Writer: Tom King
Artist: David Finch
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: DC Comics
Bane has entered Arkham Asylum. And he is angry.
Batman and Bane haven't been at it like this in a really long time, and their battle continues inside Arkham Asylum as Batman has recruited his villains to stand guard for him in return for improved imprisonments.
The fact that Bane just slices through them like butter is a supreme testament as to how impressive Bane is as a Batman villain. Batman doesn't have many villains that can go through dozens of inmates, overpowering each of them whenever they try, while still retaining the will and the rage to carry on. Bane can only do that, as evidenced in his childhood flashbacks last issue. He's been through worse.
All badassness aside, some of Bane's dialogue became a bit laughable. His proclamation of "I am Bane" and all its variations made me laugh as the issue went on. I understand that he is Bane, and I know he's Batman's most deadly foe. I shouldn't be surprised at what he's doing given last week's absolute pummeling of Batman. Obscure villain Maxie Zeus also makes an appearance, and his dialogue felt a bit contrived as well.
The true star of the show here is David Finch. Finch has grown tremendously as an artist in recent years. His work on this arc alone is some of the best work I've ever seen of his. You could remove all word balloons and completely understand what is going on in this issue. Such is Finch's art; it speaks for itself, and has a clear direction and movement. Jordie Bellaire's colours capture the stark yet grim feel of Arkham.
A Bane-centric issue is what we needed to really add more dimensions to the character, as well as fleshing out his perspective of this story. I can't help but understand where he's coming from based on his story. Finch's art was beyond excellent, but King continues to add little details with his dialogue that I didn't feel mattered in the end, and somewhat detracted from the overall story presented here. I shouldn't be giggling when Bane is very seriously crushing bones.