Batman #84 Dives Into Thomas Wayne’s Past

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Mikel Janin

Batman fans were stunned several months ago when they learned that the great “big bad” of this run wasn’t Bane, but Thomas Wanye, the alternate universe version of Bruce’s father. Thanks to Batman #84 we finally know why…

Tom King, Jorge Fornes, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles reveal the truth about Thomas Wayne.

Bruce Wayne will not bend to his father’s will, and Thomas is determined to make him pay. He then relives every moment, every memory, everything that made him hate everything Batman stands for. And the moment he learned that Bruce became Batman in another timeline. A moment that changed him forever…

This isn’t so much a story as a collection a moments. It’s an interesting structure that King uses to cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of space. Some of vignettes work, and others don’t (largely Flashpoint Selina’s involvement), but it’s ultimately successful. It’s not the best issue of King’s run, but it fleshes out the antagonist significantly. It doesn’t progress the ongoing story more than a couple seconds though, which means next issue’s finale is going to have a lot of ground to cover, hopefully not to its detriment.

Fornes continues to show off his immense talent. While the story doesn’t work at times, there’s never a moment where the art doesn’t. He packs a massive amount of detail into each panel, recalling moments from earlier in the run, or totally new moments we’ve never seen. Bellaire adds a lot of life to the pages, mimicking the past stories in call-backs, and making important moments pop, especially with Thomas’s eyes.

One of the greatest moments in Batman history is about to happen, and I can’t wait to see what it is. This series has been one of my favorite reads, even if it hasn’t been perfect. It will go down as one of comics’ all time bests and I truly hope the ending lives up to the rest of the run.

Batman #84 is available now from DC Comics.

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