Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Batman #73 “An Injection of Uncertainty and Mystery”

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 19th, 2019
Reviewed By: J. Dawn

*Spoiler Review – Non Spoilers and Score at the Bottom*

With issue #73 we arrive at the penultimate issue of “The Fall and the Fallen”. This arc has been a bit of an oddity, focusing more on exposition than story advancement. Will that trend continue here, or will it come time to shift gears and rev things up? Let’s take a look.

Ahh, Tom King. You just know it’s a Tom King book when repetition is used to illustrate a central narrative point. Oh, and you can count on the use of literary quotation, or lyrics. I may sound scornful, but in reality these are tropes that I enjoy. King has learned how to use just the right amount of repetition to reach maximum effectiveness, and this can be said about the structure of this whole issue.

In essence, this is an issue revolving around Thomas Wayne as he drags his son (er, son from another dimension) and an unknown coffin across the desert. Stopping multiple times to light a campfire ablaze, he sings “Home on the Range” while combatting the ferocious “Death in the Desert” – Ra’s Al Ghul’s personal guard. While this may sound rather monotonous and like it wouldn’t advance the main plot, we are indeed treated to revelations and insight.
Firstly, we see the type of father Thomas is. He loves Bruce, in a twisted, selfish way. He wants him for himself, even if it means Gotham is left in the lurch. This is most evident when Bruce asks, “Is this a dream?” and Thomas answers, “Yes, son. But not yours.” Thomas is unhinged and not acting out of selfless love. He is acting out of self-interest. He lost his real son young, and that must have left incredible psychological scars. Now, seeing the opportunity to have that which was taken away from him, he will do whatever it takes to make his dream a reality. And what is his dream?
To be a family again. This leads into the next revelation – Martha Wayne is inside the coffin, and Thomas intends to bring her back to life. Whether you think his plan is structurally sound or strong doesn’t really matter. Thomas isn’t in a very good place right now, and his desires are outweighing his morals. Bruce even confronts his father, dumbfounded by the fact that he stood by, idle, as Bane smashed him. Thomas is pleased that Bruce harbors intense anger for him – in his own way, he’s making Bruce “stronger”. In actuality, is it working? That’s up for debate. I personally think this will make Bruce stronger, but that’s because I predict he’s going to have to lose his father all over again, and Catwoman will help him deal with it in a healthier manner. Who knows where King will go? It’s all so exciting.

Janin continues to remain on top of his game, and the double page spread where the coffin is emphasized as it’s dragged along is gorgeous. I’m genuinely excited for our conclusion next month.
Bits and Pieces:
Tom King plays to his strengths and crafts an issue that rewards the long-term readers who crave answers. Thomas Wayne is further developed as a character, and his machinations begin to unravel. Batman once again feels unpredictable and exciting in a way that only King can create – I, for one, love coffin-dragging Flashpoint Batman on his steed as they traipse throughout the desert. Give me another one of those, good sir.


  1. Really? How someone can praise this bunch of shit is beyond me and then to make everything that King does to expose his lack of writing skill into a positive???? I heard you guys were the only reviewers that were good, but then I come here to read this? I won't be returning ever again since it's obvious that you are as bad as this awful writer you praise without giving any solid reasons to do so.

    1. I appreciate your thoughts, Anonymous! There are actually two takes on King's Batman right now. Mine is the more positive of the two. Perhaps you'd prefer Dan's! Sorry you didn't like my review, or the story. I try to explain why I think and feel the way I do about the story and give supporting evidence. Sorry it didn't work for you.