This is Bane’s first solo series since the ‘90s, and what better way to kick it off than with the creative team responsible for his creation in the first place?
This issue starts with Bane and his team (Bird, Trogg, and Zombie) on a boat just outside of Gotham. The ship they’re chasing has nuclear weapons on board. Bane makes it his mission to create a global criminal empire by getting to the bottom of this planned attack on the city. He won’t rest until he’s atop a world of crime, through conquest!
Dixon’s writing shows us what kind of investigator Bane really is. It’s all about action and violence. The narrative moves quickly with tons of action sequences thrown in. The dialogue is particular and with respect to characters’ personalities. It’s clear that Dixon hasn’t lost any of his talent since being away from DC Comics.
Despite Dixon’s impressive return to Bane, I can’t quite say that I feel sympathetic towards any of the characters. There is no real morale to the story, and we don’t really get to understand Bane’s motivation from the script alone. The character interaction is on point and pushes the story forward, but we don’t feel much while reading except for some nostalgia about Dixon and Nolan working together again.
There are a lot of similarities between Bane and Batman in this issue, though Batman is nowhere to be found. Bane keeps saying he needs people to stop taking what is his, referring to Gotham. I assumed when he referred to “his city,” he meant somewhere in Santa Prisca. He uses a lot of the same tactics that Batman would, and acts somewhat like an antihero in this issue instead of a villain.
Nolan’s pencils give us a retro-style Bane. There is a lot of heavy shadowing with thick and bold line work. Bane looks huge and more vicious than ever, and his character design is definitely one to fit his menacing aesthetic. The colors are dark and lend themselves well to the tone of the story. Nolan plays around with the panel layouts a bit, and it makes for a really interesting looking book; it certainly keeps the eye busy as the story progresses.
Overall, this is an issue that any Bane fan is going to love—especially since the classic creative duo is back in action. It’s worth a read, but I’m hoping that things get a bit clearer as to Bane’s end goal and motivation in the next 11 issues. In the meantime, head to your local comic book shop and read up on some Bane stories to get a feel for the character!
Written by: Chuck Dixon
Illustrated by: Graham Nolan