Batman successfully breaks into the prison Santa Prisca, in order to extract the Psycho Pirate and take out Bane. But Bane has seized control of the prison and oversees all who enter and exit. In the middle of all of it, Punch, Judy, and Bronze Tiger all have their own agenda. And the deadly and addictive enhancement drug “Venom” is part of it all. Batman, Bane, Catwoman, The Ventriloquist, and Psycho-Pirate finally all converge. So concludes “I Am Suicide” the second arc of DC’s new Batman, part of the Rebirth relaunch of all of its books.
“I Am Suicide part V”
Publisher: DC Comics
Written by Tom King
Penciled by Mikel Janin
Inked by Mikel Janin and Hugo Petrus
Colored by June Chung
Last month’s issue of Batman was one of the best modern takes on the character I had ever read. And not so much the plot/chapter of the story, but the brutal reveal and characterization brought to Bruce Wayne. This issue, unfortunately, is a slight step down. Not that it’s terrible, as Tom King continues to be one of the best writers working in mainstream comics today. It’s just that after issue #12, this just seems a bit anti-climactic. The use of The Ventriloquist is great though and the small detail that not even the Psycho-Pirate can control him definitely elevates the character. Seeing Bane get taken down by Catwoman was also a nice touch. I also felt the scene with Amanda Waller in the Batcave broke up the narrative drive a bit, and could have been done as an epilogue instead. I also would have enjoyed seeing more use out of Psycho-Pirate, as it stands he felt a bit much like a loaded gun that never goes off.
Mikel Janin, Hugo Petrus,and June Chung seriously can do no wrong at this point. The art continues to be a big highlight on this title, and it’s probably the best looking of all the Rebirth titles. There is a maturity, design, and structure to the layouts and formats that give it an elegance that is unique. And although there are less flashy moments in this concluding chapter, it’s still gorgeous. This team brings out at a great atmosphere to the writing.
This is still a solid book and a must read for Batman fans. The creative team is obviously laying groundwork for a long, slow burn story yet still dropping in enough attention to details and characters to make it rich and filled with substance. It’s not boring by any means, but there is a meatiness and seriousness to this title that I haven’t found in any of the other Rebirth titles. I will continue to read Batman as long as King, Janin, Petrus and Chung are all involved. Let’s see where the next arc takes us.