Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Batman #17 Review

Be Brave

Written by: Tom King
Art by: David Finch, Danny Miki, Jordie Bellaire and John Workman

Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 15, 2017

Bane may be on his way to Gotham...with a few days to kill, but the first issue of the "I am Bane" arc was pretty damn fun.  I can never get enough of the Robins together and watching Bruce eat a Batburger with a knife and fork...Priceless!  However, it all ended in a messed up scene that couldn't be real, right?  RIGHT?!?!  Do we find that out and do we actually get to see Bane in his own arc?  Let's find out...

We start off with Bronze Tiger and it looks like he's hanging low in a motel, trying to get himself off the venom.  I almost felt bad for him at first, but when he answers his door to something a bit more than room service, I feared for his life.  Just say no, kids!

We then head off to the Fortress of Solitude and see that last issue's cliffhanger wasn't a bait and switch at all.  Batman has brought the bodies of the three Robins for Superman to look after...and stop from waking up and fighting Bane...AGAIN!  Yep, it looks like they tried to help Batman and got their asses totally kicked by Bane.  I did wish we got some more details, but that's probably because I'm a sick bastard.

We then move to Arkham Asylum and see Hush being taken to his cell.  I was so excited to see Tommy Elliot after such a long time (Batman Eternal), but looks were very deceiving here.  Still, I loved the walk through Arkham that mirrored when Batman went through gathering up his Suicide Squad.  I also loved seeing Alfred, Gotham Girl and Psycho Pirate.

We then get a quick interlude that spells a lot of trouble for Selina Kyle before seeing the beginnings of Gotham Girls "therapy".  Psycho Pirate may not be a willing party at this point, but Alfred is there to encourage him.

The issue jumps between scenes pretty quick, next heading off to see Jim Gordon.  His smoking may kill him eventually, but Bane's men want to do it now and they might have if Duke didn't show up.  I was so glad that Duke didn't just leave like he said he would...and so was Gordon!

The scene did end with a bit of a horror movie trope that lead straight into yet another messed up cliffhanger.  Do we get to see Bane?  Is he still naked?  You will have to find that out for yourself, but I will tell you that Batman was right in wanting to face him alone.

This was another really good issue and just flew by as I read it.  Tom King drops the jokes this week and gets down to some really dark storytelling.  While I'm not sure I liked Alfred's method of getting Psycho Pirate to play along, everything else fit so well and led to the great cliffhanger.  I can't wait to see what happens next and that isn't just reviewer 101 talk.

I also really liked David Finch's art.  It had just the right amount of grit for a dark story and looked amazing throughout.  The only real problem I had was the forced full page spread in the middle.  It wasn't the best art in the book and came off as hokey to me.

Bits and Pieces:

Tom King and David Finch return to up the stakes in this second part of "I am Bane"  While the story really is all setup, it sets up some pretty awesome things and leads to another crazy cliffhanger.  The art is fantastic throughout and two weeks suddenly feels like way to long to get the next issue.



  1. Sounds like Bruce caught them before they managed to fight Bane. They were undressed in the cliffhanger of the last issue, and here they're wearing their costumes. Sounds like another misdirect like with Catwoman.

    1. I think they were in the costumes in the cliffhanger...I do think they faced him since batman says if they do it "again". King does play coy though

    2. They were shirtless in the cliffhanger. It seems to me that the fakeout in the cave was a ruse by Bane to get Batman looking over the Robins instead of the others.

  2. I think not getting to know what happened to the Robins bothers me the most. It's not just that they lost, but they were left in the batcave looking dead and hanged. I feel like we should be given a little more info than just that they were beat when they fought Bane.

  3. I didn't get the Robins in the Fortress part until you explained it. How did they go from being hung up to in cylinders at the Fortress? That and all the Caw-ing kept me from liking this as much as I might have otherwise.

    At least King keeps the story moving forward and I did complain before story that we didn't find out what happened to Gotham Girl. So, I'm glad to see where we are with that.

    Do you think adding specific times to the different scenes was to add suspense, or is there more to it?

  4. I really didn't like this issue. I don't think Bane could have taken out all 3 Robins, I hate that batman actually went to superman and said watch my kids while I "Try!" To beat baine, instead of I don't know hey super I'm in a bind here and people could die, can you help at All? Even duke goes back on his word and gets caught by himself even though he could have helped the robins originally. Every one gets caught by Blaine because...oh..REASONS. I CANT comprehend why people are raving about this shit. I wish I could go back in time and punch myself in the face for liking Kings first part of this DooDoo story. I'm done with this arc. I'll come back when it's over and done with.

    1. I'm actually with you on this Anthony.
      Mostly because I'm a Grayson-supremacist , whose sick of former Grayson/Nightwing writers that love to make it look like he could NEVER handle his own against a batman villain (I'm calling out Snyder and King here especially).
      But with gun-kata Red hood and Assassin Prince Robin in the mix , the Trio still couldn't succeed? I call Bullshit.

      Don't get me wrong, the writing and art are great , but i'm over the "God-King" Batman scenario. There's no WAY he could have lifted Clark's Super dense key, so does he have a spare? or did he somehow "hack" his way into the fortress's kryptonian system?

      Sorry, that's not even my point.
      I suppose I understand the need to keep upping the ante on Batman's badassery, but I'm just a bit sick of the "Because I'm batman, and I have a plan for everything" excuse. I mean he had Kryptonite gum in his back pocket just in case Superman attacked on a rainy Tuesday back in end game, or how he miraculously un-broke his own back (never catch me the same way twice!) in suicide. I know its a comic book, but I don't read batman to challenge my own sense incredulity.
      Besides, if he really is the "Master" planner, then how did Bane get off of his island without his notice? How did the Robins get slapped about in his city without his intervention? And Why wouldn't he have had his Gotham A-team (from Detective Comics) keeping an eye out?

      It's not bad writing, but its sloppy, and I expect more from King.