Patience is a virtue ...
The waiting game is tough. And it's definitely a fine line to walk in the comic book industry. A writer can lay all their cards on the table and give the reader everything they want right from the git-go. But where's the fun in that?
But really, who is The Batman?
Tom King has crafted a story in this newest Batman series by doing a solid case study of our main protagonist, Bruce Wayne. Over the last 20 issues, we have learned that Batman has given up his life completely in exchange for the endless battle against crime in Gotham City. This is no new story, as any average Joe on the street will affirm. But King has found a way to serve us the same old dish, but in a totally new and inventive way. Bruce Wayne is no longer Bruce Wayne: He is suicide. He is Batman. He has killed himself and any amount of self identity that he had left and replaced it with The Bat.
What's going on, and does it really even matter?
The events that take place in Tom Kings story are almost secondary or at times even tertiary. Yes, Batman is fighting with Bane again. Yes, there are all sorts of familiar villainous faces in the pages of this comic book series. But what's more important is the way Batman reacts to all of the all of the conflicts. Bane is back to his old tricks, but we're experiencing those events through flashbacks that Batman is having. We're learning more and more about what it was like growing up for him. Why he feels the need to so recklessly throw himself at death any chance he gets.
But I digress
In the events of the Batman: I Am Bane story arc, Batman inevitably beats Bane and recovers Psycho Pirate to save Gotham Girl. If that's all the reader was concerned about when picking up this book, then it seems like a pretty empty story. But to this reader, the more important thing to consider is what we learned about Batman along the way. I always knew that his parents died, he dedicated himself to fighting crime, on and on and on. But I did not realize the level of psychological disfunction that Batman deals with. I think it's really easy to brush this story off and call it just another Batman story with simple events, conflicts, and resolutions. But in my humble opinion, Tom King has given us a super in depth look at Bruce Wayne that I, as a pseudo-new-reader of DC Comics, have not seen before.
Oh, and last but not least, the art ...
Last thing I'll bring up in this long tangent of an article. The artwork, as of the I Am Bane story arc, was absolutely breathtaking. It reminds me of when I first picked up Jim Lee's X-Men stuff. This epically constructed art grouped with Tom Kings introspective storytelling makes for a compelling read that belongs up in the ranks with Hush and The Killing Joke. I give the Batman Series so far a ...