OK, I’m about halfway through these “One Bad Day” one-shots. I really liked the Riddler one. The Ra’s al-Ghul one was intriguing. Two-Face was pretty meh.
What about Bane?
Issue: Batman–One Bad Day: Bane #1, January 2023
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
The Plot: Bane comes out of retirement to rid the world of Venom.
Commentary: OK, overall, this one was…fine. Nothing great, but nothing mediocre either. It does start off well by showing Bane making his living as, of all things, a Mexican wrestler where every bout is a recreation of the night he broke Batman’s back, with a new young wrestler posing as Batman. It’s all for show, and Bane, well, he’s just existing would be the best way to describe him. He’s a man who has spent his late years continually recreating his greatest moment of triumph, and even if that isn’t enough, it’s something. Bane is a man who is still stuck in that one moment, and his reasons for it are solid when he finally gets around to explaining it.
But then a young man breaks into his house, looking to sell Bane some Venom. Bane thought he had seen to it that Venom no longer existed, and his disgust that the stuff is still around rouses something in him. Taking the young man with him, Bane sets out on a road trip to find the source of this new batch of Venom. Someone is making it, and the world would be far better off without it.
Now, this is a Joshua Williamson script, and I find he’s fine but not someone I would go out of my way for. I worked my way through his Dark Crisis, and it showed he had affection for the characters and a great deal of knowledge about DC lore and all, but the final product never quite worked for me. One Bad Day: Bane is a step up from that as I am not spending large amounts of time reading the book and thinking that Williamson was greatly mischaracterizing the Great Darkness until I got near the end and learned he wasn’t. Here, well, Bane’s distaste for Venon is well-established, a washed-up Bane who peaked too early is a cool idea, and at least, unlike the Two-Face issue, this one actually does tell you what Bane’s One Bad Day was.
Plus, I do tend to like Howard Porter’s artwork. It’s not for everyone, but I dig it.