As King looks to quickly wrap up his run in the next issue, he gives us a look into Thomas Wayne’s motives in shooting Batman, Bane and Alfred.
Behind these motives, King writes into the explanation that Thomas had allied himself with Catwoman before as a means to mentor someone around his son’s age and take that place. This resulted in him understanding what Bruce had for Selina and looked to take everything from Bruce to convince him to forego being the Batman for a normal life with Selina. This results in the final panel with Thomas having Bruce stay down.
While a strong issue for Tom King, this was too late in the series to have as large of an impact as it could’ve had. In previous issues, King focused on getting Bane’s drugs and Batman doing normal, everyday activities with Selina. Then after returning to Gotham and reuniting to fight Bane again, Bane gets shot in the head by Thomas. Getting shot ruined the fact that Tom King wrote in his 7th & 8th issues about Batman being obsessed with wanting to break Bane’s back. Instead, King denies us it 70 issues later and instead gives us in the second to last issue, his reasoning for denying us and Batman that victory.
If this wasn’t as late in the series and King focused more on other elements of the storyline rather than making older issues seem meaningless at this point, this issue would’ve been outstanding. Kin had written The Wedding in his run and kept the consistent threat of Bane prevalent throughout the series, but instead we are left with an issue that came a few issues too late.
While this issue was a long time in the making and would’ve been better added earlier around issue 70-80, Jorge Fornes has been doing a great job at adapting Tom’s scripts into the series, with his art.
Fornes did exceptionally well during the flashback, full page panel with Batman and Catwoman leaping across the skyline of a block of buildings. From the Red moon to the ink on the buildings and positioning of everything to scale with the image, Fornes did a great job. I also liked his detail in some of the fight sequences; the fight in the sewer and seeing the outline of the Cave as Catwoman and Batman are headed up the stairs. Whie some of these sequences were more minimal, he did do a good job at encapsuling these moments.
Unfortunately, it’s still wasted on an issue that came too late, even though it was one of Tom King’s best issues so far in the City of Bane arc.