I hope this is the real final final battle with Bane. I know Bats won't kill him, but maybe he'll overdose on his Venom.
Batman was getting his ass handed to him by Bane last issue but this issue opens with Batman pulling a disappearing act on the gigantic idiot. Bane thinks he smashes Batman with a rock but what probably happens is that Batman is pushed out of the way by the rock displacing the water and Batman is washed up on shore away from Bane. Probably since it really just looks like Batman was smashed and then disappears.
Batman quickly assesses the situation.
Infinitely stronger? I think that's infinitely improbable! And smarter than the Batman? Because of the drug? He's just a big dumb oaf to begin with! How could Batman make this assessment of Bane's intelligence this quickly? Batman outsmarted him by getting away, right? Batman is stupider than Bane! Oh wait....
Oh, there were clues! I forgot about those. Forget whatever I said about Poison Ivy being a dead end.
Again I missed something though. The Virgin Star Cactus, the rare plant Ivy gave Bane access to, was used to create an antidote for the new Venom. It's what was waiting for him on the Batplane. It needs to be ingested to work, so Batman is going to figure out how to get Bane to open wide. It would be easy if it were Catwoman who needed to ingest the antidote! Or Robin.
Batman and Bane call each other chicken and resort, once again, to fisticuffs. Meanwhile, The Flash outruns the Venom by running too hard. Or something. Who fucking cares? It's all Comic Book Magic anyway! After he outruns the poison, he zips back toward Gotham to help Batman. Superman just stands around in a cornfield in Kansas because the comic book would probably end too quickly if he headed back to help Batman as well.
Back in Gotham, Bane is still going on and on and on about fear. Geez. This entire story did nothing to actually show Batman afraid of anything. Not once was there any emotion involved in the revelations of the things Batman might actually fear. And now he's admitting to himself that he fears Bane. But he fears failure more.
This entire story might have had something interesting to say about Batman and fear but the execution was atrocious. I should go back through and read the story without reading the Narration Boxes just to see if it makes any sense. Because a good comic about revealing Batman's fears would do it without constantly telling the reader about fear over and over and over. And every fucking enemy Batman met in this story harped on fear like they were all in on it together instead of just all randomly out on sprees while cracked out on Venom.
So, where did I leave Bane and Batman?
I know The Flash could have quickly given it back to Batman. But that's just making excuses for the poor storyboarding.
And then there's the epilogue which is probably meant to be a twist (which is why I call this comic "The Dark Knight Shyamalan."
Okay. Raise your hands whoever called it that Jai was the White Rabbit? Everyone!? Well, la de fucking da!