Publisher: DC Comics
Release: September 5th 2017
Received: Net Galley
Warnings: Animal death/violence
Issues: Batman 16-20, 23-24
I received an advanced copy of Batman Volume 3: I Am Bane from Net Galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I would give this a three and a half star rating, but am rounding up on here.
Batman Volume 3: I Am Bane finishes the Bane plotline (shouldn’t be too surprising there), as well as including a couple of one-shot stories (more on them later). There’s a gap, issues 21 and 22 are not included (presumably they’re in another collection), which also somewhat explains some of the new faces and characters.
Warnings first: There are two scenes that show animal death and/or violence. The first one is somewhat subtle – you see a hawk eating something, but it’s a close up shot so if you don’t think about it too much you’ll be ok (I made the mistake of thinking about it too much). The second one comes up during one of the one-shots. It’s the start of it, but you’ll know it’s coming when you see Ace appear on the issue cover (Ace being Batman’s dog, on the off chance you didn’t know that). Anybody that knows Ace’s background won’t really be surprised by this though.
I wasn’t sure how the Bane plotline would get wrapped up – but I needn’t have been concerned. King did a pretty wonderful job of tying up all the loose ends. The countdown of five days (the amount of time Psycho Pirate needed to heal Gotham Girl) in each issue was pretty brilliant, all things considered. The final showdown involving many of the Arkham inmates was pretty clever – though I’ll admit being a fan of more than one of them I would have liked to see them doing more. But that’s just me being greedy, as per usual.
Included along with the main plot were a few one shots, the quality of which varied pretty heavily (unsurprisingly). The first one had a Swamp Thing Batman team up, and I’ve got to say, it was probably my favorite of this volume (ok, second favorite, Ace always gets number one in my mind). I won’t give it all away, but I will say that it was very well done and entirely worth reading.
I liked the Catwoman one shot less – and before you worry about any bias, Catwoman is one of my favorite villains (she makes it into my top five list at least). It just felt out of place. I think perhaps if there had been more context in either direction it would have felt more at home, so to speak. I enjoyed the conversation between Batman and Gotham Girl – her insight into Batman’s dilemma was a rare sight, and I’m sure greatly appreciated by him.
There are a few pages dedicated to Ace and his story as well – which I love so much. It looks like rather than changing Ace’s story (see Batman Beyond for the full of it) King choose to supplement it, explaining how Ace actually came home and ended up being a part of the bat family. Obviously being a huge of Ace, so I’m biased in his favor (unless his story is completely mishandled).
I had been worried that I wasn’t going to enjoy the Batman Rebirth plot, but so far it’s kept my interest. I can’t wait for Batman Volume 4: the War of Jokes and Riddles to release!