Batman #85



Just when you thought Tom King couldn’t get anymore Tom King about it…

I know the cover boasts an EPIC FINALE, but given the fact that there isn’t a ceremonious blurb written by Tom at the end of this book I have to believe that this isn’t the actual end… I haven’t looked it up, so I’m in the dark, and beyond the (kinda cool) stinger at the end of this issue I have to believe there’s gonna be an “EPILOG” issue for Tom King’s run…. though I have my doubts. It just feels weird that there wasn’t any sort of “special thanks final thoughts editorial” featured here.

Anyway… things happen in this book in an oddly fluid and sensible way. Kudos to Tom King, because he does things completely out of order that feels both very legible but also ushers a second reading. The main thing here is that (following the events of issue 84) Bruce and Selina take down Thomas Wayne and … live happily ever after? There’s this whole sequence sprinkled in there were Bruce goes to a bar and watches a football game with some random guy, and we get a bunch of wrap-up where Bane breaks Thomas’s back… but it’s all completely out of order. Bane breaks Tommy’s back before Bruce beats Tommy, and Bruce drinks with random before and after… everything.

It makes sense. I’ve only read it once (like most books), but it does make sense in retrospect. If I’m to wrap it up though, these are the main things:

  1. Alfred is dead.
  2. Bruce and Selina are “married.”
  3. Bad guys lost.
  4. BONUS… Joker’s knows who Batman is and that’s the next big ARC coming from James Tynion IV?

I don’t know… we’re talking about an 85-issue run here. Tom King is a damn good writer, and to think that this is how he closes out seems a little lacking… but at the same time fitting. Tom King is bloody poetic, and this book is almost as poetic as issue 84. I’m hoping he has ONE more book left, but I haven’t looked into that myself, so I don’t know. I’m assuming this was his last, but it was a solid finish nonetheless.

I definitely want to go back and fill in the gaps in my reading. I read most of his run, but not quite all of it. I don’t think I missed much, but if there’s one thing I can say it’s that I’m more eager to retread Tom King’s Batman than Scott Snyder’s. Not to say Snyder’s Batman isn’t bad, but just that King is more my speed… I really loved the War of Jokes and Riddles… and I Am Bane… and the entire Wedding arc from the Engagement to here at the end. It’s been fun and meaningful all the way through.

TL;DR Score: Thank you, Mr. King.

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