I pretty much know I’m going to finish Tom King’s Batman run at some point. So, when I found the next three trades at the local Barnes and Noble, I did make a point of getting them.
Besides, it’s getting somewhere with Bane and that means I got to Volume 9, subtitled The Tyrant Wing.
Bruce Wayne has been in a bad place since Selina Kyle stood him up at the altar. Readers know that this was all Bane’s doing. Bane, clearly angry since Batman took him down early in King’s run, promised to break the Bat again, and this time, he’s doing it beyond physically. To that end, he’s looking to separate Batman from his allies, and in this trade, we see Bane’s plan is getting somewhere as Batman loses a longtime ally.
It’s how he finds out Bane is running all manner of behind-the-scenes turmoil that is a bit surprising. The Penguin, heartbroken after something Bane did, actually turns himself in to Batman. Penguin’s been something of an odd man out in recent years as far as Batman foes go. He’s not a typical Arkham inmate, and isn’t even much of a physical threat to Batman (something he acknowledges in this book). But he is a smart man, and he has his limits.
But then a funny thing happens: the trade goes to first a Secret Files reprint and then an Annual. King wrote only a single short story in the former, but nothing in these issues connects to the story King is currently telling. None of these stories are bad or anything. The last one from the Annual, by Injustice and DCeased writer Tom Taylor, is actually a nice Alfred story. But the inclusions of these works breaks the rhythms of King’s story, and that doesn’t help the trade as a whole.
Plus, the next trade is about Batman having nightmares, so the cliffhanger at the end of the Penguin story doesn’t go anywhere for a while. I think I know why King’s work got some detractors to it when that storyline came along.
7.5 out of 10 poetry recitations in the Batcave.