Saturday, July 8, 2017

Comic Book Review: Bane:Conquest #3, "The Sword, Pt.3"

By: Jerry Montgomery
July 8, 2017

Bane: Conquest #3
“The Sword, Pt. 3

Written by: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Graham Nolan

Batman and Bane's uneasy alliance continues in issue 3 of Bane: Conquest! That's right! The team-up you probably thought you’d never see has been made possible by creators Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan. Credited with helping to create a new, formidable and epic villain for Batman back in the 1990's,  they are back for an all new adventure of Batman and his breaker…and vice versa since Bane, in turn had his back broken, albeit, indirectly by the Batman at the end of “I Am Suicide” storyline in Batman, when he stormed Bane's island stronghold,  Santa Prisca to capture the Psycho Pirate. It would seem both are willing to overlook these facts to find out who’s behind an all new threat to Gotham City.

The story arc began with Bane uncovering a shipload of
weapons headed to “his” city, Gotham, claimed by him by right of power as opposed to Batman's right of birth. The mysterious figure only known as “Damocles” has planned to come to the city with the intent of arming it's criminals and starting a new underworld movement in Gotham which borders on being a cult. Bane sets out to find Damocles and his ship and winds up getting captured by him instead. After being separated from his venom and defeated by Damocles and his men, Bane is thrown into  the villainous organization’s prison…or some kind of prison-like holding area that houses other captured individuals. It's here that he discovers that his old enemy, Bruce Wayne has already been there. Batman too was on the trail of Damocles, having learned of him from the deep web and was captured. Bruce tries to warn Bane of the security and surveillance of the prison but to no avail and Bane is put through the tortures of his captor in an attempt to break him. It is here that the alliance of Batman and Bane is forged.

Breaking out of their prison and making their way to the heart of Damocles’ compound after fighting through scores of henchmen to do so, Bane agrees to find their captor while Batman searches for the person who is really in charge. Afterwards, they can resume trying to kill one another. Batman opposes Bane's lethal methods but reasons with him to go easy, lest there be no one left to get any information from and that's really what it all boils down to. Taking down the whole organization of Damocles and if his organization follows mythology, his master, Dionysus. After all, Batman uncovered a global reach of this fledgling criminal empire, so they must follow the trail and find the head of the snake.

Issue #3 picks up the carnage of Bane that he has wrought through the ranks of Damocles’ men. Mowing down man after man with murderous intent compared with the entirely different methods of Batman. Siding with Bane however, knowing firsthand of his methods, is Batman morally better than the monster he has allowed to create havok in order to complete his own mission? That is the ultimate question here yet is not fully explored
as the focus here is really Bane. After all, the series is called Bane:Conquest! The question for Bane is why settle for Gotham City when you can have the whole world? The events that transpire here look to reshape the legacy of Bane into a globally wide influence rather than one focused on just one city. What of the alliance made with Batman?  There's still 9 issues to go in this limited series, so anything could happen. With a character of one such as Bane, could he become a sort of anti-hero or is he too…evil? He's often been compared with having many characteristics and qualities of that of Bruce Wayne which in turn, make him the perfect antagonist for the protector of Gotham City. Can you take Bane from the Bat without taking the Bat out of Bane?

The Verdict: Once again, a pretty solid issue for your standard comic book fare but if you're looking to find out more about the motives and psyche of Bane, you'll be disappointed. There's nothing new here. The team writer/artist team of Nolan and Dixon have delivered another retro-styled book featuring a character that they've been credited with helping create. If I  didn’t know any better, I would've guess this issue to have been plucked right out of the 1990's! As for continuity, there doesn't seem to be any since, when we last saw Bane, he was a beaten down lump lying at the foot of Batman. His fate has yet to be unexplained and Conquest appears to have ignored it as well. If you're a fan of this creative team of Nolan and Dixon and craving a little 90's nostalgia, then this issue is for you. I know when I first learned of this limited series, I was excited to possibly get a better look inside the mind of one of Batman's greatest foes, but that has not been the case so far. This issue has little meat to it especially for a $3.99 cover price.

No comments:

Post a Comment