Updated: Aug 22, 2019
"City of Bane" continues! The last of the independent villains are on the run, leaving Gotham City entirely to Bane and his cronies-including Flashpoint Batman and Gotham Girl! Though this means a semblance of peace on the streets, the iron grip of tyranny is squeezing all life out of Gotham. And with Bane's machinations keeping other heroes out, the city really needs the Batman to return. Is Bruce Wayne ready to face his toughest foes yet...his father and the man who broke his back?
(W) Tom King (A/CA) Tony S. Daniel
Warning: Spoilers for Batman #77
All day yesterday and today I have been watching this book Spike on eBay from cover price up to $25 a book and after reading it, I know why! This story just took an insane turn and we have the death of a major character!
Bane is running Gotham in the wake of an absent Batman. After seeing what Bane and his new Dynamic Duo (Flashpoint Batman and Gotham Girl) have been up to, Damian Wayne, in classic Damian fashion, decides to take matters into his own hands.
Just like the last issue, there are two stories. One in Gotham and one in Paris.
In Gotham, the story centers around Damian as he mounts his one man attack and takes the fight to Bane in a way only Damian Wayne, the grandson of the Demons Head can. His first plan is to subdue Gotham Girl before going after The Flashpoint Batman. I was getting some strong Brightburn/Homelander vibes from Gotham girl. I'm just saying, I think she'd be a more natural choice to do a "Bad Superman" trope in a live action movie or TV show like the new Batwoman after this issue. Next, Damian has to cut through the city and take out all of Bane's forces like Scarecrow and his henchmen on his way to his next target. His grandfather. No, not Ra's al Ghul, the other one- Thomas Wayne, Flashpoint Batman. If you love Damian Wayne, the next scenes with him interacting with Thomas Wayne will remind you why. Damian stays steadfast in calling out this imposter and refuses to acknowledge him as his real grandfather. Damian lets him know, without any compassion, that he read about him in the archives and knows he's the old version of Batman from another world. Damian honestly seems offended he's even calling himself Batman. Damian's words with Thomas remind us that he is his father’s son with how precise they cut and how calculated his sentences are. And just like in the previous arc, Flashpoint Batman inevitably captures Damian after a short fight. Damian's crusade was doomed from the start but even though you kind of knew that going into it, a solo Damian Wayne story is always a ton of fun to read.
On to the Paris story arc. Bruce is still recovering from his defeat by the Flashpoint Batman, both physically and mentally. How hard would that be. In The Button Story Arc, He got to work with his father and even got some fatherly advice before we saw one of the most bad ass "death scenes" by a member of the Bat Family. Now he has to fight him and not only that, he's not good enough to beat him . I’m sure this part of the story was only included to echo Damian's story in Gotham but it really carries some emotional weight as we watch Bruce’s dad fight Bruce‘s son. Bruce has some time to reflect and try to understand what losing to his father means and what he has to do to move forward. By the end of the scene, Bruce has gone from his lowest point to being ready to take the fight back.
Back in Gotham, we catch up with Damian who is tied up to a chair, showing all the injuries inflicted by Thomas Wayne harking back to Jason Todd and the joker as we hear someone begging for mercy. We see Thomas Wayne talking to Damian explaining that even though he is his grandson, there is nothing Thomas can do. This is no longer the city of Batman and with that, Bane enters again. Bane has one line in response to Thomas' dialogue, "This is the city of Bane" and we get sent back to that amazing Tom King run in ReBirth before Catwoman breaks Bane and before he starts using Vemom again. When Bane is a cold, calculating catalyst of destruction. I always forget how smart Bane is but he has to have thought this through, right? This is the one thing NO ONE is allowed to do. You don't touch Alfred. But what does he do? He snaps Alfred's neck with a dead stare fixed on Damian as the young Robin yells and over Thomas Wayne‘s pleas not to do it in front of his grandson. This page was a shock. You're sitting in the room with Damian, Thomas is there, and then all of a sudden with a page turn, you see Bane standing over Alfred. With Bruce in Paris you have to believe he is going to find out fast and, honestly, who knows how he is going to react.
Nate Johnson is a graphic designer and comic enthusiast. He met ComicTom and the ComicTom101 team when he offered a different kind of Comic Karma in the way of a new website (read that story here). He worked on the ComicTom101 website and manages it as well anything else online that has to do with the brand. You can learn more about Nate on his website at www.natemadeit.com and you can follow him on instagram by following @nthnjohnson.