July 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: DC Rebirth Batman Volume 3

Batman faces off against Bane to save Gotham Girl.

I am loving Tom King’s Batman run.  He put a real heart into a Catwoman romance, added some new ideas to the mythos, gets Bruce Wayne on a level I haven’t seen very often, keeps Batman firmly placed in the DCU, and has a great knowledge of Batman’s past that he has no problem bringing up.

The third volume of his run, subtitled I Am Bane, picks up on the past storylines and shows the consequences of Batman’s actions to save the life of wouldbe superhero Gotham Girl.

Here’s the backstory up to this point:  Batman accepted help from a pair of superpowered siblings calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl.  Gotham went nuts and his powers killed him, but Gotham Girl was hit with something from Hugo Strange and the Psycho Pirate, so Batman had to join a Suicide Squad to go down to Santa Prisca , the island nation/prison, to retrieve the Pirate from Bane.  Bane had been using the Pirate to get over his severe venom-based withdrawals, and he would do anything, including going back on venom, to get the Pirate back.

All Batman has to do is keep Bane away from Gotham Girl for five days to cure her.

This is easier said than done.  Bane is presented here as one of Batman’s strongest opponents, and with the venom coursing through his veins, his physical strength is allowing him to punch through bricks and knock out at least one guy who routinely gives Superman problems.  Bane seems to be angriest not so much at the “theft” of the Pirate, but in how Batman seems to have disrespected him by even daring to take the Pirate away.    Bane sees himself as unique among the various things Batman deals with on a routine basis, and quite frankly, Batman does not disagree with Bane on this assessment.

King does some really cool stuff here, abetted with great artwork from David Finch.  One chapter shows Bruce and Bane each remembering their respective mothers and how the deaths of both women drove their sons to become the men they are.  Another has Batman coming up with a clever twist on the classic Bane story Knightfall where Bane released the Arkham inmates in order to exhaust Batman enough for Bane to then deliver his own finishing move on the Dark Knight.  King continues to mine Batman history for cameos and nice touches, like remembering Bane’s three sidekicks that haven’t been seen much since the aforementioned Knightfall.

The trade actually ends with a seminal moment in Bruce’s life in regards to Selina Kyle, and then offers two more stories, one a Swamp Thing team-up, and the other a Rebirth reintroduction to Ace the Bat-Hound.  I know I’m excited to see where King is taking this, as his run is quickly becoming one of my favorite Batman runs in years.  Yes, I think I am digging this more than either Scott Snyder’s or Grant Morrison’s respective runs, and those guys are no slouches in their Batman storytelling abilities.  Ten out of ten additional Kite Man references.