This review contains minor spoilers.
The first issue of Bane: Conquest set an extremely high bar. Not only did it bring back the creative team of Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan to a DC book, but it was also a phenomenal read all round. Now, in part two of “The Sword,” we get down to the business end of the story, bringing two archenemies together in the most unlikely team-up event of the year.
Picking up where the last issue left off, Bane battles Damocles and ends up beating him as expected. However, our Venom-loving friend gets quickly taken out by a powerful charge of electricity. He wakes up in a prison with none other than Bruce Wayne, who reveals he’s also been following Damocles but was captured.
Together, they deduce that the villain must be reporting to someone else. Tired of being kept in captivity, Bane forces an opening for the both of them to escape. As they come to an agreement to find the bad guys together, Bruce declares that they’ll still be enemies after this, to which Bane replies, “you have my word. You will die last.”
Oh, you think Bane is your ally? But you merely adopted… Okay, I promise I won’t paraphrase the legendary quote any further, or you’ll have Tom Hardy’s Bane voice in your head for the rest of the day, but it’s a valid point. There’s no way that the Dark Knight can trust the Santa Prisca monster to stay good for too long. It’s only a matter of time before he betrays, or breaks, him. In the meantime, though, we’re treated to the best tag team since the Hardy Boyz.
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Dixon is having a whale of a time and it comes through in the story. He isn’t thinking of the next big arc or how this tale needs to tie into twenty other titles. No, he knows exactly where this begins and ends, and he’s enjoying himself on the ride. Comic books are meant to be fun, and this is exactly what this narrative is. It’s not grim, dark, or overly serious; it’s a crime caper featuring extraordinary characters, intense action, and mystery. What more could you want?
Like the previous issue, Nolan does what he does best and handles the penciling and inking duties here. The art itself looks like it’s from a forgotten era of decades past, eliciting all the smiles and good feelings I had when I picked up a comic book for the first time. Nolan’s artwork is everything you’d expect and want from a superhero book, and it’s superb on every level.
Overall, Bane: Conquest #2 builds on the solid foundation laid in the first issue and sets us up for even more fun in the series. Seeing Batman and Bane join forces is something special, and the good news is there’s another team-up adventure coming up in issue three. If you aren’t reading this book yet, I suggest you remedy this and pick it up now. It’s worth every penny.
The fun and games continue in Bane: Conquest #2. In this issue, the Santa Prisca monster teams up with his biggest rival, Batman.