Batman #82, published by DC Comics, is written by Tom King, with art by Mikel Janin, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles. The issue continues the ‘City of Bane’ arc, with this eighth installment depicting the primary battle between Bane and Batman.
After a brief break with the release of the last Batman annual, the story of Batman #82 picks right up where it left off in Batman #81 as Bruce and Selina had manage to take back control over parts of Gotham before going to take on Bane himself. Meanwhile, Thomas Wayne had dispatched with the Bat-Family members who put up a gallant effort against the less-than-holy Batman. The issue focuses primarily on the physical battle between Batman and Bane, while also throwing in some dialogue that helps explain both Bruce and Selina’s plan.
The issue feels a little weak in some areas, mainly because the arc has been building up since Issue #50, and the pacing seems to have slowed down again after the last few issues. This should be one of the epic moments of the arc; it instead feels a little glazed over in terms of the titular villain. King’s Bane has been an excellent opponent in terms of his intelligence and strategy, but the issue here makes it clear that Thomas Wayne is the most exciting and worthy opponent to Bruce, which is odd because the arc is called “City of Bane.”
King does an excellent job of explaining Bruce and Selina’s motives, using their fun banter as a device to let the audience know what their exact plan was. It’s an exciting way of continuing to flesh our their partnership while also revealing more details around Batman’s plan while continuing to be one step behind the main character. Once again, King’s strength is the pairing of Bruce and Selina which allows for the partnership to feel earned, you can’t help but root for #BatCat.
Returning for art-duties on this issue is Mikel Janin, who does an absolutely incredible job at depicting Bruce Wayne’s chest hair. Janin has a very specific style for these characters that work extremely well, giving a bit of personality to Bruce, Bane, Selina, etc. Janin is always spot-on with the facial expressions, which help to further accentuate the emotion in the panels.
Jordie Bellaire is on color duty for this issue, providing a bright orangey-yellow tone to the key fight scenes which help attract the reader’s eye. The colors are used to place emphasis on the key fight sequence while breaking up from the cutaways with Thomas. Those latter panels feature dark green tint which makes Thomas’s costume really pop. Cowels returns with lettering, and as always does a fantastic job with it. Comics are a visual medium, but great letterers like Cowels’ help to bring the book to life even more by helping the sounds and cadences in the script come to life.
Overall, despite an intriguing cliffhanger ending, Batman #82 begins to feel like it’s crawling to the finish line.
Batman #82 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Despite an intriguing cliffhanger ending, Batman #82 begins to feel like it’s crawling to the finish line.