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Is It Good? Batman #23.4: Featuring Bane Review

Bane has always been an incredibly strong and cerebral character from the days of his claim to fame by “breaking the Bat” in Knightfall, to Gail Simone’s work on Secret Six, and beyond. But then DC Comics had to go and turn Bane into a mindless muscle bound idiot with his introduction into the New 52 and ruin him.(Did DC actually think people admired the Neanderthalic Bane from the Batman and Robin movie

His recent appearance have been working towards bringing the character back to his well written roots, complete with an army that follows him and portraying him as a master at planning. This issue is a prelude to his arriving in Gotham to take the city for himself and with Batman out of the picture it shouldn’t be too hard. Is it good?

Batman (2011-) #23.4: Featuring Bane (DC Comics)

The issue opens with Bane asking men to take him on in hand to hand combat to see who is worthy to join his army. The majority of the issue reiterates what we already knew, which is his goal to take over Gotham. Batman is gone, but there’s an added obstacle now that Batman’s rogues gallery have taken over sections of the city. It’s an interesting idea that should get everyone excited for Forever Evil: Arkham War. That said, this issue is all set up and Bane posturing, which makes it difficult to truly enjoy.

There’s no fighting in the weight room!

That’s the major issue I have with this comic really, it’s not a story worth telling, but more of a primer for a more interesting tale. Writer Peter Tomasi does a good job outlining his plans and such, but this could have easily been a free prelude comic and been as successful.

Instead we are being asked to pay for something that doesn’t do much more than give us a quickie intro to Bane’s past. Literally one page is used to divulge this information. And to think I thought these villain books were supposed to shed light on the characters. The main plot detail revealed in this issue (Bane taking over Blackgate Prison), is told so offhandedly it’s wasted.

Bane is a hero to his people, unless you’re a child!

Graham Nolan does a good job on art, but nothing to write home about. With so much exposition the script isn’t doing him any favors, and while the story is clear and easy to follow, there really isn’t much action to speak of. Namely it’s dull because the script is dull.

Bloody good panels.


  • Interesting coloring creates atmospheric moments
  • It’ll get you ramped up for the Forever Evil tie-in
  • Bland art with a bland story
  • Aside from a plot development the entire issue is nothing new

Is It Good?

This comic very much feels like an editor insisted on Bane getting his own book because, well, he was in the recent movie so you know sales will be good! It’s too bad, because this character could use some more positive energy since he was cast off a cliff, literally, with his first appearance in the New 52.


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