[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Graham Nolan
Colors: Gregory Wright
Bane and Batman join forces (but not for long) in order to take down Damocles, and finally find his mysterious master, Dionysus, once and for all. But can they keep their hands off each other’s throats long enough to succeed?
I’d like to start off with this issue’s cover. We see Bane and Batman running, with the visage of who we later discover to be the mysterious Dionysus. At first I was like “what the f*** am I looking at??”, but once the reveal happened, it pulled the whole cover together. I’m also a fan of Batman’s suit here, with the yellow outlined bat-symbol. Nolan does such great work, and this cover is no different.
Then we get to the very first page. This four-panel spread gets the issue going with a bang, as we see Bane injecting two vials of venom straight into his forehead. This had me exclaiming “HOLY SH**!!!!!” And then we were off to the races as Bane and Batman team up to find Damocles and his master, who they dubbed Dionysus. But Bane makes it very clear, that this collaboration will be short lived, and he WILL take down the Bat. And as a fan of Bane, I would expect nothing less.
We get some great action sequences with Bane steamrolling through Damocles’ men like nothing, in true Bane style. This is exactly the Bane I was hoping for in this series, and it’s the Bane I hope to one day see on the Big Screen.
Bane is the highlight of this issue, as he mows through Damocles’ men, destroys Damocles himself, and even fends off Batman in order to get the chance to take care of Dionysus himself. Dixon and Nolan have reminded me why I love this character so much. I truly hope this team sticks around DC to work on something else after Conquest is done.
I honestly wasn’t all that impressed with Dionysus. Maybe I was hoping for a more formidable opponent, but instead we got a weak, barely human, half man/half machine character that doesn’t seem like he’s much of a threat on his own. And since it looks like the Damocles/Dionysus story may be wrapping up within the next issue, it makes me wonder what will be the focus of the rest of the series. I hope the remaining 8-9 issues take the time to get me invested in one singular story leading to Bane’s (hopefully) inevitable “conquest” of Gotham City and what that will mean for the rest of the Batverse and DC as a whole.
Overall, I really enjoyed this issue. These three issues so far have been great! I’m able to fly through them with ease, and they always leave me wanting more. If you haven’t started this series, do yourself a favor and pick it up now. It’s a great read and truly brings one of Batman’s greatest foes back to where he needs to be.