Batman: One Bad Day: Bane review – AIPT











A strong story of the man who broke the Bat, but does it live up to the legacy of what came before?
By
on
DC Comics set themselves up for a difficult task by trying to create definitive villain-centric one-shots akin to one of the most famous comics in history, Batman: The Killing Joke. To try and rise to the challenge, they’ve brought some all-star teams together to hopefully leave a new mark on the mythos of some of Batman’s fiercest foes. 
The fifth time around, Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Tomeu Morey, and Steve Wands team-up to tell a new tale about the man who broke the Bat. While the latest installment is an enjoyable ‘one last ride’ starring an aging Bane, it doesn’t quite reach the heights the series might be hoping for.

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A venom-free Bane is aged out of the crime-fighting business and instead relives his most triumphant moment by breaking a fake Batman’s back every night in a WWE-esque wrestling performance in Mexico. Bane lives every day in the past, haunted by his greatest moment until a mysterious young man reveals there is venom still out there.

Batman: One Bad Day: Bane
Bane meets the WWE… Kinda.
Credit: DC Comics


Williamson crafts a natural arc of personal acceptance for Bane to experience on his journey. The story concept isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it is a fun one. An old legend gets pulled out of their daily mundanity for one last mission. Williamson’s Bane is full of regret, but overall, the story is a bit of a mixed bag with some pacing issues throughout. 
The book is told in three chapters, and Bane’s retelling of a final crusade against Batman is interspersed throughout. The flashbacks and the main story are both exciting, but putting them both in the 64-page book means there isn’t as much time to dig deep in on either one.
The art team brings the script to life, with Howard Porter on art, Tomeu Morey on colors, and Steve Wands lettering. Porter creates very cinematic pages, showing little teases of the future early on. There are some engaging layouts, and he presents a Bane who feels fearsome and huge while also broken. 
Tomeu Morey gives each scene and location its own tone and expression, making it feel like you are experiencing this story across time. It is a real treat to jump between the darkness of Bane’s home, the bright sky of the American south, and the reds of Gotham. Wands also gives the text a lot of personality, from the words of those pumped full of venom dripping to some compelling work during a dream sequence. The creative team is strong across the board in this book.

Batman: One Bad Day: Bane
Credit: DC Comics

Therein lies the biggest issue with the book and the series overall. Batman: One Bad Day: Bane is a good book with some minor problems, but it’s solid and fun. The book stands by itself as a good installment in Bane’s history, but it doesn’t stand together with The Killing Joke as a genre-defining work. Intentionally naming a series after such a monumental comic comes with the risk of higher expectations. It feels like the title of the One Bad Day series is working against the comics themselves in this regard.
Williamson, Porter, Moreu, and Wands create a fun ride for Bane fans, filled with engaging layouts, expressive colors, and strong lettering. There are minor pacing issues, as some emotional beats come a little fast, but it’s nothing that ruins the overall experience of the book. But ultimately, Batman: One Bad Day: Bane doesn’t quite have the emotional or character impact of its spiritual predecessor and namesake.

Cover for Batman One Bad Day: Bane #1
Batman: One Bad Day: Bane #1
‘Batman: One Bad Day: Bane’ #1 is one of the stronger additions to the One Bad Day series. However, some rushed story keeps holds it back from being a truly great standalone.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Strong artwork, coloring, and lettering
A fun ‘one last ride’ story
Exciting layouts and action
Bane’s arc is interesting, but somewhat shallow
The story rushes from one beat to the next
7.5
Good
Buy Now
Amazon

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