Comic Book Writer Tom King Rumored To Abruptly Leave ‘Batman’ Title Before 100 Issues

According to a rumor via BleedingCool, from unnamed industry sources, the notorious comic book writer Tom King will be ending his run on the Dark Knight sooner than expected, supposedly due to the series’ recent dip in sales below the common range of 130,000-110,000 issues commonly seen in Batman titles. King isn’t leaving on his own accord but rather as an order by DC Comics on the 85th issue of his run, but he will be continuing to write for other DC projects since his exclusive contract with the publisher is still active.

King is a well renowned comic book writer, having been the recipient of Eisner Awards for his short series on The Vision and Mister Miracle which both dealt with themes relating to depression and familial life. While the author is best known for his miniseries such as The Sheriff of Babylon which was based on King’s own experience as a CIA agent, his comic books run haven’t received universal acclaim. Prior to heading the main Batman title in DC Rebirth, King worked on a re-imagining of Dick Grayson/Nightwing in the series Grayson which saw Batman’s first ward be turned into an undercover spy.

That run was overall successful and helped make DC give the reins of the main Batman title to King, though his run on the character has been very divisive with the series doing little to change the character, such as during the “wedding” of Batman and Catwoman which resulted in the dark knight being left at the altar keeping the status quo.

In a recent interview with ComicBook, King had this to say about his most recent and also highly divisive miniseries Heroes in Crisis, “his was always about those three characters. It was a Harley story, a Wally story, and was a Booster story. As I’ve said many times before, I don’t pick the characters for my story; I give my plot to the editors and then the editors pick the characters for me. So I told them in the beginning, “this is what it’s going to be — it’s going to be about one hero who’s made a mistake and it’s going to be about the two heroes that get framed for that mistake.” And they said, “okay, it’s Booster, Harley, and Wally, those are the three characters. I mean they’re a joy to write, I love writing them. That’s almost what I miss the most about this book is writing those two”.”

This quote could indicate that it’s the editors in DC themselves that have been dictating these poor decisions in King’s stories. Perhaps it was editorial that made Batman get left at the altar and cancel any actual development for the Batman character? Perhaps it was editorial that forced Wally West to commit all of those murders and make the overall story of Heroes in Crisis so far portray trauma really poorly in the form of the rehab institution Sanctuary? Who’s to say?

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to hear from DC itself to see if they’ll actually cancel Tom King’s run on Batman on the basis of sales, story disputes with fans, or both. Perhaps they may actually allow King to finish his run since he’s only 15 issues away from accomplishing his initial goal of writing 100 years? After all, despite the run’s many flaws (which may possibly stem of editorial actions), the series has garnered many fans who deserve to see their beloved story reach its end.


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