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Batman #23.4 - Dark Destiny Review

3

Now that Batman is gone, Bane is building an army and aims to take over Gotham City.

The Good

Everyone has at least one character they're really looking forward to seeing more of in Villains Month. Bane is without question my pick. Luckily, Peter J. Tomasi shows he has a solid understanding of the character. A remark or two felt somewhat uninspired or cliche, but he conveys Bane's true colors in this issue fairly well. Brutal, merciless, a bold leader -- each attribute is given attention as we're taken through the steps of Bane's plans right before ARKHAM WAR begins.

Despite not being the biggest fan of the villain's redesign, I can't help but smile at some of artist Graham Nolan's work in this issue. As one of the co-creators of the character and the artist in 'Knightfall,' he once again provides a solid understanding of the character with his take on the foe's posture and presence.

I may not dig the new attire, but Graham does it justice more than a few times and his signature style adds a special flair to the book. The final page delivers a strong dose of nostalgia if you've read 'Knightfall' and has me truly excited for what's to come. This upcoming story has a lot of potential, so here's hoping it delivers and then some.

The Bad

Bane punching a little girl in the face felt like it was a blatant attempt to put him a bit too over the top as a merciless dude. His threat alone and the ending would have more than sufficed in showing his true character.

Unfortunately, the retelling of his origin story feels completely forced and if you know the character remotely well, then there's nothing new to discover here. This holds true for the upcoming ARKHAM WAR as well. This just boils down to "here's Bane, here's his army and here's what he wants." It's all stuff we already know (brief reasoning for going after Scarecrow aside) and nothing ever happens to make it feel truly mandatory for the upcoming story. Everything here will likely be quickly addressed or pointed out in the first issue of ARKHAM CITY.

Also, there's a bit of a continuity hiccup. Bane's on the boat when Ultraman moves the moon, however, in FOREVER EVIL #1, Bane is at the meeting in Rhode Island right before that incident occurs. Also -- and please feel free to correct me if I'm totally wrong here -- but shouldn't Ultraman's actions give them an especially rough time at sea?

The Verdict

Bane's issue has all of the ingredients that should make me love it. Bane's my favorite villain, Graham Nolan provides the visuals and I really dig a lot of Peter J. Tomasi's work (I can't praise his opening BATMAN AND ROBIN story enough). Unfortunately, when all was said and done, I ended up feeling like the issue was just covering the basics and never really doing anything more than that. It randomly throws in Bane's origin story for those who don't know him well and everything else leading up to ARKHAM WAR plays out basically how you'd expect it to. It's not a bad comic -- it just doesn't really do much to make it standout, either.

21 Comments
Posted by Wilbertus

Wow, I couldn't disagree more. I felt like this is truly a comic that adds to the character mythos. It portrays him as a hero of Santa Prisca, shows his lust for brutality, and makes him stand out as a fearsome and inspiring leader. Furthermoe, I absolutely loved the scene with the little girl!

It got me really excited for Arkham War, but I felt like it did a lot more than that. Tomasi and Nolan get the character very well and their depiction felt very genuine and contained everything I wanted to see from Bane.

I also wrote a reader review that is a little more elaborate than this comment!

Edited by Superbat420

I loved him hitting the little girl but not going to lie being a big bane fan I was real disappointed with the issue. Not as disappointed as I was with doomsday though

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

@k4tzm4n: why do you dislike the new outfit? I think its great. Everything that makes Bane more like the movie version than a brute in a luchador get up is fine with me.

Apart from Knightfall, secret six and the two minis by his original creators, he hasn't had many great stories so far because most writers don't seem to get him. Its sad, since he is really one of my fave villains.

Edited by TheAcidSkull

Croc. his issue.

read it now.

it's awesome.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@wilbertus: Well, at least we agree on the characterization of Bane! I assume you liked Nolan's art as well?

I loved him hitting the little girl but not going to lie being a big bane fan I was real disappointed with the issue. Not as disappointed as I was with doomsday though

Have yet to read that one. Hopefully I'll disagree :D

@k4tzm4n: why do you dislike the new outfit? I think its great. Everything that makes Bane more like the movie version than a brute in a luchador get up is fine with me.

Apart from Knightfall, secret six and the two minis by his original creators, he hasn't had many great stories so far because most writers don't seem to get him. Its sad, since he is really one of my fave villains.

Bane may appear brutish, but anyone who takes the time to read anything with him knows that isn't the case. I feel his older look was far more intimidating. Now, the tank seems awkwardly put on and the lace shirt just feels... well, odd to me. Movie Bane's assortment had a more militarized feel to it. This doesn't give me the same vibe.

Croc. his issue.

read it now.

it's awesome.

I plan on doing so after my reviews.

Staff Online
Posted by TheAcidSkull
Posted by Saren

Also -- and please feel free to correct me if I'm totally wrong here -- but shouldn't Ultraman's actions give them an especially rough time at sea?

They should have; in the Black Manta issue several towns were submerged by the waves caused by Ultraman moving the moon.

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Posted by _Marc_74

im glad i cancelled, in end only got riddler and what shit that was and hear joker just as bad

Posted by jwalser3

I thought he pushed her, not straight up hit her.

Posted by BR_Havoc

Flipped threw this villains month book but could not stomach to buy it these month has had so many let downs and this looked like another.

Edited by Wilbertus

@k4tzm4n: I absolutely loved Nolan! I feel that to this day he still portrays the character the best, the most genuine if you will. I guess that's one of the perks of being the co-creater!

Posted by mightyrearranger

Continuity and character placement seemed off in the Scarecrow issue as well. One of the drawbacks of having so many writers involved along with the infamous DC editorial staff, haha. I'll have to read the issue to be sure, but to me, it seems like Bane hitting a child is a bit too drastic of a departure from his Secret Six characterization. :/

I still have high hopes for Arkham War though. Once the pieces get moving, it should be a fun read.

Posted by comicbookfan93

Can someone explain why the doomsday issue was so bad?

Edited by Superbat420

@comicbookfan93: just go read it, you'll be strongly disappointed, don't waste your money though just go read it in the comic store.

Posted by Mulder15

This issue was.......eh. Bane was WAY to brutal in it. I'd agree with the rating here.

Posted by mightyrearranger

Now that I've read the issue, I do have to admit that it drew me in a bit. Definitely rooting for the Arkhamites though. Bane's Blackgate backup is somewhat laughable so far. Then again, does Bane need any backup to begin with? :D

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Last week was a bit of disappointment. There few reviews on villains months issue's despite the numbers being put out by DC guess this isn't working well for them.

Posted by mightyrearranger

@the_titan_lord: Idk, this week, the only two that I were nonplussed by were Joker's Daughter and Doomsday.

I had low hopes for Metallo and it actually managed to be a pretty solid read. Parasite's was a pleasant surprise too.

Posted by DuffBrew85
Posted by Dernman

I didn't like the portrayal of Bane and the art hurt to look at.