Even though I figured out Bane was behind all these supercharged villains three issues ago, the buildup to his New 52 introduction was well worth the wait. Although nearly the entire Batman rouges gallery has made an appearance in these first six issues, I was excited to see Bane. The Dark Knight is shaping up to be one of my favorites of the New 52, in spite of my disappointment with the title before the reboot.
After a rather heated and nearly deadly battle with Superman, Scarecrow‘s toxin seems to have run its course in Batman’s bloodstream. Still dazed from the fight, Batman is able to deduce that it was only being pushed to his limits by Superman was he able to survive the toxin’s effects. He sends Superman after Flash who has also been exposed to the toxin and has been trying to outrun its effects.
Batman follows White Rabbit to Scarecrow but somehow he knows that the truth behind the toxin has yet to be revealed. He quickly and efficiently captures and incapacitates Scarecrow only to be suddenly and viciously attacked the man who has been pulling the strings from the very beginning…Bane.
“Look at you…you knew in your heart I’d kill you the first day you ever encountered me. Lie to me. Tell me you’re not afraid.”
“I’m not afraid of you Bane…never was.”
Regardless of my glowing admiration and general acceptance of this title, there are a number of flaws with it. The good far outweighs the bad in this case, but I am still bothered by a few things. I have yet to figure out how or why White Rabbit is even relevant to anything in this story. Other than letting Batman chase her around, her lack of clothing and spouting off some nonsensical crap about Alice In Wonderland, she is no more than a distraction so far. I certainly hope writer Paul Jenkins has more in store for her than just being Bane’s arm-candy. If she is Harley Quinn to Bane’s Joker, then Jenkins has failed so far.
Another thing that has bothered me is Batman’s call to the Justice League for help and the subsequent appearances of Flash and Superman. This is typically un-Batman like behavior for him to ask for help from anyone. Especially with the common foes he’s taken down time and time again. Now this sounds very contradictory to my opening paragraph, but in spite of all that, I am enjoying this book.
I am hoping and praying in the next few issues that Superman doesn’t show back up to save the day. That would be far too predictable and way to cliché for Big Blue to bail Batman out in the finale of the story arc. Maybe some tie-in with the Court of Owls would be in order. I think Bane is one of the most fascinating of recent Batman villains and he deserves a story line that doesn’t include him squaring off with Superman at the end.
When it’s all said and done, I really do enjoy The Dark Knight. Jenkins has done a good job with it so far and would continue to do so, if he doesn’t allow himself to fall into predictable plots and having Batman do things so far out of character.
Batman: The Dark Night #6
Written by: Paul Jenkins – Art by: David Finch – Inker: Richard Friend