Review – Batman #20 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Artwork: David Finch
Release Date: 5th April 2017

If there is one thing that this comic perfectly encapsulates, it’s the spirit of not going in for half-measures.

I’ve often accused BATMAN of being a compromise title. Neither providing Tom King’s vision, nor that of whatever artist is on art duty that particular month. That perception has most definitely changed with “I am Bane”. This has been a muscular, bruising and – despite the chapter length running to 5 – a surprisingly lean tale. King and Finch have clicked, delivering an action-filled, brutal examination of Batman and his Venom-fueled foe.

Building upon decades worth of imagery (yes they have used that image), the book plays upon reader anticipation and gives fans the bloody, savage and frankly gratuitous slugfest they have been waiting for. While King’s story plays lip-service to character development, BATMAN still noticeably lacks the subtlety and nuance of THE VISION or THE SHERRIFF OF BABYLON.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to love here, not least a stunning Tim Sale cover (Come on DC! Reunite Sale with Jeph Loeb!), and Batman gets a rousing scene which I will only describe as his “Do you think this stands for France?” moment – surely the contender for superhero splash page of the year.

This is a fun read.  It’s not YEAR ONE, LONG HALLOWEEN or DARK KNIGHT RETURNS good, but if you are looking for superior superhero entertainment with great visuals, this is as good a place as any to start.

Rating: 4/5.

[Click to Enlarge]

The writer of this piece was: Craig Gorman.

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