Bane is a character that I have long felt has been under utilized. Created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan Bane debuted as the one person to truly outwit and literally break Batman. Since then it has seemed like DC didn’t know what to do with him anymore. Bane Conquest changes that.
Back in the hands of two of his creators Bane is once again living up to his potential. With an interesting team of unsavory types assembled under him Bane is once again trying to take down a giant. This time rather than a bat he is hunting snakes. That’s right, the massive and longtime bigshots of the DC criminal underworld, Kobra have become Bane’s latest target.
I got excited when I saw that Chuck Dixon was doing the writing honors as I am a huge fan of his work, especially on the Bat books, and he created Bane so the character is more personal to him and it shows. What I read was a story that for the first time in many years, for me anyway, made Bane a relevant character who I cared about and wanted to see more of. I will definitely be continuing to read this series.
Something else that gave the book a nostalgic feel for me was Graham Nolan’s art. Visually he took me right back to the breaking of the bat and erased every sub par Bane story since. Bane was home again.
Even having jumped in at issue #6 I did not feel lost story-wise. Dixon made sure the reader was informed, even describing Kobra’s background briefly and describing how the organization chooses its leader, the Naja-Naja.
Despite giving a lot of information and background action is in no short supply as Bane takes on the Naja-Naja himself in an attempt to kill him and destabilize Kobra. The plan is to locate and get to Kobra’s next leader before they do. The plan does not go without a hitch when Kobra forces arrive to defend their leader. I look forward to seeing more next issue.
Bane Conquest is a book that is worth your time to read, especially if you were a fan of the character when he first debuted way back in January of 1993 when Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 hit comic shelves and promised us a different kind of super-villain. If you have avoided this book because of the erratic treatment of Bane in the past then it’s time to look to the future and enjoy a great book.
Story: 4.5 stars
Art: 3.5 stars
Overall Rating: 4 stars
(W) Chuck Dixon (A/CA) Graham Nolan