It’s has very much all come down to this – Batman vs. Bane.

Batman #497

Written by Doug Moench
Pencils by Jim Aparo
Inks by Dick Giordano
Colors by Adrianne Roy
Lettering by Richard Starkings
Edited by Jordan B. Gorfinkel & Denny O’Neil

Bane and Bruce face off, with Bane explaining something of his backstory, before Bruce puts the mask on for one more fight.

However, this fight is a one-sided affair. As Batman desperately tries to fight on, we flash back to the toll these last few weeks have taken on him.

From this page on, probably referencing the layouts from the Death of Superman, the pages drop the number of panels per page, starting with 6 here, and five on the page after.

In the end, his final act of defiance is to refuse to screen Bane’s name, before Bane slams Batman over his knee as the issue ends.

After this page are two pages of promotional material – one page with a subscription sheet, and the other promoting a bunch of upcoming titles and story-lines in other books. I have 100% confidence that readers just skipped over them, sight unseen, to find…

All of this issue’s letters are from the first issue of Knightfall, and there is a certain degree of… hand rubbing glee from the editors, as they wonder how their readers are reacting to the issue that their letters were just printed in.

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