After the lacklustre issue 12, Batman #13 finally breathes some life into the faltering “I Am Suicide” story. It’s not perfect by any means, but at least it ties in nicely with the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event and teases a future battle between Batman and Bane. It’s a step in the right direction for this title.
Nonetheless, the issue was predictable from the start. Despite what King and DC led us to believe, I called the outcome of Catwoman’s “betrayal” in a past review, and knew something was amiss. Batman always has a plan, and a backup plan for that plan, too, so there was no surprise or aghast moment. If it was any other villain besides Catwoman doing the double-cross, I would’ve believed it, but everyone knows Selina is Bruce’s number one gal.
The biggest reason anyone will want to pick up this book is because of Batman’s fight with Bane, which was oddly reminiscent to the hotel rumble in Borat due to Bane unfortunately not getting any clothes for the past few Christmases. It was a decent fight—even if part of me expected Bane’s frankfurter to smack Batman across the head in battle—but I still want to see a jacked-up-on-Venom Bane take on the Bats again. It did its job, though, and carried the story over to the next chapter, which is something it’s been in desperate need of.
Much like the rest of his work on this title, Mikel Janin hasn’t put a foot wrong. His style is crisp and a treat for the eyes, leaving no doubt he’s the right man to pencil Batman. His design of Catwoman in particular is one of my favourites and I’m keen to see what he does with future Batman villains.
Overall, Batman #13 closes off the Bat’s Santa Prisca escapades satisfactorily. When King keeps it simple, the story flows better. Maybe less Grant Morrison and more Len Wein in style is the answer.