HEAT VISION

Classic 'Batman' Character Gets Sendoff in 'City of Bane'

Things just got even darker in Gotham City in the latest issue.
Tony Daniel/DC
Things just got even darker in Gotham City in the latest issue.

[This story contains spoilers for Batman No. 77.]

Damian Wayne, the son of the Batman, didn’t heed Bane’s warning to stay out of Gotham City now that he’s in control — and Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s long-serving butler (and unofficial therapist and medic), has paid the price. As seen in the latest issue of DC’s Batman comic book, Pennyworth was murdered by Bane as punishment for Damien’s apparent disobedience.

The death came in the third chapter of “City of Bane,” the climactic storyline for writer Tom King before he leaves the Batman comic book to launch the 12-part Batman/Catwoman series in 2020. (Tony Daniel and Mikel Janin share art duties on the issue.)

“City of Bane” takes place in a Gotham under siege by the titular villain, who has banished all heroes after defeating Batman in the previous storyline; he was assisted in that task by an alternate reality version of Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father, who has claimed the Batman identity for himself. While Bruce Wayne heals in Paris — under the watchful eye of Catwoman — Gotham has been left under the control of Bane and his army of supervillains.

It’s into this environment that the headstrong Damian Wayne — the latest in a line of Robins — charges, fully aware that Bane has threatened to kill Alfred Pennyworth, whom he holds hostage, if any hero entered the city limits. After being defeated by Thomas Wayne, Damian is left to watch as Bane breaks Alfred’s neck. The issue ends with Thomas telling Damian that Alfred’s death may have served a purpose, after all.

“I see what you’re thinking,” he says. “Now that he’s gone, the rest of the family will come. But you are forgetting, we have a new hostage now. We have you. Perhaps it’s good. Perhaps now they’ll listen. Perhaps they won’t be as childish… as you were.”

The “City of Bane” storyline will continue until the end of the year in the Batman series. Batman No. 77 is available in comic stores and digitally now.

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