By Peter J. Tomasi, Scot Eaton, and Hi-Fi
Was this book necessary? Absolutely not. Is it entertaining? Depends on what you want from your comics every week. The title pretty much says it all. Batman vs. Bane. That’s what this book is. Writer Peter J. Tomasi delivers on the title, giving readers a lengthy and brutal brawl. The ending is predictable. As the final chapter in Forever Evil: Arkham War, this book returns us to the pre-Forever Evil status quo, making this entire mini-series pretty much moot. There are some good scenes in this book, especially Batman’s return to Gotham; however, this book feels like it just picked up scenes and plot points directly from the Christopher Nolan’s batman movies.
The art is widely inconsistent in this book. In some pages, we see Bane drawn more humanly proportional. In others, he is portrayed as an 8-feet tall cartoon. Call me biased, but the preference has always been to make Bane appear somewhat human. Yes, he’s ripped and huge, but he does not need to be cartoonishly so. Unfortunately, we get both versions. On the other hand, Eaton does a really good job in his portrayals of Batman. At times, his version of Batman is very reminiscent of Greg Capullo’s, which is obviously the gold standard.
This book is strong on action and little else. If you can get passed the way in which (SPOILER ALERT) Batman defeats Bane, then you may enjoy this book. The ending, albeit predictable, is a nice little ribbon of irony tied on to the gift that is the approaching end of Forever Evil. Yet, somehow, this book seems like it could have been skipped entirely. One take away is that this book leads to yet more inconsistencies with Bane in the New 52, further overexposing him as well. Here’s hoping he’s left on the sidelines for a few years until someone comes up with a good story for him. Been a while since that happened.