Does anyone want to talk about Batman 83?

After reading the latest issue of Tom King’s Batman run, I’m interested in hearing what other folks have to say about it. Personally, I have had, and continue to have, serious problems with Kong’s pacing, dialogue, and character development. That said, this issue was still very moving to me. If anyone’s been keeping up with it since issue 1, how worthwhile has the journey been? I’ve been very on/off with my reading, but I’d like think I’ve gotten the jist of the entire series.

Admittedly, the story’s not over yet, but I’m hoping to hear from folks who enjoy his writing so I can perhaps get a little more out of this series.

You recently replied to one of my posts so my response won’t be shocking but I intensely dislike his run. I think almost everything about it has been either aggravating or boring. I feel like King’s influence will last long enough that I might not make it to the next retcon and will have to take a bat-break.

1 Like

That’s right! I went and posted this thread and then about a minute later I saw your post :sweat_smile:

Great minds think alike?

Good issue in a great run. I love King’s super-decompressed method of storytelling. I think his run started out pretty basic but has been compelling since “The Button” (the nightmare arc was a slight dull point). With his main Batman run ending at 75, it’s pretty much the longest I’ve stuck on a title without dropping off in years.


Whenever King goes into one of his protracted quote-a-thons, I just tune out. It’s as though he can’t be bothered to write the thing he’s being paid to write.

Half of the dialogue in one of his issues was the lyrics to Home on the Range. And I will never forgive him for this.


I agree with you on the style. I see people online complain bitterly and constantly about how “compressed storylines to fit into TPBs are ruining comics and they’re not as good as the 80s” well… here you go. Decompressed, super deep dive, exposing every flaw and weakness and hitting it… all around a pretty straightforward premise… Batman wins because he keeps coming. Not that Batman can’t be happy and be Batman, that’s one of the fears… but that he keeps coming. I’m honestly enjoying the run a great deal and think he’s one of the top writers they’ve had. Even the quote heavy stuff hearkens back to… well, quite a few older runs of comics that incorporated novels, music, etc to be on theme. It’s a very old style and while it doesn’t necessarily blend with most other writers today, I think there is certainly a place for it.


I like a lot of what you said. I think King is next level. His writing appeals to people who are looking for more than superhero punches bad guy and saves the day. We’ve had 80 years of Batman punching stuff and saving the day. What King is doing is new. It is moving superhero storytelling (on the page) forward. Vision and Mister Miracle do that with the short form graphic novel approach, while his Batman run is the long epic version of that.

Whether you like him or hate him, we all admit that his style is different. And if you are open to something different in the world of superheros, King one of the very few doing that at the big two publishers.


I find it interesting that you say that a lot of people complain when stories are more compressed, because I tend to see the reverse among comic readers. Particularly with the rising cost of comics, it becomes frustrating to go through while issues with very little development in the plot. I get what you mean that having the story so decompressed helps emphasize certain aspects of the story, but King takes it a step too far for me.

I’ve loved the entire King run…well except maybe the Damian Pyg dream issue…
Anyway, 83 was an amazing love story to Alfred and completely caught me off guard when you find out that he knew he was going to be killed and chose to allow it to protect Bruce. Very moving.

1 Like

So, is Alfred’s death permanent or will get retconned somehow?

I have a love hate opinion on King’s Batman. Sometimes it hits the spot. Sometimes it takes forever to get to where its going, and most of the time when you get there it sucks. This issue is no different. Another waste of time.

Honestly, we’ll have to wait and see. I’m willing to bet that in two years’ time, there will have been some kind of crisis and everything will change, prompting the right writer to bring Alfred back. Either that, or we’re going to see Bruce go through some really positive character growth now that he can’t be dependent on Alfred’s support. I mean, having Alfred around has always made Bruce into a bit of a man-child, so even if Alfred’s death left me extremely shocked, upset, and more than a little angry, I’m willing to hope that there are better days to come.

(Us fans normally skip to Batman '89. I am not sure I have seen Batman '83.)


Great issue. Tom King gets Bruce Wayne’s relationships. His Bruce & Selina dynamic is the best I’ve ever seen. He wrote a great Bruce & Dick relationship in Grayson, which carried over into the post-wedding issues of his Batman. And in this issue he really nails how Bruce feels about Alfred and vice versa. Even in death, Alfred gives Bruce the motivation he needs to carry on.

Will Alfred stay dead? I hope so, just because it’s a pretty significant development and I’d hate to see DC undo it for the sake of nostalgia or making sure the comic lines up with the film. There will always be Batman stories set prior to Tom King’s run, so there will always be a place for Alfred in the DCU. But I’d really like to see the modern Batman stories move forward without him because change is good and necessary.


Has King told us what happened to the Penguin yet? I don’t remember seeing him since number 60 when he was blindfolded in the Batcave.

1 Like

Well, one could infer that Penguin got brainwashed by Psycho Pirate just like the rest of Batman’s rogues gallery. I wonder what kind of job he’d be doing in Bane’s Gotham? Joker and Riddler are detectives, Hugo Strange is the commissioner, Firefly is a firefighter… maybe Penguin’s manning a desk at the DMV :joy:

1 Like