If someone were not very charitable, they would say this issue is filler. It provides an interlude from the pumping action of the current storyline, which last left off with Bane following Batman into the labyrinth of Arkham Asylum. Here, we get a rotating cast of characters as Bane encounters the famous Batman rogues gallery -- each criminal having been freed from their cells to pursue him. As Two-Face kindly explains, Batman offered to improve the conditions of their imprisonment if they all took a break from hating Batman to instead helping the guy out.
Bane quickly dispatches the lot of them, demonstrating why he is the supreme villain. Even Scarecrow’s fear gas does nothing to get in his way. The Riddler, very much portrayed like the Jim Carrey version from the dreadful Batman Forever film, helps Bane make his way to the final point where Bane can finally confront Batman himself.
Tom King’s storyline was getting very intense, so letting off some steam with a fun romp through the asylum is not just forgivable but welcome. The contrast between the various villains and their respective shtick is no match for the pure badassery that is Bane. David Finch beautifully brings the various characters to life, while the ink team of Miki, Scott and Hope perfectly capture various details to ensure that even time spent in a clinical setting appears attractive and engaging.
How can the fierce match-up between Bane and Batman finally end? How can it top what has come before? We’ll find out soon. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.