Bane: Conquest
BANE: CONQUEST #5 BY CHUCK DIXON, GRAHAM NOLAN, AND GREGORY WRIGHT
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
BANE: CONQUEST #5 is an action-packed read from start to finish. A guest appearance by Catwoman only adds to an already solid series with incredible sub-plots.
93 %
Cat Scratch Fever

BANE: CONQUEST #5 continues Bane’s quest for global domination! With the help of his gang (Bird, Trogg, and Zombie), Bane seems more determined than ever to be ‘the man’ in the world of crime. This issue is action-packed from start to finish. With the Russian military closing in on Bane and his gang, there don’t seem to be many options left in terms of escape. A chance run-in with Catwoman, however, could change things for better or worse. BANE: CONQUEST #5 definitely leaves you hanging up until the very end, though I’m sure many would agree that the ending was never really in doubt.

BANE: CONQUEST #5
Image courtesy of DC.

Chuck Dixon has truly turned BANE: CONQUEST into a solo series worth reading. Such a thing is no small feat when pulling a villain out of their primary universe and giving them their own vehicle of sorts. Dixon has a talent for making a simple sounding story seem epic. From the beginning of the series, Bane’s primary objective has been to be the number one crime boss in the world. That’s a pretty straightforward goal, right? Yet Dixon transforms even the simplest of concepts into something greater than the sum of its parts. I haven’t been this engaged by a series in quite some time. Dixon’s not afraid to shock his readers with aggressive dialogue and scenes, giving us a master-class in storytelling.

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The detail Graham Nolan puts into every panel of BANE: CONQUEST #5 truly makes this issue stand out. Nolan’s visuals have paired amazingly well with Dixon’s writing style throughout this series, both being veteran contributors to the Batman mythos. Nolan brought an even darker tone in BANE: CONQUEST #5. His line work highlights certain areas, making the primary characters pop out in a unique way. The backgrounds of each scene are subtle, with very little to detract from the moment. Gregory Wright does a wonderful job bringing Nolan’s creations to life with vibrant colors and tones that blended flawlessly throughout the story.

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I loved Nolan’s depiction of Catwoman juxtaposed with Bane. Having him tower over Catwoman definitely increased his intimidation factor, and when taking into account the characters involved, that becomes an extremely big detail. There is a scene where Catwoman and Bane discuss their arrangement to help one another escape their dire situations. Bane was only kept in check when Catwoman reminded him that he needed her help to escape. That’s the only reason she was not in any danger.

Nolan effectively portrays Catwoman using her charm and good looks to win Bane over at first, as she suggestively looks over at Bane and tries to sweet talk him into playing along. It’s a common Catwoman trait — she’s a seductress with a mean streak. Even one of Bane’s victims later in the story mocks Bane when Catwoman eventually turns on him. He comments that Bane was a “big dummy” who had become smitten with Catwoman and fell for her charms. Their interactions were expertly portrayed by the creative team throughout the story, and I think Bane and Catwoman definitely played well off of one another.

BANE: CONQUEST #5
Image courtesy of DC.

Seeing Bane go through periods of manic aggression while maintaining his status as a focused leader has been nothing short of captivating. BANE: CONQUEST #5 is no exception. I loved the interactions between Catwoman and Bane throughout the issue. They found themselves thrust into a situation where they briefly needed one another to achieve those individual goals. Catwoman needed help getting to the Vor’s database. Bane just needed an escape route. Bane helped Catwoman get there. She proceeded to turn on him and make her own escape. Where will that ultimately lead Bane and his crew? I’m unsure at this point, and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to seeing where this all goes. I would love to see the two run into one another again down the line, as BANE: CONQUEST #5 definitely leaves Bane with a reason to seek revenge on Catwoman.

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Final thoughts on BANE: CONQUEST #5

BANE: CONQUEST #5 tells an engaging story that left me wanting to follow Bane’s adventures. How will Bane and his gang get out of this mess? Dixon, Nolan, and Wright leave the readers wondering and make this a wonderfully executed chapter from start to finish.

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