Who has thoughts on Bane Conquest?
I greatly enjoyed it, but I’m not 100% sure the comic is actually good. The problem is that Chuck Dixon’s 90’s Bat Family comics were my gateway drug for comics, so I’m wearing some major nostalgia blinders with Chuck Dixon revisiting his creation, Bane, along with Bane’s original artist, Graham Nolan.
Though this is a maxi-series, it reads more like an ongoing comic with Bane developing his own set of allies, villains, and friendemies. The last first six issues tell about three mini-arcs while the last six issues tell one continual story. There’s a thread going between the entire series, but if I was told this was pitched as a possible ongoing, I wouldn’t be surprised.
There’s a major continuity lapse with this series. This launches directly after the I Am Bane story in Batman where Bruce beats the crap out of Bane. We then have Bane Conquest which was marketed as springing off of I Am Bane, but there’s no apparent connective tissue. (Minor Spoilers) At the end of the series, Bane is still free, and yet when we see him next in the Batman book, he’s in Arkham. It seems they wanted the marketability of thing it to Batman without the actual legwork of connecting it.
I thought it was a fun adventure start to finish. My only criticism is that it’s a bit shallow. There’s almost nothing of any real depth about it. You see a good character moment for Bane at the very end, and that’s about it, but who says comics always have to have some deeper level. I think we could do with more simple adventures, and any fan of Dixon’s Bat Family stories will feel like they are coming home with Bane Conquest.
Fun fact. With Bane Conquest #5, Chuck Dixon became the most prolific comic book writer of all time having written more comic books than anybody.
Bane Conquest is so, so difficult to pin down. It’s great in the same way bad action movies are great; you can’t look away. It’s engaging, even if it makes no sense, and you’re absolutely along for the ride from page one. The art is predictably good. The problem is that I can’t decide if the ‘80s schlock film aesthetic is intentional or not. I don’t think it is, but it might be.
Fair enough. I know I really enjoyed it, and I can’t tell if I’d criticize it more if it wasn’t those creators and that ascetic. Bare minimum, I’d have to say it’s a good story for the era it recreates. I can’t tell how well it works in the modern day.
I will say I don’t think there were any moments that didn’t make sense to me, but I can’t deny there was some schlock, but is schlock in comics a bad thing? Aren’t all superheroes at least a little schlocky?
As far as engagement, Dixon is a master of the art form. One of his tricks is that he always leaves the last panel between page turns as at least a mini-cliff hanger. He also tries to write comics remembering that every comic is someone’s first comic and someone’s thousandth comic. He tries to offer something for everyone.
Hm. I didn’t read this because I Am Bane was a mess of a story, but Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan doing an action-schlocky Bane series sounds like exactly the sort of thing I’d have a blast reading. I’ll have to check it out.
Even as a new reader with no particular nostalgia goggles or bias in his favor (having read most of them within the last year), I found Dixon’s Bat-Books really entertaining. I stumbled onto his Nightwing and Birds of Prey and ended up reading the entirety of both series, along with his runs on Robin and Detective Comics. I noticed that he tends to have a shorter, more action-focused A-plot with longer-running, more character-driven B-Plots. So you’ve got action, drama, and I appreciate his sense of humor, so it’s engaging on three different levels.
In reference to your comment about superheroes being schlocky, ABSOLUTELY. I’m saying that aesthetic was what made me enjoy the series, not that it was bad.
If you enjoyed Dixon’s other work, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t like Conquest. It has no ties to King’s Batman. Batman said something about a rematch with Bane once, but that could just as easily refer to previous skirmishes in this title or the events of Knightfall.
I maintain that Dixon is responsible for the prominence of the Bat Family. He launched Robin, Nightwing, and Birds of Prey, and Azrael and Catwoman also spun off through his supervision. Shame he doesn’t get more recognition and writing opportunities.
It seems Dixon had been pitching this as a Batman and Bane maxi series but Didio wanted it more Bane focused so it got restructured. I think “spinning off from Batman” was just marketing for a cash grab. Bane was already in the comic reader’s mindset and that’s as far as the ties to Batman (2016) go.
I didn’t take schlocky as malignant criticism. I was just spitballing my thoughts.