Bane: Conquest is a darkly entertaining story that takes the luchador of Santa Prisca away from Gotham and focuses more on his journey. In the second issue, Bane has been captured by a cult leader by the name of Damocles; while he is trying to find a way to escape he comes across an unlikely ally named Bruce Wayne.
Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan return after the first issue of Bane: Conquest to deliver another solid offering; this one is filled with action and beautiful art, but on top of that we get to see something we don’t too often — and that’s a team-up of Bane and Bruce Wayne. Their history together obviously isn’t a good one, but it works here and it’s something that’s really enjoying to see especially since Bane hates Bruce so much. The action in this issue is pretty intense and the reader will find themselves sympathizing for Bane. There are a number of flashback scenes that are probably the best part of this issue. Bane is an underestimated villain and has an interesting origin that needs to be seen to truly comprehend his character. Bane as a child is one of the saddest things to have ever been read in comics and getting a little piece of that in this issue is a true delight.
Bane: Conquest isn’t mind-blowing so far, but I do have hopes for this as I always enjoy a good Bane story. Seeing a Bruce Wayne and Bane team-up is also exciting: the two both hate each other but also both want to escape and stop Damocles. Damocles so far is a promising villain and can hold his own without having his dirty work done by a bunch of goons which we’re so used to seeing. I also want to add that the art is nice and simplistic. It’s not mind-blowing but it’s just fine. My real only complaint about the art is that Bane looks like a normal good looking man, which is not the choice I’d expect anyone to go with. I feel like Bane should be more grizzled, worn out, damaged. This Bane could be in any comic book and you wouldn’t know it was Bane until it was made known. It’s a small complaint but it’s just something I think Bane shouldn’t look like.
The writing and story are pretty good so far. There are a lot interesting lines between Bruce and Bane but a couple times where the issue moved pretty fast and looked like it was missing a panel or two. For instance there was a page where the prisoners get their food and Bane immediately starts eating as fast as he could, which is understandable given his situation, but after Bane gets a warning from Bruce to slow down, Bane just drops unconscious. It almost looked like it was straight from an episode of Family Guy. It was more comedy than it was shocking. There was no dramatic shock to Bane’s face realizing he may had been poisoned or choked. One panel has him eating, and the next panel shows him on the floor but there was no transition to it. It just felt like something was missing and that happens a few times in this issue.
Minor complaints aside this already seems like an exciting story that will definitely add some character to Bane. Bane is a villain who never gets enough focus in my eyes and Bane: Conquest is well on its way to adding another storied chapter to his history.