Brutally entertaining and deceptively thought-provoking, Tom King’s Batman #18 is a triumph of modern ‘superhero’ fiction—a comic book tour de force reminiscent of the great Victorian tale of human duality: Robert Louis Stevenson’s, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and while the Batman/Bane foil may not be perfect—it’s damn near close.
Aside from the fact that Batman and Bane aren’t one in the same (like Jekyll and Hyde) the similarities are there—the depth is there; these two men are essentially cut from the same cloth, but since their paths were riddled with challenges unique to their individual situations Batman and Bane ended up in wildly different places, as wildly different men…or so it may appear at first look. In reality, Bane and Batman aren’t all that different, in fact, Batman isn’t all that different from any of his villains and that’s why Batman’s villains are some of the most compelling villains in the business.
But I’m going to stop there, because I have a feeling that this ‘review’ is slowly turning into a thesis paper that will eventually end with me saying something like, “Comics ARE Literature Goddamn it!”
Issues like this are the reason that I am passionate about comics, so thank you, Tom King, David Finch, Danny Miki, Jordie Ballaire, and John Workman, thank you very much.
Back to the review…
So what’s Batman #18 about?
From that opening, I am sure that you’re already aware that I very much enjoyed reading Batman #18 and will absolutely be recommending it to you, but I’ll say it again anyway, this book was amazing, and you need to read it. Throughout the issue, King does a wonderful job creating a side-by-side telling/re-telling of Bane and Batman’s unique—yet surprisingly similar—back stories. The emphasis placed on properly foiling hero and villain here pays off.
David Finch’s art in Batman #18 is some of his best to date. Finch’s Bane, is now my Bane. The amount of gritty detail that Finch incorporates into Bane is astounding, and there is nothing that I like more than seeing a ripped, Venom-fuelled Bane kicking the living hell out of Batman. Just take a look at the detail in the preview page below—look at Bane’s hand—it’s absolutely amazing.
Batman #18 is everything that I want in a Bane-centric Batman comic and more. Please read this comic.