Just when they thought they were out, someone pulls them back in. Yes, that quote is maybe the only good thing to come out of Godfather III, but it’s also a unifying theme of the books covered in this edition.

Batman Done

Batman 19
Written by Tom King 
Art by David Finch, Sandra Hope, Danny Miki, John Trevor Scott and Jordie Bellaire

Batman 19As “I AM BANE” continues towards the inevitable destructive brawl between Batman and his determined opponent, this issue had a bit of a callback feel to it.

Most comic book fans know Bane from his role in Knightfall, the early-90s story where the muscular mastermind wore Batman down before defeating Batman in battle and breaking his back. As Bane seeks revenge on Batman for stealing the Psycho Pirate away from him, and breaking his back during the previous “I AM SUICIDE” arc, the Bat took a page out of Bane’s book and tried to wear him down, using the inmates at Arkham Asylum.

It doesn’t exactly go well for the inmates at Arkham.

Bane spends the issue destroying the Arkham inmates, from major villains like Two-Face and Scarecrow to jokes like Black Spider and Flamingo.Total destruction, as the only inmates who manage to avoid Bane’s wrath are Riddler – who helps Bane go around New Genesis technology – and Maxie Zeus, who spends the issue lauding Bane.

As he destroys the inmates at Arkham, Bane explains his rage: he was using Psycho Pirate to give him peace of mind, to help him put the rage and anger behind him, and when Batman stole him to try and save Gotham Girl, he took that peace away. So now he’s gone to war and it looks like next issue, we’re going to get another confrontation.

American Gods: Shadows 1
Written by P. Craig Russel and Neil Gaiman 
Art by Scott Hampton

American Gods 1With the new TV show based on the Neil Gaiman novel set to debut on STARZ later this month, it’s a perfect time to get a comic book adaptation as well. Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Stardust have already had comic book adaptations, and it’s somewhat surprising that American Gods – one of Gaiman’s best-loved novels – has never had one.

But yeah, now is as good a time as any.

The first issue of the adaptation focuses on Shadow as he prepares to get out of prison after three years. He’s remorseful for what he did and he’s looking forward to reuniting with his wife and starting over. But the fates conspire against Shadow as the mysterious and somewhat creepy Mr. Wednesday offers him a job. He’s pretty insistent, even if Shadow doesn’t want anything to do with him. But getting adjusted back to civilian life can be difficult, even after only three years in the clink.

Gods Prison

P. Craig Russell – who has worked with Gaiman before as an artist – plots out the issue from the novel, and Scott Hampton’s art works perfectly with the story. I may know where things are headed, having read the novel, but it’s nice to be able to start the book over with a fresh set of eyes in a new setting. If the TV adaptation is anywhere near as good as the first issue here, it could be in for a long run.