Batman #59 Review - Batman loses his Cookies
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
• Mikel Janin (Cover Artist) • Francesco Mattina (Variant Cover)
Batman #59 picks up immediately following the cliffhanger from the last issue. Penguin reveals that Bane has effectively taken over Arkham and Gotham from his cell.
The comic details the meeting with Penguin but also cuts to the present day as Batman visits Bane in Arkham, actively intimidate the Arkham guards into submission, and then proceeds to beat the hell out of Bane for 20 pages.
This goes on until Batman is interrupted by Jim Gordon. The commissioner claims that Bane is under his direct supervision and couldn't possibly be orchestrating anything. Unable to calm Batman down, Bruce backhands Jim, knocking him to the floor. Jim threatens to put the entirety of Gotham's resources into bringing Batman down if he doesn't leave immediately.
The comic ends with Batman questioning if The Penguin is lying and we get the cliffhanger of Bane laying in an infirmary and smirking at the night's developments.
Tom King lost a lot of ground with the Batman/Catwoman wedding but the issues following have been above average to great. It's a damn shame the man has been review bombed over his depiction of Batman and the events of Heroes in Crisis. I'm way behind in my reviews for the series but with the Mr. Freeze arc, The follow-up with the KGBeast and the current quasi-team-up with Penguin it's clear that Bruce's mental state is in question.
The art direction from Mikel Janin and Jordie Bellaire is great throughout the issue. I really enjoyed the present and past transitions depicting the meeting with Penguin and the lighting for the scenes in Arkham.
The comic is solid but I do have some nitpicks about the writing. I don't like the idea of Batman ever threatening to attack law enforcement. It seems antithetical to the character. I understand that Bruce is under a lot of strain but the idea of him outright threatening to hurt guards is a bit much.
If he had snuck into the cell and attacked Bane without being seen the entire encounter would have made more sense to me. Outside of those general complaints, it's another solid issue. I question, I question the long term planning for the series. I want to believe that Tom has a plan that doesn't involve Batman beating Bane up again. We've seen that story before and during this run.
I'd like the stakes to be raised for Batman and his family and not with just a character getting a new status quo and new series.
Time will tell, I guess.