark Knight Rises is perhaps the most notable of all of them as a film, with Knightfall Vol. 1 being the most notable comic that I’ve read featuring Bane. Another shoutout goes out to episode three of Young Justice, which I recently discovered and am really enjoying despite its animated format which I’m normally not a fan of. However, I felt that he was portrayed as too weak in Young Justice, so I was looking forward to see Peter J. Tomasi restore Bane to the badass reputation of the character that he had gained through previous outings and in particular Talon, where he plays a prominent role alongside the Court of Owls as Calvin Rose’s foes.
This book, like most of the Villain’s Month titles, is pretty much filler. It doesn’t play a significant role in the events of Forever Evil and basically acts as an unnecessary prequel to the upcoming events of Arkham War by Peter J. Tomasi, which I will certainly be reading regardless. It tells a one-shot story that like Aquaman #23.2, the other Villain’s Month book that I’ve also reviewed from this week’s releases, hints at something greater. Graham Nolan is also on artistic duties and I understand he was a pretty big hit a while back with Bat-fans – indeed, being the original co-creator of Bane, but the art – whilst fun, didn’t really have any wow factor. It doesn’t match the likes of Greg Capullo, Jock – or any other artist who has drawn a Bat-character but is far from the worst that we’ve seen in comics before.
This issue may be a bit confusing to readers who aren’t keeping up with Talon, because from last month’s issue, you’ll be aware that Bane was gearing up to load his ships with an army and weapons and set sail for Gotham, but just before boarding – he was approached by the Outsider – who gave Bane an offer to join the Secret Society. This issue still sees him preparing to board, and I think that we could have had a bit more straightforward plot progression here, which is a shame – as Batman #23.4 really had the potential to be more than just filler.
If you wanted recapping or were unaware of Bane’s origin or his plan for Gotham, then this book may well be for you. However, this book is pretty much just a straightforward filler read, and whilst for the most part I found it to be fun – and I couldn’t help but read Bane’s speaking parts in Tom Hardy’s voice – and whilst it may not be the best villain’s month book out there, it’s not the worst. This book just had the potential to be a heck of a lot more memorable than it was.