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Forever Evil Aftermath: Batman vs. Bane #1 - Batman vs. Bane: Black Dawn Review

4

Batman's back in Gotham and there's just one man standing in his way: Bane!

The Good

With "BATMAN VS. BANE" slapped across the cover, you should have only one expectation going into this comic: a kick-ass fight between The Dark Knight and the man who once broke his back. Well, writer Peter J. Tomasi obviously gets that and a good chunk of this issue is dedicated to an absolutely brutal and relentless battle between these two characters. The fighting in ARKHAM WAR became a bit of a mess at times due to how many characters were involved, but this one on one is likely to be one of the best melees you'll read all week. Sure, this issue also marks the triumphant return of Batman to Gotham City after the events of Forever Evil (which is a swift and cool segment), but this one's all about punches to the face. Lots and lots of punches. In fact, there's almost 10 pages worthy of combat here. Thankfully, Tomasi doesn't take the beyond cliche "cut the venom tubes!" route with Bane, and even introduces a new method of him taking venom. Handling of the character has kind of been all over the place in the New 52, so hopefully this one approach sticks. If you're also an action junkie, then this is obviously worthy of your money.

Tomasi scripts a fast-paced slugfest and artist Scot Eaton and colorist Hi-Fi most definitely deliver. Watching these two iconic characters clash is a total blast and there's some seriously badass panels that fans of either character are absolutely going to love. Even when the fists aren't flying, the effort to bring every location and character to life is impressive and strikes a fitting style for the book's atmosphere. All in all, it's most definitely a good looking book.

The Bad

The fight is a whopping 9 pages long, and, I know it may sound crazy, but I would have liked a little more from it other than blunt hits and batarangs. Bane's power level has been inconsistent in the New 52, and given his feats in the ARKHAM WAR limited series, it would have been cool to see Batman require a few more tactics or even some displays of advanced technique to eventually overcome the powerhouse. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly fun and I get Batman's beating him at his own game, but as far as Bane vs. Batman fights go, it doesn't take the top spot for me (Legacy has that honor) and a wee bit more variety would have been exciting, especially given Bane's power level in the New 52. Also, it's a little odd to have Batman seem totally fine after what he endured in the fight, but whatever, it's a minor complaint and there's no denying how awesome he appears in that moment, anyway.

Yes, the timing is odd since Forever Evil is still going on and this somewhat takes away from the excitement over the Caped Crusader's return, but it would be unfair to hold that against this issue since it was obviously created with the intention of coming out after the event.

The Verdict

If you saw the cover of the issue and exclaimed, "YES!" then odds are you'll be pretty pleased. Basically, Tomasi gives us exactly what we were expecting: Batman's return and a big brawl with Bane. It's not one of the most elaborate fights around, but it's straightforward, savage, and a damn good time. If you simply want to enjoy a slugfest and see Gotham slowly return to its status quo, it's safe to say you'll be happy with this one. Expect anything more than that and you'll probably finish the read feeling pretty mediocre about it. So, do yourself a favor: shut off your brain and enjoy the punches.

22 Comments
Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

You're definitely right about the book delivering on its title, even if as you said the fight might have gone on a little too long and been too repetitive. Again continuity/timeline issues irk me though - like, Gordon is respected and bringing back the city here but being disgraced, fired, and jailed in Eternal? My brain!

Edited by MarcosVergara14

I have a doubt does FE Aftermath tell about what happened after in the 3 miniseries (A.R.G.U.S., Rouges Rebellion) or just Arkham War?

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

I sometimes wonder if they purposely delayed the last issue, so that when all these comics keep saying "After what happened, things won't be the same" more and more people will want to read that issue. Although I can defiantly believe that Finch would need more time. When he has to rush, his art looks like mud, but give him a proper amount of time, and his art looks like it came strait out of a movie.

Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie
Posted by patrat18

Has to be the #1 fight of the week.

Posted by MarcosVergara14
Posted by GraniteSoldier

Big Bane fan. Hope he gets shown some respect in squaring off with Bruce.

Posted by vaf2675

It just irks me that we have an aftermath story to a story who's end we have yet to see.

Posted by dondave
Posted by Brione

Again continuity/timeline issues irk me though - like, Gordon is respected and bringing back the city here but being disgraced, fired, and jailed in Eternal? My brain!

This happens before Eternal, this is right after Forever Evil.

Posted by RaggedScarecrow

If I had to describe the issue in one word, I'd go with inoffensive. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the word, but there was nothing really engaging about it either, which is too bad really because I know Tomasi can do better.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@dondave said:

@granitesoldier You might be a little disappointed then.

Ugh, really? They aren't demoting him back to jobber status are they? Bane gets no respect anymore.

Posted by dondave

@granitesoldier: Batman took him down in H2H despite having just injected himself with Venom.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@dondave said:

@granitesoldier: Batman took him down in H2H despite having just injected himself with Venom.

Well, you may have killed my excitement for this book now.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@dondave said:

@granitesoldier: Batman took him down in H2H despite having just injected himself with Venom.

To be fair, he needed to pummel his head with a statue.

Posted by brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie

@brione: Yeah duh. But aren't both of them supposed to be taking place post-FE?

Edited by Brione

@brinkthemoviemyfavoritemovie:

Yeah they're both after FE but this comic is right after FE ends, it seems like the next day. There are some stories in between this and Eternal such as the story in Detective right now, Icarus and the Two-Face arc was after FE because Two-Face dies at the end of that arc but alive during FE.

Posted by dannymalt

Totally agree with the reviews negatives. Batman was getting slammed with these huge metal objects by Bane, and was perfectly fine. And Batman did nothing to outsmart or special to take Bane down, he just out punched him. Batman has no super powers or super strength, I don't think he should be able to beat the super powered high on venom Bane in a sheer slugfest.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Totally agree with the reviews negatives. Batman was getting slammed with these huge metal objects by Bane, and was perfectly fine. And Batman did nothing to outsmart or special to take Bane down, he just out punched him. Batman has no super powers or super strength, I don't think he should be able to beat the super powered high on venom Bane in a sheer slugfest.

This is always such an amazing thing to see. Cool, glad we're on the same page!

Edited by feedonatreefrog

This was awesome.

Hardy-Bane interacting with Gothamites is really entertaining, as was the Bat's return to Gotham.

The fight was great too.