Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin, June Chung and Clayton Cowles
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Published by: DC Comics
The Biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from this series is that Tom King likes his Batman vulnerable and against the wall, and I love it. One of the biggest face off in the 90’s is now back, but this time we have a diffirent bane, a more in control logical thinking bane with no venom which is basically Knightfall bane. Batman #10 brings the Dark Knight of Gotham from the manic hell confines of Arkham Asylum(Review on issue #9) to the northern Mexican island of Santa Prisca; home to the prison of Peña Dura, as well as the man who rules the country and broke the Bat – Bane.
Lets jump right in with some sky action…
Batman #10 starts strong, with the titular hero engaged in an aerial dogfight as he attempts to touch down on Santa Prisca and retrieve Psycho-Pirate from Bane. Unfortunately, this sequence is also the start of some questionable dialogue, which prevails throughout the remainder of the issue. When referring to Psycho Pirate, Batman says, “I need him to save someone who needs to be saved,” an unrefined sentence plagued by redundancy. And that continues with a warning from Batman that Bane either hand over Psycho Pirate or have his back broken. Thus begins this issue’s bizarre fascination with broken backs. Batman repeats that warning so many times it becomes a sort of mantra. It actually leaves the reader to wonder if Batman is either strung out on something or controlled?(lol) or hallucinating or possibly some sort of malfunctioning robot. It’s just weird in my opinion but I like the take on it.
This is where Tom King Excels in this issue. There is a very cool storytelling technique used throughout the issue where we are reading narration in what appears to be passages from a letter. This certain someone essentially narrates the issue in the form of a letter to Bruce explaining why she landed herself on Death Row. It serves as a poignant exploration of the relationship between the two characters and the divergent paths their lives took. It’s pretty clear that this arc needs to shed more light to this character than to Batman himself and more to his new team member.
Continuing on, we then have him take on the army in hand to hand combat which looks like suicide when you see the scale of the army once he was shot down. Once he was finally beaten to the point of crawling, Batman is thrown into the prison to be greeted by the man who broke the bat, Bane.
The classic foes of this arc meet each other in bane’s lair and staying on topic in this issue, it’s a dangerous meeting of brawn that could of turned deadly if bane wanted, that ends with the bat down and out on his knees. We then pan forward to bane dragging the bat to his cell where bane had to survive for 17 years. I really don’t want to say too much because what happens next in the cell is only someone like the bat could accomplish.
Mikel Janin does a great job on art, and he covers a lot of distance. Whether it’s the Batplane in a dogfight ripping over the water and through the clouds, or the inside of the prison where Bane dwells in the shadows. The art is fantastic. The explosive nature of this sequence is further emphasized by Chung, whose vivacious palette selection lights up the page like a war zone on the Fourth of July. A blend of pastel-like of colors and a heavy dose of saturation, exploding from the panels in a blaze of glory. June Chung does a beautiful job on colors of switching between the dull dark shades of the prison and the bright scenes outside. The way Mikel and June perfectly draws Bane colored as a being , muscular, toned, basically portraying him as a being to have God-Like power.
Batman #10 is a good read! It’s always good to see Batman and Bane, perhaps one of the most dangerous rivalries in comics to date, go at it! There’s also a new surprise about Bane and his addiction to Venom that I hope King explores more in the issues to come. Batman has always played on the deep end, but it seems with every issue Tom King is raising it a notch and I can’t wait to see what the dark knight and his suicide squad does next.