Every time Batman goes up against Bane, you know it’s going to be brutal. You know he’s not going to escape unscathed…if he escapes at all. Brilliant, calculating and wickedly strong, Bane is one of Batman’s most formidable villains. He’s the only one capable of defeating him in one-on-one, hand-to-hand combat. In their most famous confrontation, he shattered Batman’s back, leaving him incapable of protecting Gotham (or, you know, walking) for months.
Now he’s in Gotham. And he’s very, very mad.
If you’ve been following Tom King’s Batman, you know why. In the last major storyline, “I Am Suicide,” Batman and his informal team of villains infiltrated Bane’s island prison of Santa Prisca and stole the Psycho-Pirate from him in hope that he can restore Gotham Girl’s sanity. And they put a pretty bad beatdown on Bane in the process. (You can read about that right here.)
In this week’s BATMAN #16 by King and artist David Finch, it’s time to pay the piper (or the juiced-up masked behemoth), as Bane comes to Gotham to steal the Psycho-Pirate back and enact a little payback. Bruce isn’t taking any chances, assembling all three living Robins along with Duke Thomas to discuss the seriousness of the situation.
Though they picked a pretty non-serious place to have the discussion…
Dick, Jason, Damian and Duke, unsurprisingly, don’t seem to grasp the gravity of the moment. They’re more interested in debating the merits of “jokerizing” their fries and stealing each other’s toy prizes. But Bruce isn’t having it. Not this time.
Bruce wants all his Bat-allies to leave town. But the Robins have never been the best at following that particular order. And they may very well come to regret it. Permanently.
That evening, as Bruce and Alfred walk Gotham Girl down to the Batcave for her first session with Psycho-Pirate, the three of them make a morbid discovery. It looks like Bane’s left a message for his old enemy.
Um… Those aren’t really the Robins, are they? They can’t be! And do we really need to wait two weeks before we find out!?
This battle has officially escalated. Nothing is safe from Bane. Not the people of Gotham, not the GCPD and certainly not Batman. This one is going to hurt. Make sure you join us for the next chapter of “I Am Bane” on February, 15th to discover just how much.