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Subj: I am that guy. Batman #19 Review
Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 at 02:13:54 pm EDT (Viewed 18 times)
It's interesting to see Detective and Batman being published every two week. It seems to me that even though we're getting twice the number of issues, the stories still feel decompressed.
Batman 19 begins with Bane breaking into Arkham. He fights various Batman foes armed with their weapons and gets beaten up as he progresses to where Psycho Pirate is being kept.
For the most part, he beats them easily. Two-Face says he is of two minds but Bane gut punches him and smashes one of his faces. Takes like two seconds. Scarecrow gasses him, but Bane says he doesn't have nightmares, he gives him. I wonder if this is a callback to Steve Englehart's famed Detective run, because Batman said the same thing after experiencing nightmares courtesy of Prof. Strange. (Yes, I am old).
Mr. Freeze freezes him and comments that the ice pressure is beyond what any human can endure. Bane is on Venom and breaks out of the frosty shell.
Bane also fights Solomon Grundy and Amygdala, a villain I am unfamiliar with. Point is both are bruisers. But we never see the battle. Only Bane walking away after defeating them.
He has the Riddler unlock the lock hiding Psycho Pirate, even though Riddler has no tools and the lock is using tech from Apokolips. We don't know what he did to break the lock, only that he broke it.
Meanwhile Alfred says this is madness but not Sparta. Why not call in the Justice League. Why give madmen dangerous weapons. Bats says no, Bane's done too much, including killing Gotham and besides they tried the Justice League before and it didn't work and Bane tied up his son, the son Bats spends no time with in either Batman, Trinity, Detective, Justice League, Justice League of America books.
Bane says it's all Bats' fault because Bats took Pscho Pirate away from him and Bane would have been happy staying in Santa Prisca prison huffing on Psycho Pirate's talents. If Bats only let a little slavery go by, everything would be peachy.
Last panel is Bats confronting Bane again. Fight to ensue same battime, same batchannel in Batman 20.
What I liked. I am going to rip this issue apart, so it's only fair that I acknowledge that this issue is, in fact, a comment on the original Knightfall story from 24 years ago. (Man, that's a long time).
Instead of Bane breaking out villains from Arkham for Batman to fight, and thus wear Bats down during the final confrontation, Bats has arranged it so that Bane has to break INTO Arkham and get worn down fighting Bats' villains. Actually a clever role reversal as long as you don't think "hey, why isn't there a SWAT team there with big guns like a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle. The rounds are designed to penetrate armor. One shot into Bane's knee would definitely put Bane down. Given the fact that Bane is a multiple mass murderer, one shot to the head would put Bane down forever.
What I didn't like.
As I said earlier, we don't actually see a lot. When Bane can actually fight a villain easily, that villain is knocked out with one punch. When faced with bruisers that can actually give Bane a fight, we miss the fight. Again, as I said last issue review, told, not shown.
And I side with Alfred. Bruce's plan smacks of pride and hurt feelings. Not a good look on a character who is supposed to be smart.
The art was good. But the plot was fast. Why not use one page that has six panels. In each panel we can see Bane put down a villain with one punch. So that when we finally see Bane go against the bruisers (I'm pretty sure that Solomon Grundy is indestructible and can take punches from Superman shouldn't be put down by a roided up guy) we get a well-drawn and drawn out fight that emphasizes how brutal Bane is and how much punishment he dishes out and takes. So when he fights Bats, we know he's a threat but we also know that he's a bit worn out.
We also see Bats without his shirt. I want to know how is it that his back isn't broken. How is he in any kind of shape to fight Bane.
It seems to me that better editing could have filled the plot holes and given us better action. Also, having Calendar Man comment that Bane and Bats fighting is a cycle and they're destined to do it forever is a bit on the nose and it steals that line from "The Dark Knight" movie.
But that's me. I pick nits.
I could be wrong.
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