Art by: Viktor Bogdanovic, Art Thibert and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Peter J. Tomasi has been teasing us with Bane ever since this series started. We watched as he grew from an unrecognizable prisoner to the hulking figure we know and love. Actually, a lot of it happened behind the scenes so we didn't necessarily watch him, but we knew he was there this whole time...waiting for his moment. Well, his moment came last issue when he turned the tables in Stone Ridge and ordered an all-out attack on Batman. A hail of bullets can't stop the Dark Knight, right? Let's find out...
The Stone Ridge guards are two things...turncoats and heavily armed. That's a bad combination for Batman, but if I've learned anything it's that the Bat is always prepared...or thinks quick on his feet. I'm sure nobody out there thought this was going to be the death of Batman, but it's always cool to see him get out of impossible situations. Unfortunately, this is one of those frying pan/fire things.
Why? Because no sooner does he free himself from the thugs then Bane gets involved big time. I'd say that Bane had him under his thumb, but it's more like his big toe...and the rest of that foot. Luckily for Batman, a character from last issue shows up to save the day. Good thing this guy doesn't follow orders.
I enjoyed this opening. Like I said, I never thought Batman would die here, but it lead to a couple of crushed skulls and the realization that Bane isn't playing around and is really, really dangerous. He has his sites set on Gotham and as of now, Batman looks to be over matched.
There is no time for a breather, however, as Bane zips off in the GCPD Prisoner Transport Vehicle and Batman's savior gets to live out every fanboys dream...to drive the Batmobile. Sure, it's on autopilot and he's in the backseat, but it's the closest any of us are going to get. The reason this is happening is because Batman has jumped out and onto the bus like a badass. After a bit of confusion (mostly on my part), round two of Bane vs Batman begins. The cliffhanger looks very similar to a certain story with "Knight" and "Fall" in it's title.
If you have been waiting for the action in the Arkham Knight action, this is the issue for you. It is cover to cover, wall to wall, soup to nuts action and I really enjoyed it. Tomasi is making Bane more than just a formidable opponent, he's a wrecking machine! And he's hungry! Of course, this ending really makes you wonder if we are going down a familiar path that could lead to the Arkham Knight being... I don't want to jump to conclusions here and prove I'm a dummy so I'll keep my mouth shut...for now.
I am a huge Viktor Bogdanovic fan, but some of the art left me confused. Actually, it was one part...when the GCPD Bus crashes at the end with Bane and Batman. I'm not sure what happened as that scene progressed. That's only a blip on the radar, because everything else was stellar as usual. Viktor, Art Thibert and John Rauch make a hell of a team.
Bits and Pieces:
This was one of the most action packed issues of Arkham Knight yet. It's always nice to mix it up and get a bunch of 90's action scenes now and again, but Tomasi also uses it to show how overpowered Bane is compared to Batman. If things go the way that the cliffhanger suggests, I have a prediction for next issue...Pain!