[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Tony S. Daniel
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“He’s Batman! I’m Kite Man! Hell Yeah! I’m Scared!” – Kite Man aka Charles Brown.
Batman #76: “City of Bane” continues! Bane has taken over Gotham City, and Batman is nowhere to be found. At least, not a Dark Knight anyone recognizes. Flashpoint Batman is now patrolling the city, dispensing a violent brand of justice and taking out rogue villains who haven’t yet signed on with Bane. It’s all building to a rebellion among the bad guys who don’t want to play along— and distrust in those who do! Meanwhile, a surprising ally has come to Bruce Wayne’s aid, nursing him back to health so that he can get back to his city.
Tom King continues to pen a solid Batman story that is building to a climax with an ultimate confrontation between Bruce and Bane. That being said, how awesome is it to see a Flashpoint Batman patrolling Gotham with Gotham Girl. Arguably she is more powerful than Superman at this point and doesn’t deserve to be “Robin” to his Batman. However, she more than holds her own against Captain Atom and defeats him easily. Gotham Girl is on a “silent timer” and we don’t know when those powers will evaporate and she either dies or loses them. At any rate, she is becoming more powerful that Superman and may tip the table for a while towards the Year of the Villain.
Best thing ever….Tim Drake and Damian Wayne….both in their Robin costumes… observing Gotham from a rooftop in the rain. Through all the years, and all the Robins, these two come together as brothers with Damian seeking advice from Tim. “We have to do something Timothy…What do we do?” If this doesn’t bait the hook for the next issue, what does? I am so glad that Tom King is enriching the Batman legacy by connecting some dots with the Robins. It would be too much to hope for to have a monthly Robin series that features everyone from a new Ric Grayson working with his “sibling” Robins!
Tim’s conversation in the hospital with Captain Atom… how Tim infiltrates into the new Gotham (City of Bane) is admirable, but the sheer rawness of that hospital bed conversation where Captain Atom is in ruins. Great writing! And great art work by Tony Daniel!
So a Bat/Cat reunion…that’s what we want. An incapacitated Bruce in what appears to be a coma on her couch. His neck is bandaged from a deep throat cut. And she is stealing paintings in Paris to fund Bruce’s medical care. “But if you’d just wake up Bat!” She whispers a promise to stop stealing. Is that a tear in her eye? Tony Daniel draws a beautiful Catwoman!
Kite Man (aka Charles Brown)….(who are we kidding here?) Tom King must be a Peanuts fan. You have all this anarchy in the City of Bane and Kite Man is pulled in to the a comic folly. I am still wrapping my head around this embedded character in Batman as it either pokes a bit of fun at Charlie Brown and Peanuts, or it is a great campy device of the 1966 Batman series. At any rate, it may work for some, but it detracted a bit for me.
Again, the artwork alone is worth the price of admission for Batman #76! That cover…remember when you first saw Batman broken by Bane… are we in the midst of another crippled Batman? Or is he out for the count and another of his Robins will assume the mantle? This story is like shoving an octopus into a bag. There are so many ways it can go and you can never be sure. Kudos to Tony Daniel’s art, but also Tom King has penned a special series!