In issue #11 of I Am Suicide, out this week, Bane is still off his venom — the juice that gave him his freakish size and strength — but he’s still swole and dangerous to friends of Batman. In issue #10, Bane beats up Batman and tosses him in the jail cell Bane spent his childhood surviving. But in issue #11, things blow up with even more ferocity in Batman’s face.
Batman has already assembled his own Suicide Squad consisting of the Ventriloquist, Bronze Tiger, the duo Punch and Jewlee, and Catwoman, all banning together to retrieve Psycho-Pirate from Bane’s captivity. Psycho-Pirate is the only one capable of curing Gotham Girl, but he’s been sold to Bane by Hugo Strange, who used Bane’s Venom to create monsters in the recent crossover storyline “Night of the Monster Men.”
Just as Batman’s plan is going steady — with Bronze Tiger “offering” Punch and Jewlee to Bane — Catwoman intervenes, betraying Batman and his Suicide Squad.
Catwoman slashes Punch and Jewlee in the throat, presumably killing them, while Bronze Tiger is subdued. The issue ends with Catwoman revealing Batman’s position (hiding in the vents) and offering to help Bane “break the Bat” in exchange for money and a plane to disappear.
“Breaking” Batman has long been an obsession for Bane, and that set-up has intrigued Tom King for a long time. In an interview with Inverse, King said Bane has so much willpower that “he’d be the greatest Green Lantern of all time.” But the Lantern rings didn’t choose Bane, nor does he need them.
In a new interview with DC All Access, King says Bane has a new lease on life and has “found peace within himself” in getting off the Venom to become his own person. But to do that, Bane kidnaps Psycho-Pirate, which triggers Batman’s pursuit.
Catwoman’s alignment could either be a real betrayal on her part or another layer in Batman’s always-complicated plans. Batman whispers a “no” when Catwoman makes her move, but he wouldn’t be Batman if he didn’t know how to misdirect, or even expect this from Selina. He’s Batman. He knows what’s up.
DC Comics will release Tom King’s Batman #12 on December 7.