What does it mean for Batman and his allies?

Batman 85
Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin and Hugo Petrus
Colors by Jordie Bellaire

After 85 issues – minus a couple of crossover issues here and there – Tom King’s epic run on the Rebirth Batman comes to an end. The finale brings the status quo back to Gotham City, for the most part, with Batman having defeated the Flashpoint version of his father with a little help from Catwoman.

I’ve had an up and down relationship with King’s run on Batman, and I haven’t been shy about ditching a storyline here or there when I just wasn’t feeling it. But when King was on his game, the story of Bane’s conquest of Gotham City as Thomas Wayne tried to get his son to quit being Batman was one of the best stories going. For all the promise within King’s tale, though, things always seemed to take a step or two backwards too often.

The final issue of King’s run on Batman – before he takes the story to a team-up series with the Bat and the Cat in 2020 – ties off the threads that have been building since the start of Rebirth with a series of vignettes off the main story. Gotham Girl gets her powers back thanks to some special Kryptonite from Superman; Bane takes care of Thomas Wayne; and Bruce Wayne tries to honor the death of Alfred – the only real lasting change to the Batman mythos that King affected here – by continuing his mission with Catwoman at his side.

King addresses the relationship between Batman and Catwoman, as well. After a failed attempt at a wedding back in ISSUE 50, the couple tries to do it again, but end up making out and having sex instead. They finally decide that they love each other and don’t need to get married to express that. What a waste of time.

Oh, and Bruce Wayne has a beer at a bar with Kite Man while watching a football game.

Overall, the end of King’s run on Batman was fun but still left me kind of cold. Despite pushing for a lot of change and trying to tell an epic story, it never felt like he managed to hit a consistent stride.