Cover of Batman #59
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Writer: Tom King/Artist: Mikel Janín/DC Comics

Batman spends so much time being the smartest guy in the room that it’s refreshing to see him get played every once in a while. Just to remind us that he’s human.

In issue #59 of Batman, our hero gets manipulated into showing the dark side he’s always kept from the world.

After Alfred Pennyworth was almost taken out last issue, Batman is face-to-face with Penguin and demanding answers. To his disbelief, he’s told that all of the horrible events in his life lately have been the plan of one man — Bane. (Although he’s still clueless that this also includes Selina leaving him at the altar.)

If you’re versed in the Batman mythos, Bane has repeatedly worked to break Batman’s body. He’s even tried to break his mind. But it looks like he’s now trying to break his heart and spirit. And it’s working.

Bane’s plan appears to be so effective that it’s made Batman turn into someone else. He’s not the calculated, methodical detective. He’s a broken man willing to compromise on some of his most important principles.

Issue #59 shows Batman repeatedly attacking the (mostly) defenseless and jeopardizing one of his most important relationships as he tries to find his way out of a tornado of grief and emotion. The biggest question we’re left with is just how much worse will things get before they get better?

9.0 Old Villains with New Plans out of 10

Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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