COMICS REVIEW: Bane's mindgames continue in "Batman #71, The Fall and the Fallen, Part II”

Written by Tom King, Art by Mikel Janin & Jorge Fornes, Colors by Jordie Bellaire, Cover by Andy Kubert

"Batman #71" cover art by Andy Kubert

In this issue, the fight continues against Bane’s master plan to break Batman again, this time psychologically instead of physically. The issue opens with Batman commandeering Gordon’s rooftop spotlight and sending up a red Bat-signal, which the members of the Batman family realize is muy, muy BAD. The all-hands-on-deck alert is spread.

The team assembles and Batman tries to tell them all what he’s been going through at the hands of Bane, including meeting his father as an alternate Batman (from the Flashpoint timeline), but they confirm Bane is still comatose at Arkham Asylum and think he is having a breakdown as a result of Catwoman jilting him at their wedding. He is clearly not in full control of himself, as the last page shockingly shows.

The art by Mikel Janin and Jorge Fornes continues to look very un-Janin-like. The last few issues have featured art that morphs from one style to another—Francis Manapul-esque here, David Mazzucchelli-like there—perhaps reflecting the effects of Scarecrow’s hallucinatory drug. Maybe when the effects of the drug wear off, the art will look like the precise, smooth Mikel Janin we know and love once again?

a FANTASTIC splash page by Janin and Bellaire

This issue felt like it was over no sooner than it began. Why do most comics these days feel like this? Perhaps it’s because some issues, like this one, have so little dialogue, so few words to read, that the pages flip by faster and it’s over so quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you've gotten your money’s worth. But with King and Janin on the job, you know you will.

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