Here, I’ll do it for you:
“I Am Bane” is essentially the last part of a trilogy that King started with his run, with a few arcs and cross-overs in-between to flesh things out.
The first arc, “I Am Gotham,” starts with Batman having to use all his skills to save a plane that is about to crash into the middle of Gotham City, but for all his gadgets and skill, the way he diverts the plane will end with his death. Bruce is talking with Alfred in what he thinks will be his final moments, telling his faithful companion what he’d want to tell his children, and asks Alfred, “Mother and Father – do you think they would be proud?”
But the plane – and Batman – are saved at the last minute by Gotham and Gotham Girl, new heroes who seemingly have similar powers to Superman. They’re young and inexperienced heroes who Batman decides to take under his wing, even if just to make sure they’re on the level. In investigating them, Batman finds out that their real names are Hank and Claire Clover, and they were inspired to become heroes after Batman saved a young Hank and his parents’ life in stopping them from being mugged. Even though Claire wasn’t there, she follows in her brother’s footsteps because she looks up to and idolizes him. They both train and study their minds, much like Batman, and when they became old enough they joined the Peace Corp – and at some point there, they ask their parents for a significant sum of money while overseas, using it from a still unknown source to get super-powers.
But Gotham and Gotham Girl’s arrival gets more than just Batman’s attention. Amanda Waller and Sam Lane see these teenaged powerhouses as threats, so they unleash their pet project, the Psycho Pirate, under the guidance of Hugo Strange, on the new heroes. Their plan was to use the Pirate’s ability to manipulate emotions and scare them out of being superheroes. It somewhat works for Claire/Gotham Girl, but Hank, for Gotham, it causes a complete psychological break. Gotham kills 28 members of Waller’s unit in the course of one night, and Batman, along with the other members of the Justice League, can barely keep him in check. Claire tells Batman that the powers they bought come with a cost – using them takes from your life, and the more you use them, the sooner you will die. Gotham Girl comes to the scene and fights her brother to the point of him dying from the strain.
In “I Am Suicide,” Batman decides that the best way to fix Claire from her distressed state at the hands of Psycho Pirate is to find the Pirate again to use his powers to revert her back. He makes a deal with Amanda Waller to find out that Strange made an offer to Bane and gave him Psycho Pirate in exchange for large quantities of Venom (the consequences of which is seen in the “Night of the Monster Men” cross-over between Batman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing). Bane wants Psycho Pirate to use him to ween himself off the use of Venom. Batman works with Amanda to create his own Suicide Squad to invade Bane’s fortress island of Santa Prisca to get Psycho Pirate from his possession. Batman chooses his squad from people within Arkham Asylum, including Arnold Wesker/The Ventriloquist and Scarface, Bronze Tiger, Punch and Jewelle, and Catwoman; the latter which we find out is in Arkham for seemingly killing 237 members of a terrorist cell who destroyed the orphanage she grew up in, a charge which Batman believes she’s taking the blame for someone else. Batman and his squad commit an Ocean’s 11 style heist to steal Psycho Pirate from Santa Prisca, and in doing so, enrages Bane to the point of falling back on Venom.
After the heist, when returning all the other prisoners back to Arkham, Batman let’s Catwoman stay for one more night. They banter, fight crime together, and at last, share the rest of the night together on one of the rooftops of Gotham. This is partly a ruse on Catwoman’s part, and she escapes from Batman’s clutch during this vulnerable moment. In trying to find her, Batman finds the location of Holly Robinson, one of Selina’s closest confidantes who she grew up with, and when he finds her, she nearly slices his throat and escapes. Catwoman finds Batman there, gets him back to the cave to heal his wounds, and tells him the truth: Holly Robinson used the skills that Catwoman taught her to kill those terrorists when they bombed their orphanage. Beliving that Holly would be killed if she were caught, Selina takes her place instead. Catwoman leaves the city, leaving Bruce alone.
That’s about everything I think is super-pertinent leading up to “I Am Bane.” Please don’t take this summary as an excuse to not read these issues eventually – there’s a lot of other really cool stuff I left out that are worth seeing for yourself.