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Every month I open the newest issues of Bane: Conquest and I say to myself, “Please let this one be good, please let this one be good, please let this one be good.”  And month after month, issue #2 aside, I end up being disappointed.  Reviewing this comic is quickly becoming a chore.  Worse than that, I feel like I’m running out of stuff to say about it, because really, this title suffers from the same problems over and over again.  I mean, I can only say the same thing so many times before I run out of synonyms.

The plot of this particular issue revolves around Bane, Trogg, and Zombie escaping from the Russian compound they just broke into.  And…that pretty much sums it up.  It would be one thing if there was some kind of clever escape plan involved, but it’s genuinely nothing more than shooting/blowing-up/pulverizing everything that stood in their way till they got out.  There are times when a writer will try something outlandish that simply doesn’t work and that’s what ends up making a story unpleasant.  But here, it’s bad because it feels like no effort was made at all.  It feels to me like Dixon just threw out the bare minimum to fill the page.  And that makes this one of the most unimaginative plots I’ve had the misfortune of being subjected to in quite some time.

I want to make it clear that I am not hating on Dixon.  Over the years, Chuck Dixon has written some of my all time favorite Batman stories.  But Bane: Conquest is a paltry shadow of a story compared with what I know the man is capable of.  I would hate to think that someone who has never read a Dixon story before now might pick up Bane: Conquest, and that this is all the exposure they will likely ever have for his work.  For those of you that aren’t aware, the man has written somewhere between 700 and 800 comics including Batman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Robin, Detective Comics, Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Gotham Knights, and Legends of the Dark Knight. Dixon has literally had a hand in molding every single corner of the Batverse.  At one point or another, he has penned every single noteworthy character.  It’s one of the things that makes this whole miniseries all the more heartbreaking.  The man is a legend, and I’d simply hate to think that the last thing he will ever have his thumb on is this all too forgettable tripe.

If I had to say something good about this issue, it would probably be in regards to Catwoman’s portrayal.

Seeing her about to clobber Bane and then act like she wasn’t when she most clearly was, was pretty cute.  I also liked the bit where she distracted Bane by running her fingers across his chest.  It’s a total Catwoman thing to do, and it played nicely, so at least there was that.

Odds and Ends:

  • In the last issue, Catwoman acted like she didn’t recognize Bane.  Now, she is asking him what he is shooting up with.  Uhh…it’s called Vemon.  Catwoman should know that.
  • I thought the thing Catwoman was supposed to plant was meant to allow the Russian Government to spy on the criminals.  Not take over their entire network.

Recommended if…

  • You have 4 dollars burning a hole in your pocket.

Overall:

Bane: Conquest continues to be thoroughly unimpressive, unimaginative, and uninspired.  It’s not that the story is bad, per se, it’s just incredibly mundane.  It also doesn’t help that it doesn’t hold a candle to Dixon’s earlier work.  I can’t believe I have to slog through 7 more issues of this utter folly.

SCORE: 4 / 10

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