There’s no doubt Batman Rebirth has become better with each passing issue. A lot of the pacing problems found in the first half of ‘I Am Gotham’ have been addressed and the series has started to feel more like the Batman we love. In Batman #9, though, Tom King’s stuck his stake firmly in the Wayne Manor ground, delivering a mind-blowing first instalment of the ‘I Am Suicide’ storyline.
Not only does Batman #9 reintroduce us to Bane and his relationship with Psycho-Pirate, but it also reveals the worst kept secret since Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look away now. If you do, or you want to know: Batman’s building his own Suicide Squad to break into an impenetrable prison, retrieve Psycho-Pirate and save Gotham Girl. Now, I’m not going to spoil it by revealing who he selected and the why; however, I do have to discuss the last member’s reveal since it was absolute perfection. Quoting Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke and an iconic scene, King did a marvellous job of unveiling the villain’s identity. Your eyes will bulge and you’ll say, “No, it can’t be…”
Despite the excitement of seeing Batman team up with the bad guys, the best part of ‘I Am Suicide’ is undoubtedly the appearance of Bane. There hasn’t been an excellent Bane story since Chuck Dixon’s days, so it’ll be fantastic if King delivers a blockbuster for one of Batman’s greatest foes.
Like Snyder’s ‘The Black Mirror’, Loeb’s ‘The Long Halloween’ and Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’, there’s just a feeling of something special about Batman #9. This could be King’s defining Dark Knight story and the one that finally convinces Batman fans the series is in good hands. Frankly, I’m excited.