There's a fight in a pit, Bane gets bit, and the artwork is awful shit in this thirty-eighth issue of DC's weekly Batman (dis)appointment. Batman takes on several of his rogues gallery at the Willowwood Home for Future Villains, Croc gets vengeance for a previous slight, we see that Jim Gordon and The Lion still exist, and I die a little inside reading this once great series now completely in the shitter because of the meandering plot and horrendous artwork.
Fire the fucking terrible artist, DC. Fire this artist, out of a cannon, into the sun. Who the hell is this scribbler? This lopsided, off-model crap looks like the characters look the off-brand bootleg toys of the Batman series. That have been halfway melted under a heat lamp. This is some of the worst art I've seen in comics since Jon Bogdanove's Superman comics in the 90s. It hurts my eyes to look at this. It's so bad, I don't even feel bad about hurting feelings saying this. There is no justification for art this bad. Oh, it's the holidays, so let's just have terrible art because nobody's reading this month's issues until the trades? Well... actually, that's pretty clever, if that's what they're doing. But the art still sucks. At least the next issue looks like it might be a little better, artwise, with a new artist.
Bane and Killer Croc are two of the most maligned Batman villains. Killer Croc started out in the 1980s as this new, clever ganglord who was matching wits with Batman. He was really strong, but he wasn't some bestial freak. He only "looked like a crocodile" in the sense that his horrible skin condition gave him a strange scaled appearance. Then over the years in the comics he became more like the Marvel villain The Lizard. He was literally a crocodile man. And he became bulkier and dumber, constantly getting his ass kicked by smarter foes. And Bane, when he first appeared, was one of those smarter foes. How interesting, and perhaps ironic, then, that Bane, too, got completely watered down over the years. He went from being this cunning, manipulating, brilliant monster, part polymath, part psychopath. Now he's just this big macho bully douchebag with no actual goals. Very rarely is Bane ever portrayed well (you could argue Arkham War was probably his best portrayal in at least a decade).
Whoever wins, the reader loses.
So when Bane and Croc throw down, it's great to see that Croc is using his brain a bit more than usual, but it's also pretty awful that Bane is still a giant, overmuscled imbecile. And honestly, I can imagine Croc going right back to being Bat-writer's buttmonkey after this. As for Bane? This is probably rock bottom. Chuck Dixon, please return to Batman comics! I won't even bitch about your conservative politics.
Oh, and Croc is now a servant of Selina Kyle, Queenpin of Crime. Wow, him losing his dignity didn't take long.
It would be kind of nice to get back to things like, I don't know, just for examples, Cluemaster's C-lister team's plans, the nanomachine virus, and the figure behind all of this. Next week looks like it'll have Riddler in it, which should be interesting, because Riddler is experiencing a resurgence in good writing for him, but let's keep his involvement relevant to the main plot, DC. I don't want another plot detour, because these past couple of issues have been just that. We get it it, Selina's taking charge in the underworld, Bard is looking to redeem himself, and Croc's trying to get his mojo back. But actually do something with these things that ties them closer to the main plot. I didn't need a whole issue for Batman tying up loose ends from Arkham.
"You forgot to mention Joker's Daughter." "Who?"
Also, Willowwood, huh? Gee, I wonder what villain could possibly be behind all this? Who? WHO?
Next Issue: A Different Kind Of Ugly!
- Penguin Truth
Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: Tim Seeley
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes & Kyle Higgins
Art: Andrea Mutti
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Lettering By: John J. Hill
Cover By: Tommy Lee Edwards
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger
Wow, this rough sex session got way out of hand.