Publisher’s Summary: “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?
“Draw a circle on the ground. Then a pointy star. Chat with some demon. Blah, blah, blah, my soul, blah blah, blah. Presto Chango, Abracadabra.”
Batman is still away; his villains continue to play. Gotham City remains pinned beneath the Bane’s fist, and, as it appears, no one, super-powered or otherwise, will be able to take him down. Still, heroes continue to try; this time, Damian Wayne is up at bat, and in true Damian fashion, he’s swinging for the fences.
Damian’s snot-nose, better-than-you attitude adds levity to what is otherwise an intense and dramatic script, and his carelessness…well, the consequences of his carelessness leave the DCU changed. This issue’s final scene–second to last scene if you count the single-page shot that ends the book–will shake Bat-fans to their cores. Saying that I was surprised is an understatement, as King and his creative team have made a bold, mythos-shaping decision that’s left me feeling bewildered. If what just happened actually happened, Batman, the series, and Bruce Wayne, the man, will never be the same.
“City of Bane” is one of the best, and possibly my favorite, arcs in recent Batman history, and its third chapter is a stunning one; Batman (2016-) #77 is bold and intense and leaves the DCU a little colder.