Friday, May 22, 2015

Batman: Arkham Knight #14 Review

Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Viktor Bogandovic, Art Thibert and John Rauch
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: May 22, 2015

Santa Prisca Standoff

Things are heating up in Gotham and while it seems like the answer to "who the hell is this Arkham Knight guy" isn't going to be answered soon, there are other things to keep the reader interested. One thing is Bane.  Tomasi has done a good job teasing the return of the behemoth, from unrecognizable prisoner to the pumped up luchador masked villain we all know and some of us love. At least I love him in the Arkham games.  Does Tomasi make me love him in this comic as well?  Let's find out...

While everything about this issue points to Bane, Tomasi actually starts the issue out with Batman checking out the old Iceberg Lounge.  I mentioned in my past reviews that I love when this comic doesn't forget what it's about and gets the feel of the game play of the Arkham series on the page.  If you feel the same (or have no idea what I'm talking about), check out this opener.  Watching Batman glide in and take out Penguin's thugs is so satisfying.  too bad it was a trap!  Oswald couldn't have thought in his heart of hearts that his plan would take out the Dark Knight, but you can't blame a guy for trying.  It's also immediately obvious that this wasn't part of his endgame.

After the brand spanking new Batmobile picks him up, Batman heads off in response to the Bat Signal.  However, this isn't the normal one.  Nope, this one is coming from Gotham Stone Ridge Penitentiary which also means...Bane!

Before Batman arrives, we get a quick look at Bane and the chaos he's created.  Guards have switched sides and it looks like Bane is forming an army.  The way he looks, I don't know why he'd need anyone else.  Seriously, the guy is jacked!  He's going to need all those big muscles to break the Bat and speaking of breaks...Batman doesn't use them as he slams head on with Bane.  How's that for an entrance?!?

Bane just shakes it off (haters gonna hate) and the issue ends with Bane threatening Batman, Batman looking pissed but puny and a whole bunch of guys with guns surrounding him.  I would have loved to see a full out brawl between Bane and Batman and we may still get it.  However, Tomasi is giving readers a Bane who plans and tips the odds in his favor.  Batman is in real trouble here.

I really like this issue, but it's obvious it's the first one of a new arc.  Tomasi has been building the tension and it's about to explode by the time we hit the cliffhanger.  This issue is mainly setup, but I will never bad mouth setup if it is setting up something awesome.  Bane fighting Batman is awesome so my lips are sealed.

Viktor Bogdanovic continues to impress this guy.  This week he gets to give readers Bane and I think he nailed it.  I can't wait to see him deal out the inevitable action scenes that are sure to come, but I really love seeing him get to do new characters.  I'm sure Tomasi will keep them coming and Viktor will keep giving us great versions of each.

Bits and Pieces:

Bane is in the house and he's big, bad and...big and bad.  Seriously, he is humongous.  Batman has his work cut out for him and the way this issue ends, I'm not sure how he will escape.  Peter J. Tomasi and Viktor Bogdanovic give us the beginning of a new arc and while that means some necessary setup, I really enjoyed everything they gave us.  I want to see the payoff now,


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