So read a DC set:
Batman Rebirth Volume 3: I Am Bane
Hmm, this should have worked better than it did. To be fair, King certainly tries his best, the issue where the backgrounds of Batman and Bane are contrasted is a neat one, but on the whole? It wasn’t what it should have been.
I think the problem is the fights lack a sense of peril - at this point both fighters have broken the other’s back - and recovered from it! Now, I’m no doctor but that level of injury ought to be a damn sight more serious than it’s been treated here. This volume takes the preceding one as its cue to ratchet up the injury - so Bane wipes the floor with Batman, but it turns out to be Batman letting him win as distraction. It was neat seeing Bane’s trio of minions initially, though they then got worfed by Catwoman. The final fight with Bane? Doesn’t work for me - an injured Batman scores a few glancing blows but gets utterly decked and then, in response to Bane monologuing, replies with a ‘I’m Batman’ and a super head butt. A head butt so incredibly severe that it is a one-hit KO on Bane! … er…Hmmmm… Are you fuckin’ kidding me? Nope, that’s what it was.
On the plus side, this was an OK resolution to the running Gotham Girl plot, though the issue with them both, though it tried to be an examination of Batman, didn’t really work out either. And then there was that wedding proposal… Superheroes and weddings and the status quo mean I have excellent reason to be extraordinarily sceptical of this move.
All of this may paint the picture that I didn’t enjoy this volume, which wouldn’t be accurate. It was OK, it was nowhere near as bad as the god-awful Detective Comics Volume 2 trade but it didn’t set my world alight either, nor am I that intrigued by the talked of ‘War of Jokes and Riddles’.
Wonder Woman: Volume 3: The Truth
This was a good conclusion to the present day story of Wonder Woman, though there’s a sense of missing pieces that I suspect the fourth trade will remedy.
Rucka’s story was good, but Sharp’s art was even better.
Sixpack & Dogwelder: Hard Travelin’ Heroz
OK, so yes, it never really manages to top the second issue’s complete mockery of the Spectre combined with a I Am Spartacus for Baytor, but this is a fun, very warped six issues that is, more-or-less, the end of the line for this motley crew. Ennis’ scattergun approach hits all manner of targets, mostly through a down-on-his-luck, shadow-of-his-self Constantine. It also covers the origin Dogwelder which is more even more messed up than you’d expect.