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Batman #17

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By Tom King, David Finch, Danny Miki & Jordie Bellaire

The best horror villains are the ones that we don’t know much about, and exposed only a minimal amount to. Keeping them in the shadows and out of sight is an excellent way to build up the tension around them and establish them as a greater threat. That’s exactly what writer Tom King is doing here in “I am Bane”.f We haven’t had any direct confrontation between Batman and Bane in this second part, but at the same time Bane remains scarier than ever. The creative team ensures you get the feeling just how worried Batman is by Bane’s return.

The issue opens with a brief cameo from Superman. It’s unlikely that we’ll see Clark take a significant role in this arc, but Batman is using the Fortress of Solitude to keep Dick, Jason, and Damian safe from Bane against their will. He is that worried that he’s willing to go to extreme lengths to do so and this does a great job at establishing Bane’s threat to Gotham, as Bruce has rarely had to do something as drastic as this in the past. The lack of dialogue from King in the scene between Superman and Batman really plays a part here making a contrast from the sometimes overly wordy Detective Comics. When Batman talks more than Superman does, you know something’s bad. It was great to see that in just two pages King is able to get across their dynamic and friendship incredibly well.

Most of this issue is all action and we get to see a number of Batman’s supporting cast here with Gordon and Selina also featuring as Bane decides to target Batman for going for his associates. All the tension building up in this issue leads to a spectacular, incredibly cinematic last few pages, that are really well done and fleshed out incredibly with some great art from David Finch. Finch’s pencils really help Bane look incredibly intimidating, also making use of some great splash pages to showcase Batman at his best, and given what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be incredibly fascinating to see Batman and Bane both come to blows, especially if the artwork in this issue is anything to go by. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are visually striking and really help plunge you into the atmospheric underbelly of Gotham. Uniting it all, Danny Miki’s inks bring everything to life incredibly well. One of the best elements about this book in regards to how it looks, is the actual city of Gotham itself, because no matter what location we visit, it looks amazing and really adds an extra amount of depth to the book.

Over the course of the past two issues Tom King has created something special in Batman and hopefully now the showdown between the Dark Knight and Bane won’t be a disappointment. Ideally, it will be more competitive than the fight where Bane broke Batman’s back. Regardless of how things turn out, if you’re a fan of Bane and you’re not reading this book, you really should remedy that as soon as possible.

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Tom King has created something special [with] BATMAN.
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