REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #84

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman #84, published by DC Comics, is written by Tom King, with art by Jorge Fornes, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In this tenth installment of the ‘City of Bane’ arc, Thomas Wayne reflects on his past before readying to battle his son. After answering some unresolved questions in the last issue, Batman #84 continues that trend by finally explaining what happened to Thomas after Flashpoint and ‘The Button,’ arc as well as how he found himself trapped on Bruce’s Earth. Readers who were concerned about Thomas’ antagonistic attitudes in the book will definitely understand his POV after reading this issue.

The dynamic between Bruce and Thomas has always been the most interesting concept during the ‘City of Bane’ arc and it feels as though King himself feels the same. If last week’s issue was to explain how Alfred loved and would do anything for Bruce, this is the opposite side of the same coin. King explores why Thomas feels as though he needs to push himself down this dark path in order to help his son. Also, following in the steps of the most recent Batman annual, the story has a chaotic back and forth timeline when explaining Thomas’ past which acts as an interesting metaphor to his psyche.

Batman #84

Thomas Wayne is a complicated character. Readers can’t exactly judge this iteration of Bruce’s father by what we would expect of his normal loving father, particularly seeing the trauma that both he and Martha endured. Seeing the toll that his own existence takes on Thomas, it’s no wonder why he would desperately want to help Bruce from following in his own footsteps as Batman. There’s a moment where Thomas almost seems disappointed that he wasn’t wiped after Flashpoint which is particularly poignant. The issue also reveals that after finding out what happened to their son, the Flashpoint version of Martha (aka The Joker) took her own life, leading Thomas even more down a darker path.

As for why Thomas is in our Earth, it’s all thanks to the machinations of Eobard Thawne, whose last act of ‘kindness’ towards the man who killed him is to abandon him in the one place he would rather not be, our Batman’s reality, but Thomas’ version of hell. While not excusing his actions towards Bruce, Alfred, Damian, and many others, King does a great job of explaining how Thomas would view this as the gift of a ‘loving father.’

Batman #84Fornes returns on the art-front for one last time on this Batman run and as always knocks it out of the park. His timeless style towards Batman and other DC characters such as the Reverse-Flash are always visually appealing and much better than the generic ‘realism’ we too often see in comics nowadays. Fornes’ style which has Golden/Silver Age aspects as well as being reminiscent to Batman: Year One manages to fit in with the multiversal concepts and still feel fit in with some of the dark aspects of the story.

Bellaire once again is on color duty for this issue and does a fantastic job of making Fornes’ art pop out even more than usual. Bellaire also works in tandem with Cowels, which helps to make the lettering stand out in certain moments. For example, a small panel featuring a gun-shot which is covered in red and features ‘BLAM’ in large font in the background. It’s simple but really helps bring King’s script to life. Although, that being said there is a very big mistake in this issue on the coloring front. In one panel, a flashback to ‘The Button’ arc, we see Bruce and Eobard Thawne standing together on the cosmic treadmill…except this should be Barry Allen. It’s a simple mix-up between the Flash and Reverse Flash’s colors, but one that completely took me out of the story.

Overall, King does a fantastic job explaining Thomas Wayne’s psyche during this event and sets up the final conclusion to the ‘City of Bane’ arc.

Batman #84 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Batman #84
4.5

TL;DR

King does a fantastic job explaining Thomas Wayne’s psyche during Batman #84 and sets up the final conclusion to the ‘City of Bane’ arc.

12 Comments on “REVIEW: ‘Batman,’ Issue #84”

  1. So, you see that Thomas had issues in Flashpoint so he tortured his son for 30+ issues???? Plus, martha wayne commiting suicide was not new, it happened in flashpoint and was one of the big moments

    1. It’s not just Flashpoint, it’s the events of surviving that AND the Button event that would significantly change your outlook. The universe is constantly refusing to let you die, so of course you go and ‘help’ your son albeit in Thomas’ own way.

      I don’t see how it’s a shock that he would have a twisted aggressive stance seeing how his form of justice already consisted of shooting villains to death.

      1. at the end of the Button, Thomas said “Wayne’s rise” and ran into the light with batarangs drawn! Didn’t sound or look like someone trying to commit suicide! Tom King is fudging this now to fit his narrative! And shooting villains doesn’t mean torturing his son, whom he sacrificed an entire timeline to let live.

        Plus, tell me how Flashpoint survived in the first place! The big question isn’t how Thomas got here, but how the Flashpoint Universe survived to begin with. Instead of answering the important questions, Tom King gives one panel of Reverse Flash saying he brought him to Bruce’s earth. He wants to die? Nobody was stopping him from jumping off that building right then and there, or shooting/hanging/poisoning himself 2 seconds later.

        Thomas liked Catwoman in his universe, said that her and bruce would have been friends and then when he sees him getting married to her, he goes to Bane to help destroy it, only to tell him 30 issues later to marry her?

        How about this, if he wanted Batman to retire and to keep true to the character of Thomas, why didn’t he just kill all of Batman’s villains like he did himself in Flashpoint thinking that would let his son retire because that’s what it did for him? When in Flashpoint did he show that he would hurt someone he loved as “help”? And don’t say Martha because she was the Joker.

        Thomas killed because he wasn’t as trained a fighter as Bruce, was older and had given up because he lost his family. When he found out from Barry that his world was the wrong one and Bruce had become Batman in another, he didn’t get upset that Bruce was Batman, he did whatever it took to bring that world back because he loved his son.

        This is complete and utter garbage! There are so many holes in it and it just slaps every fan of Flashpoint in the face – he already destroyed Thomas’ letter in the Button and now Thomas is just a delusional piece of crap! Way to go Tom King! Who else is on his hit list now that he’s ruined Dick Grayson, Wally West, Thomas Wayne and Batman?

        Also, explain why Bruce doesn’t even have a scratch from being shot in the stomach.

      2. Thomas poisoning himself wouldn’t really make an interesting story though, would it?

        It’s pretty clear that Flashpoint’s continued existence in ‘The Button’ was connected to Doomsday Clock & Dr Manhattan’s interference.

        Thomas jumping into the light was metaphorical in the sense that he wanted Bruce to live his light, and by being erased – Thomas could finally gain some peace.

        Him waking up and seeing Bruce not doing that pushes him into his plan.

        I don’t think King’s run is perfect, but neither is it that hard to understand either.

      3. Kinda agree with Tim here. Tom king is forcing things with Thomas and the idea of him hurting his son makes no sense no matter how you look at it based on what the character has done in the past. And as for Doc Manhatten, yea it seemed like that was the case during the Button but things have changed since then and if Tom King was any good, he should have come up with something to explain it on his own. Mr.Oz was something else at that point too and they reworked it to be Jor-El. Tom King is just a lazy writer and this City of Bane shows why he was fired!

      4. With all due respect, I can only give my honest opinion as a critic.

        With that in mind, I have to view the entire canvas. Has DC perfectly made the connections to Doomsday Clock clear? Not really. But in this case, I would argue it fits in and doesn’t distract from the story at all.

        My major gripe with this arc aside from being too long is that it was marketed as being Bane being the main villain when that isn’t the case.

        I appreciate King’s work is to the taste of some and not the others, but I personally enjoy his take on Dr. Wayne. I think he makes an interesting & personable villain.

      5. Penguin teamed up with Thomas Wayne in Flashpoint! It’s another example of Tom King doing what he wants without knowing anything about what he is referencing!!!

        For a reviewer trying to come off as someone who knows Flashpoint Thomas Wayne so much that you defend this awful use and characterization, you don’t seem like you actually read all of Flashpoint. This Penguin bit and the fact you say this issue “reveals” what happened to Martha kind of points to it.

      6. Because once one thing happens in a book, you can never use it again 🙁 the status quo is continually the same.

        You’re allowed your views and opinion, of course, only writing what I believe and felt from reading the book. I wasn’t alone & neither are you.

      7. He isn’t using it agsin, he is messing it up! It was just thrown in and is lazy and not knowing the story you are using. So, was that really Flashpoint because that Penguin thing didn’t happen like that!

  2. I don’t like this Thomas either. He didn’t want Bruce to be Batman without ever finding out anything about being Batman in this timeline. He wrote a letter to Bruce in Flashpoint and that never mentioned it, but it was forced into the Button even though Tom King had Bruce tell martha an issue before that he is Batman to save everyone. And a guy who admits in his letter that he became a bad guy because he had given up isn’t a psycho who would destroy the son he sacrificed a universe so he could live. As far as Manhatten, as a writer, you have to make sure things are spelled out in your book, not rely on assumptions from 2 years ago and assumptions that now may not happen. When this is collected and read years from now, nobody will know what was going to be. Tom king keeps skipping details in the entire run so it is nothing new.

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