Wednesday, April 5, 2017

SPOILERS: Batman #20

Tom King gives Bruce Wayne what is probably the least controversial middle name you could ever give Bruce Wayne... Oh I guess Bruce and Bane are still fighting too.

The Spoilers:

Laced with narration of the entire story of this book so far, Batman and Bane have their final fight in the halls of Arkham. The story being told outside that fight goes from Bruce's death wish that he's got under Tom King (which is a bleak style to Batman that I enjoy), his hopes for Gotham and Gotham Girl being heroes that could break a cycle he doesn't see himself breaking, and then the tragedy that came afterwards.

When all is said and done, we find out that the narration is from a vision, dream, similar setting Bruce has speaking with his mother. When Bruce finally puts Bane down, we come back to the vision where Bruce said him wanting a good death and seeing this situation as a means to it wasn't what this was all about, instead it was as simple as this: Gotham Girl, Claire, she needed help and he intended to give it to her. That's all. And with that, Martha tells Bruce Thomas (see?) Wayne that she's proud of him. 

The Opinion: 

So the positive first. I thought Bane telling Bruce item by item of how bad he's going to fuck his shit up and continue to do so, was so god damn threatening. I love Tom King's pissed off Bane. David Finch, Danny Miki, Trevor Scott and Jordie Bellaire were all on point. The team behind Finch is making his stuff shine like never before, in my opinion. 

So the bad... I thought this ended way too abruptly and lacking a sense of finality to it. A good chunk of the issue is recap, which I didn't really need, but the saving grace is that the Martha narrative framing ends up being an interesting device. Tom King definitely takes chances with narrative devices like this and I really end up enjoying them... But at the end of the day, this entire arc, that has been so intense, just ends with Batman getting his fucking ass kicked, then one page says "I'm Batman," he headbutts Bane, and that's it. The end. Issue is over. Arc done. 

It's really unsatisfying. There's so many more questions left unanswered... and then that's when you realize there's a two issue crossover with The Flash coming up, then an epilogue issue to this arc, which will probably address a lot of my problems here. 

Kind of shitty, but whatever. I loved this arc and how pissed off Bane was. I've been never as invested in him as a pure force of pain towards Batman like this before. So that was great when all is said and done.


  1. I do like how the past few story arcs have all tied together with Batman affected by Gotham's death and desperate to save Gotham Girl. But I do agree that it is a bit abrupt as an ending. I wish there would be a breather issue, rather than just going into the Watchmen stuff so soon.

  2. What left me cold was that I don't think Bane was tied into all of these themes of death really well! It's a small criticism but it makes me think of Scott Snyder, and how much I appreciate how he always clearly stated why each villain mattered!

    1. I think Bane represents death for Batman more than any other villain because Bane is the only one who has thoroughly broken him. Bane is this supposedly unstoppable juggernaut of force whose one mission in life is to break people. And as we saw in this issue, he's capable of running Batman very nearly to the ground (though his overconfidence is his weakness).

  3. Very poor writing. Batman took down Grundy easily in "I am Gotham", yet here...again...and...again...he can't lay a finger on Bane, or avoid being pummelled? He's supposed to be a great fighter, and one of the cleverest people in the DC Universe!! He didn't know stealing Psycho would bring Bane to Gotham? Please stop writing Batman as a dimwitted schmuck who can only beat back alley thugs.

    1. Grundy is mindless, where Bane is a master strategist. Also, Bruce says he knew that bringing Psycho Pirate to Gotham would bring Bane, but he took that risk because he needs to save Gotham Girl.