Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Batman #82 Review and *SPOILERS*

Bullet For My Valentine

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2019

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The most recent issue of Batman was a huge letdown. I know quite a few people have become dissatisfied with the King run for a while but for me personally, it was still falling in the middle as far as quality goes. That being said, the previous issue fell far below the middle for me as it was mostly a recap issue with only 4 issues left in King’s run. It was poorly done and extremely disappointing. However, I am still holding on to hope that King’s run ends with a satisfying conclusion. Because of that hope, I am approaching this book with a blank slate and with some luck, perhaps we will be given a much better issue this time around and it will lead us closer to the finish that we are all hoping for. Without further ado, let’s jump into this issue and see where it takes us.

Our issue begins with Batman and Bane face to face. Bane removes his masks and tells Batman to do the same. Bruce agrees and removes the cowl. Back at Wayne Manor, Ventriloquist asks if Thomas Wayne needs anything. Thomas strikes him and tells him that he needs his boy. Back at Arkham, Batman begins to remove his suit and says “no help”. Bane asks about Catwoman and Bruce tells him that she doesn’t have a stake in this fight and she will stay out of it. Bane agrees to the stipulation as he removes his venom tubs and unhooks himself from his rig. In Wayne Manor, we see Thomas walk through the Bat Cave over the bodies of the defeated Bat-Family. In Arkham, Bruce and Bane begin their fight and despite everything that had been said, Catwoman immediately intervenes and the two begin wailing on Bane. Bane confronts Bruce and Bruce admits to lying as he pulls two Batarangs that were assumingly taped to his back, and the battle continues.

As the battle rages on, Catwoman quips with Bruce about how they came up with the plan to use Gotham Girl’s venom in order to overload Bane’s system. However, Bane’s rig would normally be able to compensate for the drug. Catwoman was the one that suggested a frontal attack and Bruce would deceive Bane into taking off his equipment. We then see Thomas and Ventriloquist getting into the Batmobile. Bane is brought to his knees and Bruce tells him that he is dying with the venom in his system and that Bruce can save him if he surrenders. Bane pauses for a moment and recalls his life as a child before raging on and keeping the battle going.

 As Thomas the Ventriloquist travel, Thomas prepares a firearm before they arrive. This time, Bane gets the upper hand on Bruce before he turns his attention to Catwoman. She gets the upper hand for a moment and begins clawing at Bane’s face before he kicks her off into the back wall. As she hits, we hear a loud crack and she lays on the ground, not moving. Bruce uses the opportunity to attack Bane and turns the tide in his favor. He beats Bane repeatedly and eventually lifts him up in order to bring him down on his knee in order to break his back. Before he does, two gunshots ring out and the bullets tear through Bruce’s torso. Bruce falls down defeated. Bane tries to get up but Thomas puts a bullet in him as well, this time it seems he went for a kill shot. Thomas then turns to Ventriloquist and tells him that this is the end and that he needs Psycho Pirate. This is where the issue ends.

Well, while this was certainly better than a recap issue, it wasn’t much better. We get a decent fight scene but once again King is obsessed with his characters talking about their plan after they’ve already begun the plan. It’s not the worst thing to do once and a while but at this point, it is feeling like a trope of King’s writing, and one that he leans on all the time. Aside from that fight though, nothing much happens in this issue. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a comic needs a big long fight scene. It is an action genre after all. However, I don’t know if it’s the artist or something else, but something felt off about the art in this fight. I couldn’t tell you what it was but I know from looking at it over and over that something feels uncanny. The cliffhanger at the end is very intriguing at least.

Bits and Pieces:

One big long fight scene is a pretty common staple of the comic book industry and sometimes they are done very well and other times they are done poorly. This one kind of falls somewhere in the middle. It’s not particularly amazing and the art is a bit weird but we finally have reached a major plot point of this book and we are finally moving forward. To top it all off, we get a pretty interesting cliffhanger to end it all off. This book is heading in the right direction, but I’m worried that it won’t get there fast enough for the finale.


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