DC Comics reviews for 3/15/17

Batman #19

Batman #19 cover

The fourth chapter of I Am Bane plays out a little weirder than previous issues. To try and buy some time for the next round with Bane, Batman unleashes Arkham Asylum’s inmates. Besides some fun role reversal of Batman using Arkham’s inmates to fight Bane, this chapter largely didn’t work and was a misstep from writer Tom King.

While Batman might be desperate, freeing Arkham’s prisoners and hoping they’d be willing to fight Bane felt like a stretch. Not to mention horribly out of character for Batman.

Bane is more of a calculating opponent and not a brainless Hulk-type character that leads with their chin and fists. In that sense it felt weird for Bane to willingly play into Batman’s hands and battle the Arkham inmates. King seems to be stretching out the story, especially since the issue ends in a manner that everything preceded it was meaningless. The Rogue Gallery appearances were fun and hint at some intriguing characters for King to play with later beyond being Bane punching bags.

Batman #19 interior art

Despite the narrative problems, this allowed artist David Finch to cut loose. There’s little important dialogue here and Finch lays the panels out so cleanly the words almost aren’t necessary. Finch’s powerhouse Bane is a brute, but within reason. Only when he’s confronted by two of the more physically dominating members of Batman’s Rogue Gallery does Bane get back on the juice Venom. Jordie Bellaire’s colors look sensational among the carnage and really help make the onslaught pop on the page.

Batman’s faulty logic and that feeling like this won’t play a major role in the overall story make this a tough sell. The artwork and Rogue cameos balance it out for the most part, but this chapter of I Am Bane was overall disappointing.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10