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Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane (Rebirth) Paperback – September 5, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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“Snyder indelibly defined the Dark Knight’s previous era, but King proves a worthy
successor as he takes over the title for DC’s wildly popular Rebirth initiative.” — BOOKLIST
“[Tom King] crafts an incredible story.” —NERDIST
“A clean, simple gateway into the Batman franchise…” —IGN
“King sets a new stage and tone for Batman and Gotham.” —POPMATTERS
“Sank its hooks into me and kept me thinking about it long after I had finished reading.”
About the Author
Tom King is a comic book writer and novelist, best known for his work at DC Comics including BATMAN, GRAYSON and OMEGA MEN. He often relies on his experience as an ex-CIA agent and experiences during the recent conflicts in the Middle East in his writing, especially apparent in GRAYSON (alongside co-writer Tim Seeley), OMEGA MEN and in SHERIFF OF BABYLON, published under the Vertigo imprint.
Top customer reviews
The art talent is very solid. Finch handles the majority of the art here, but is joined by two others near the end. Finch's Batman continues to look remarkable and fits the story extremely well, aiding King in crafting an action-packed narrative, but not lacking subtlety, either. The cover pages are especially well done, yet do not grossly supersede the quality of the interior panels. In short, Finch delivers consistently good pencils and the inkers and colorists likewise do not disappoint in the slightest. The Swamp-Thing story shifts in stylistic tone greatly, which fits perfectly as ST is a very atypical character in Gotham (discounting Poison Ivy).
As previously mentioned, the writing continues to be engaging and original for the most part. As with volume 2, several pieces of dialogue are repeated almost to the point of annoyance. Bane tells Batman he is Bane enough times that he makes himself almost echo Solomon Grundy's speech pattern. A few other points of the story seemed a little off, for example, Bane rather easily takes out all surviving Robins very easily, but does not kill them. With his hatred and blood-lust so strong for Batman, it was an odd choice on King's part to have Bane leave them alive. I also didn't get the feeling that this was a 'I could have but didn't' moment, either, but of course, I could be wrong. Other than that, the book reads very quickly and cohesively, with enough humor added in to break up the darkness, yet not so much that it feels out of place. There is a major new development between the Cat and the Bat, and while I won't reveal it here, it was surprising, but not nonsensical in terms of character development. King continues to make this Batman his own, yet not an unrecognizable shadow of his former self like some of those OTHER heroes today.
So to sum up, I Am Bane was a genuinely good Batman book. Not earth-breaking, but not entirely predictable, either. Snyder's run seemed to have more of a kinetic, 'out of left feel' energy and style to his narratives, whereas King's seemed to be more about a pattern or rhythm. Both have worked out well thus far, so it's safe to say this is an easy recommendation and makes me excited for volume 4.
All in all a solid edition.
With that said, the story is much more involved than that. There are guest appearances by multiple former Robins and Duke, Superman, and Catwoman. There are plans within plans. There is plenty of action and confrontation. And there is an interesting parallel between the childhoods of Bane and Batman. All of this sets up a crisis of conscience for Batman, and sends him off on a new path in his life.
In addition to the main story, there are several others as well. There is a nice tale about how Bruce Wayne acquires a pet dog, named Ace, and an interesting team-up with Swamp Thing that is deeply philosophical. The best of these stories, though, is the epilogue to the I Am Bane storyline. It involves Batman and Catwoman, and spotlights their relationship. It is told in contrast to a conversation between Gotham Girl and Batman. It is well told, and King does a fabulous job with the characterization. In fact, the characterization in this whole volume, particularly with Batman/Bruce Wayne, is a highlight for me. I feel like King has added to an already storied and iconic character, which is hard to do.
Finally, the ramifications of I Am Bane are sure to be felt for a long time. Bruce has come out of this ordeal a changed man, and I'm anxious to see where King takes him. I highly recommend Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane, particularly to readers who have read the first two volumes in this trilogy. King has risen to the challenge that Scott Snyder left for him on the Batman title. He is well on his way to writing a very definitive take on Batman and I recommend this book to all Batman fans.
I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.