Batman: The Tyrant Wing by Tom King

details
Title: Batman.
Story-Arc: The Tyrant Wings.
Volume: 9.
Writer(s): Tom King and Tom Taylor.
Illustrator(s): Mikel Janín, Jorge FornesOtto Schmidt and many more!
Colourist(s): Jordie Bellaire and many more!
Letterer(s): Clayton Cowles & A Larger World’s Troy Peteri.
Publisher
:
 DC Comics.
Format: Paperback (Read in Single Issues).
Release Date: March 26th 2018.
Pages: 152.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401288440.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.

Previously on DC Universe Rebirth’s Batman:
Batman (Vol. 1) I Am Gotham by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 1.5.) Night of the Monster Men by Steve Orlando
Batman (Vol. 2) I Am Suicide by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 3) I Am Bane by Tom King
Batman/The Flash (Vol. 3.5) The Button by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 4) The War of Jokes and Riddles by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 5) Rules of Engagement by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 6) Bride or Burglar by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 7) The Wedding by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 8) Cold Days by Tom King

thoughts

Throughout Batman’s canonical comic book runs since the New 52 reboot, it has been common to run into the occasional volume that falls short in terms of consistency and continuity with the inclusion of multiple unrelated stories within the same volume. These transitory volumes have always been a niggle to my conscience as they completely take you out of the ongoing story and invite mixed feelings within the reader as they try to immerse themselves within the story. Does that mean that they are unwelcome guests to our reading lives? Absolutely not. Occasionally, these volumes tend to also allow the reader to explore parallel stories that are sometimes written and drawn by other creative teams other than the main writer and artists of the Batman run. They also give readers a break to delve into themes and ideas that could otherwise never be visited within the run.

What is Batman: The Tyrant Wing about? Collecting Batman #58-60, Batman Annual #3 and Batman: Secret Files, this volume is a mixed bag of goods that teases wonderful stories but fails to come through in the long run. The first story arc written by Tom King is a continuation of the main plot and finally brings into play one of Batman’s most iconic villains, the Penguin. This time around, the Penguin isn’t his usual mob leader self as he’s under the control of the mastermind villain, Bane. While Batman is in an emotional turmoil following the past couple consecutive tragedies he’s had to live through, the latest curveball leads him into madness and solitude. Batman Annual #3 is a story written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Otto Schmidt and focuses on Alfred’s and Bruce Wayne’s long-standing relationship where their love for each other overrules their own self-care. The final special issue is a collection of random stories with different art styles that feel like half-cooked ideas that are lifeless and forgettable, and rightfully so.

Untitled

The main story arc was too short to carry most of the volume alone. Its introduction of the Penguin is original and successfully delivers the villain’s main characteristics while adding the necessary emotional tension to develop him within three issues. While there is a lot of potential to a full arc around the character, the story limits itself in its use of Batman’s archnemesis to fold over and return to the Bane story arc that was once the main attraction to Tom King’s beginning with Batman’s Rebirth run. While I have found Tom King has evolved greatly as a writer of the Dark Knight ever since he was done with Bane, the return of the one who broke Batman’s back brought back sour memories. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a huge fan of King’s portrayal of Batman’s and Bane’s chemistry together. Their interactions are primitive and dwell in rage, Batman often succumbs to his emotions, especially rage, when he’s up against Bane and Bane’s character is confusing in nature as he conveys leadership and self-destruction at the same time. It also doesn’t help when you have Batman yelling things like “bat-boot”. Good luck selling that one to me again.

The best part of this volume is, however, the Batman Annual #3 written by Tom Taylor and drawn by Otto Schmidt. Surprisingly, these annual issues are usually a collection of different stories with various creative teams but this one was a self-contained and complete story that had a head and a tail to it. It was a delight to see it explore the father and son bond between Bruce Wayne and Alfred, while giving it an edge by giving the billionaire’s butler the chance to show how much he’s willing to give to make sure Gotham’s superhero continues to live another day to deliver his form of justice. The artwork in this one also works in its favour, just like Mikel Janín’s artwork in Tom King’s story arc. The colours are refreshing, the attention to detail is meticulous and the character designs are flawless and iconic. There’s very little you can complain about in that department until you reach some of the mediocre stories in the Batman: Secret Files issue. In fact, their out-of-context stories don’t help in giving the issue any pertinence or right to be present in this volume. At least the next volume is bound to be a return-to-form for Tom King.

Batman: The Tyrant Wing is a mixed bag that struggles to identify itself with a purpose but teases intriguing stories to come, with fantastic artwork direction to complement the whole.


EXHIBITA

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25 comments

  • Bat boot huh? 🤔🤔 Yep…I would have a hard time accepting that too …and I don’t even read a lot of Batman😂 So….still going strong with the comic reviews I see. Nice that some things never change. Wow though: 4000 followers now huh😮😮 No surprise there….very cool to see your blog is still going strong! Not that there was ever any doubt 😊 Hope all is well with you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • DUUUUDE! Looks like someone has come back from the dead! I’m super happy to hear from you! Which probably means you have an update post up that I need to check out soon! I do hope you have been doing well, even if it doesn’t mean a full return to the blogging sphere!

      And yes. The bat-boot comment he explicitly does was shocking. It was something along the lines of “If you don’t want a bat-boot, stay out of my way!” Too odd for my taste…

      Hahahah I have a tough time giving up on blogging and have kept on reading manga, comic books and graphic novels. Of course, I also never gave up on reading novels. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha….back from the dead is prety much right 😊 Thanks for the warm welcome. While I am not back in full capacity unfortunately….I will be around at least again 😊 And I wish I could say I have been doing well, but alas, that is not completely the case.
        But….hanging in there 😊
        Lol…yeah that linke really does sound way too weird for comfort, totally agree with you!
        Good to hear you have been keeping up the good fight so to speak! Looking forward to reading some of those great reviews again (and undoubtedly adding way too much stuff to my own reading list because of it 😂).

        Liked by 1 person

  • I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but these new graphic novels and how they are setup, really bother me. I feel like that old uncle who is always going on about “back in my day…” and “a gallon of milk was 5 cents”, but I expect a complete story in a graphic novel. This move to simply collect and repackage single issues really chaps me. I’m obviously all about linearity and the occasional crossover I can handle but I have to question WHY they would throw in the Secret Files books, except as bulk fodder. I’ve always viewed graphic novels as the place to get the whole story and to weed out all the filler chaff.

    Sorry to go off. Besides the stories sounding more and more familiar (Alfred and Bruce having a father/son storyline? Come on, even I’ve read Bat stories about that! I feel like it is almost a trope at this point) and my issues with the marketing/selling side of things, I do like these reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m completely with you there. It was even worse with the New 52 volumes of the Batman runs. They’d release the same story arc and repackage under a different name (e.g. alongside the Batman: Endgame volume, they also released a Joker: Endgame volume… with 95% of the issues similar to the Batman one). While I can see why it would be a shame to have random issues like Batman: Secret Files #1 lying around without being collected somewhere for fans who don’t read single issues to read them, it’s still a problem for people who want linearity. I do miss how classic Batman stories would be multiple issues (more than just 6-8 issues) and get collected afterwards.

      And yes, the whole Alfred-Bruce father-son storyline is quite common but I won’t complain as long as they’re well executed and have nice artwork to go with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m not sure how I feel about this multiple unrelated stories thing – especially the Secret Files thing. Little irritates me more in my reading life than feeling as if I’m just reading something to bridge a gap (like when authors publish pointless ‘novellas’ in between books of a series. They’re always terrible. Just don’t) – I want something that either moves the plot forward or tells me something new about the characters and when that’s absent it’s just… a bit hard to get all the way through it.

    Hopefully the next one will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are indeed like novellas with stories that are sometimes not even related to the main arc too. It’s why I have a harder time to appreciate them. They are in there because they have no other place to be and help make the volume a bit chunkier. There was a time when they’d write and collect only the main story arcs and it was definitely better. I do understand that today it is hard to leave things “unused” since it would be a “waste” of money and time after all. But I know the next volume will be significantly better in this regard. It remains to be seen if the story follows suit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I see! So I guess it’s like the deleted scenes? The ones you always wants so you can spend extra time with the characters but after you’ve seen them it’s pretty obvious why they got cut out, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  • You can’t expect Bats to yell, ‘Socko!’, so ‘Bat-boot’, may have to suffice.

    Oh no! Poor Penguies in trouble!

    ”The perfect and impeccable pinnacle of ornithological sophistication under the brutish, bobble-handed mind-control of a bird-brained hack like ‘Bane’??? Unthinkable!
    Qua-a-a-a-a-a-a-ack, quack-ack-ack-ack!
    Birds of a feather, I must gather my thoughts together and destroy this magna-muscled, malcontent, miscreant!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah it could have indeed been weirder and even less tolerable! And yes, it’s quite tragic but Bane does something that forces the Penguin to follow his orders without questioning them. It’s a tragedy and you understand why he’s forced to be a pawn in the grand scheme. Funny thing, by the way, he actually squawks throughout this volume! I liked that it was added to his dialogue! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  • So this si the equivalent of what I call “side stories” in a series (for classic books) right? Well I don’t like then either and never buy them as I want to stay focused on the main story and plot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep! Side stories that are often not related to the main story at all hahaha And I too aren’t a fan of those for novels, and it’s especially because they’re ebooks and don’t really add much. It’s more for a completionist thing 😂

      Like

  • Darn, sorry to hear this run of issues didn’t quite work out for you Lashaan. As you’ll probably expect, I was more invested in it personally but you certainly make some very good points. The Penguin arc was a little short at three issues but it did add a bit of complexity to the character, which I liked – by no means was it on the level of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” but a good addition to King’s overall story – I think we’ve discussed this before, but am I right in recalling that you’re not a big fan of these smaller arcs that break up the bigger story?

    I’m going to be VERY interested to hear your thoughts on the next arc, the rather trippy “Knightmares”. The only problem there is Tom King took a break half way through form some TV work and the gap is filled in by a short Heroes in Crisis tie-in that crosses over with the Flash – I’m guessing DC will collect that separately and give “Knightmares” a volume of it’s own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is just the volume’s structure that is a niggle to my conscience. I just preferred how the modern age Batman stories were collected and despise how it has been done for a couple of years now since Snyder’s run. The random stories/issues collected don’t make the volume an enjoyable whole. It makes it choppy, if anything. I did like how he introduces the Penguin though. It’s one of the best characterization in a long time for the villain.

      I saw that the next volume doesn’t collect some issues of King’s run and wasn’t sure why. Thanks for the heads up! I do look forward to the collected edition of Heroes in Crisis though! And same for that Knightmares volume with Gerads, I believe!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, you definitely hit on a valid point there – I guess with reading the individual issues as they come provides a different effect but I can see how the collected format would lend that feeling of choppiness to the overall run.

        Alas, Gerads has only done one issue of the “Knightmares” arc (atg least so far, not sure if he’s slated to do any more) but it’s a particularly effective one!

        Liked by 1 person

  • I don’t understand why they change what is not broken. But what do they do with all the side material? I also think the side stories are by their nature easier to churn out. I don’t like most novellas, they distract. And many times I don’t like the ‘completed’ world. Thanks Lashaan, I love your devotion to comics, much like my manga. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is what they do with side issues that aren’t necessarily part of the series, they add it into different volumes with some sort of reasoning behind it. I’m happy that you find some interest in my posts, Dani! Thank you for reading!! 😁

      Like

  • If this is a fall from form for King, whom as you know I don’t hold in much regard already, I’d better stay away lest I start making lethal origami of the comic’s pages 😛
    I miss Snyder’s storylines!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Origami out of his comics hahahah well I can assure you that you won’t find this volume too fun unfortunately 😂 But hey! At least Snyder is still crazy active right now with a bunch of other series (Justice League, Batman Who Laughs, etc) 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s a real shame the last story felt like half cooked ideas. It does sound like there are some upsides, but it’s a pity this only teased wonderful stories and fails to come through in the long run. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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