Do you know whose city this is? (Batman #80 Comic Review)
Writer: Tom King
Pencils: John Romita Jr.
Inks: Klaus Janson
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
City of Bane is now off of its 2 issue break. Previously the story focused on Batman’s rehabilitation and reconnecting with Catwoman. In Gotham city currently, the new Batman is Thomas Wayne (from the Flashpoint universe) and the police force is completely controlled by the rogues gallery. Bane is the current ruler of Gotham and has a strict rule about any of Batman’s former allies entering the city. When Damian Wayne entered (under the instruction of Batman) he was captured and Alfred was murdered. In this issue, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle finally return to their home.
The story in this comic is pretty simple, Batman and Catwoman come back to Gotham to immediately take names and kick ass. There is an update of where some of the rogues are stationed (Pyg, Two-Face, Kite Man, Mad Hatter) and none of them last more than a few pages before they are taken out by Batman or Catwoman. There is still a build toward Batman putting on his costume again as he first infiltrates the city in a Matches Malone-like disguise. There is also an update on Thomas Wayne and Gotham Girl’s relationship. Something seems to be going on where Thomas feels the need to protect Gotham Girl and even asks her to stop using her powers (they will eventually kill her), and blames Bruce Wayne for her suffering. The issue itself ends on one hell of a cliffhanger that I would normally assume would continue in a certain way, but with how this story is going it is tough to predict.
After a couple of issues of Batman and Catwoman hanging around, and saying each other’s names a lot, the change of pace here is more than welcome. While some might see the story here as light I appreciated the fast pace of this comic. Seeing Batman take down the rogues in a gauntlet was satisfying and fun. The way Tom King wrote the story you could feel the fear the villains felt when they realize Batman has returned. It was just a really fun and tightly paced comic. Thomas Wayne’s moment with Gotham Girl did more to connect the two characters, than the last two issues of Bat and Cat. King also leaves the issue on a heart-stopping cliffhanger, and normally you would know exactly what would happen next. However, with how many twists and turns that have already happened in City of Bane, I would not put it past Tom King to pull another drastic change to the Batman status quo. I am looking forward to where the series goes from here and happy to have Batman and Catwoman back in Gotham.
John Romita Jr is at home working with colorful villains. He and his father made names for themselves working on Spider-Man’s colorful cast of characters. When JRJR gets to work on Batman the work is just amazing. You could see the energy of the page and how much fun he was having getting to play in Batman’s sandbox of rogues. Klaus Janson provided the inks here, and he is an industry legend. The team working together with Tomeu Morey created some of the best artwork seen on the current run of Batman to date. Having this team on the book also helped change the pace towards something far more enjoyable than what has come recently.