Batman #81

Writer: Tom King Artist: John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: October 16, 2019 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 22 User Reviews: 72
6.8Critic Rating
4.5User Rating

+ Pull List

It's time for the big showdown. Batman is calling Bane out. But is the Dark Knight Detective ready to take on the foe who broke him worse than any other that came before? And what else stands in Batman's way, to put an obstacle between him and his enemy? Tread lightly, Batman, because not only do the lives of your son and trusted friends hang in the balance, but your entire home could collapse on top of you!

  • 10
    DC Comics News - Derek McNeil Oct 27, 2019

    Naked Harvey Bullock aside, this is yet another great issue from King. The City of Bane storyline proves that King gets Batman, despite what the doubters may claim. Add some great art from legends John Romita Jr. and Mitch Gerads, and you get an amazing Batman issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.2
    The Super Powered Fancast - Deron Generally Oct 16, 2019

    John Romita Jr and Mitch Gerads create some beautiful art in this issue. Romita Jr's gritty style is perfect for this heavily action oriented issue and Mitch Gerads follow up story with Bullock is a brilliant tie in to the Justice/Doom War. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    On Comics Ground - Timothy Quail Oct 21, 2019

    A great issue of Batman all around. If you like Tom King Batman, this is some of the best. City of Bane is a really interesting arc, and it seems to be heading toward something truly great. Seeing this is the final stretch of King's run, it is one hell of a way to go out. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Forces Of Geek - Lenny Schwartz Oct 16, 2019

    The last two pages are drawn by Mitch Gerads and they are the best of the issue. It ties into the Year Of The Villain and I enjoyed it. It is a decent enough comic book. I'm interested to see how this all wraps up. I know it will be very cool for sure. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    But Why Tho? - Charlie Ashby Oct 16, 2019

    Overall, Batman #81 is once again a terrific issue of Batman that starts to fill in some of the gaps, while delving into the differences between Bruce and Thomas. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Black Nerd Problems - Keith Reid-Cleveland Oct 18, 2019

    Regardless, this chapter ofBatman appears to be coming to a close and I've got a feeling that we'll get the closure we need to walk away from it with a sense of satisfaction, even if there was some frustration or impatience occasionally along the way. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Geek Dad - Ray Goldfield Oct 16, 2019

    There's a strange backup with Harvey Bullock half-naked and singing a weird song while wearing Joker makeup, and I'm not sure what to make of it, but the art by both Romita Jr. and Gerads is top-notch, even if the story feels scattered. Read Full Review

  • 8.2
    Word Of The Nerd - Josh Sykes Oct 16, 2019

    Tom King is going out on Batman the way he came in: With style and poise. "City of Bane" puts a bow on quite a few tales that Mr. King has woven since picking up the pen on Bruce's cowl, and he doesn't disappoint. Nor has the foot come off the gas pedal when it comes to twists and turns with this issue. Batman #81 is another must-grab as Tom King wraps up his run on the main title, and I can't wait to see what he has planned next for Bruce (and Selina). Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Impulse Gamer - Matt Fischer Oct 24, 2019

    As much as I complained about Batgod in this issue, I freaking love it. Its the Batman I grew up with and hes back. God I cant wait for Bruce to beat his father senseless. Read Full Review

  • 8.0 - Nicole Drum Oct 16, 2019

    Ultimately what works here most comes in the last few pages, when you realize Batman's plan isn't going to plan. It makes up for the somewhat disappointing undoing of most of the series' drama and the fact that we still haven't gotten to Bane. Read Full Review

  • 7.6
    Monkeys Fighting Robots - David DeCorte Oct 16, 2019

    BATMAN #81 is compelling, though much of the actual story here is simple exposition; the Bat Family's "How I Did It" statement. The artwork is phenomenal, though, making for a visually-stunning work. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    The Batman Universe - Paul Shanly Oct 16, 2019

    I have issues with some of the revelations that have come with this issue, but the Thomas Wayne moments made for a solid issue. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    AIPT - Vishal Gullapalli Oct 16, 2019

    While it's a bit difficult to read, King's writing makes this issue well worth reading for everyone enjoying his run and this arc. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Wes Greer Oct 16, 2019

    Overall this is one of the better issues I have picked up in a while and I was most excited by the fact that there was finally something that drew me in and got me pumped up to see what happens next. It finally brought Bruce Wayne back into his element and that is always nice to see. We also learn of a drawn-out plan he has had throughout which brings us back to that detective mastermind feeling that has been absent for a little bit. As drawn out as the series has been, this issue makes up for it and I highly recommend picking this one up. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Dark Knight News - Eric Lee Oct 17, 2019

    For me Batman #81 pulls its narrative threads together in an oddly boring way. King teases just enough to keep things intriguing, but the mechanics of the storytelling feel very pedestrian. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Oct 19, 2019

    Heavy-handed narration throughout the issue wipes away anything that made this storyline remotely interesting, all so we can build up to a predictable ending. Read Full Review

  • 5.6
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Nov 30, -0001

    DC's flagship Batman series continues to struggle even as it builds to a major finale. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles Oct 16, 2019

    With four more issues left in his run, King has to start advancing the City of Bane and while theres definitely some movement on that front, its still hardly satisfying. Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Comic Book Revolution - Kevin Lainez Oct 18, 2019

    Batman #81 is such a massive disappointment. Rather than being cool character development, the heavy exposition from Bruce Wayne is just exhausting. By the midway you start counting how many more pages are left in Batman #81. This issue is just a complete failure in building anticipation from what will happen next in "City of Bane." Read Full Review

  • 3.0
    Sequential Planet - Pashtrik Maloki Oct 19, 2019

    We are truly in the endgame of King's Batman and, personally, I think it has taken a huge blow. The remaining four issues can still be decent as standalone issues. But I don't see them redeeming the overall story. I sure as hell hope King manages to prove me wrong. Read Full Review

  • 2.5
    Weird Science - Dan Mayhoff Oct 16, 2019

    While this issue isn't without some good parts, it ultimately ends up incredibly disappointing as the majority of the issue is, once again, simply recapping the events that we already know. The most interesting part of this issue finishes with an off-panel fight scene that would have been much more interesting than the actual panel that we got which basically just looked at a clock while the sounds of battle happened elsewhere. I've given this book a lot of leeways but this issue I cannot hold back on. The good parts of this book do not even come close to outweighing or even balancing out the bad. Read Full Review

  • 2.0
    Batman-News - Joshua McDonald Oct 16, 2019

    Batman #81 - like most of King's Batman run, especially the back half - is utter nonsense. I do not recommend it. Batman should be leading the comic book industry, and King's attempt has done anything but. Read Full Review

  • 1.0
    myconius Oct 16, 2019

    oh for pete's sake!!!
    the painfully obvious back-peddaling that this issue starts with
    just proves that Tom King had NO plan of what the heck he's doing.

    King never bothered to read Flashpoint to learn that Thomas Wayne uses his guns
    to make up for the fact that he lacks the years of training that Bruce had.
    Tim Drake's lack of reflex skills was just LAUGHABLE!!!
    King made Batman & the Bat-family into just as big a dope that he himself is!

    this is seriously EMBARRASSING!!!! Tom King, have you NO shame?? beyond pathetic.

    along with awful writing, even the art was phoned in.

  • 1.5
    Psycamorean Oct 16, 2019

    This is the THIRD issue of this type in this run. It was lazy every single time. The way you properly set up a twist like that is that you foreshadow it. You leave connections and clues. You don't just think it up, not bake it into the background of the story, and then at the end go "Aha! I'm so smart!" I don't understand how anyone could read this and think it's good. And, by the way, I called it. This is just I Am Suicide on a larger scale. The plans upon plans are so convoluted and ridiculous and circuitous. They don't make sense without a lot of luck and a lot of people doing things Batman THINKS they will do. Which is something you can't plan around. And even then, the explanation doesn't explain the plot holes that have formed.

  • 1.5
    Nihilist Oct 16, 2019

    I'll be damned, I don't know what worse in this piece of filth of a comic - writing or art. It's bad on every considerable level, from the storytelling perspective, through dialogues, to sketches and inks. It's trash. Just trash.

    Back when King started his Batman run, he created I Am Suicide arc - and as I said many times before, I like it, a lot in fact. The final plot twist, showing how Bat outsmarted Bane, was fun, surprising and somewhat fresh. Doing the same thing the second time simply doesn't work, and as much as King would like to build his story on similar themes returning multiple times, every now and then, it's, in the end, just tiresome and predictible. Tom King is not Noam Chomsky, who actually can get away with repe more

    + LikeComments (26)
  • 1.0
    DC Stuff Oct 15, 2019

    King does it again! Just like in Heroes in Crisis where he wrote himself into a corner, he tries to get out by overexplaining everything that was supposed to be part of his long Batman run from the beginning, but he seemed to never show at all! Seriously, if you believed his lies after he lied about the wedding, then you are just not all that with it! This run has been full little to no setup and a storytelling style that lets the reader fill in a lot of the blanks while reading. That comes back to haunt everyone including King since we all have different ideas of how we got here and so we get pages of narration to tell us (not show us) everything so we can all get to the ending together. To top it off, some of it is just pure rubbish! more

    + LikeComments (2)
  • 3.0
    waltgator93 Oct 16, 2019

    So the slap was a message? Total bullshit! Last minute change due to people asking about the aftermath. Got way too much recap. Just an awful story.

  • 2.0
    Afre Oct 16, 2019

    I've always loved JR Jr and his art. Especially when he was on ASM. But now it just doesn't seem right. It seems like he is not focusing as much in this, as he did in ASM. A New Ways to Die, ASM #600 all had better art than this. Maybe his style just doesn't fit Batman as well as it does on Spidey.

    As for the rest of the issue. It was bad. Just no. All this being Bruce's big plan that has too much luck in it? Just no. I liked the idea of Bruce being broken better than Bruce planning this all. And Thomas taking all Batfamily? Just doesn't seem right. I can't see how 30 years older man could take them like Bruce would.

    I just cannot understand anything anymore. Bane isn't nearly as much in this as I hoped. Thomas doesn' more

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 2.0
    Quinn Oct 16, 2019

    This is how King has Batman characters win. They get beat on and beat on, and once the attackers get all tuckered out from pummeling the victim, the victim then turns around, all bloody and beaten, and hits them once and they drop like a sack of potatoes.

    Apparently, in King's world, there's not such thing as broken noses, concussions, internal bleeding , damaged backs, knees and hands. You just take a huge beating, walk it off and then hit someone once.

    That's basically played out again in Batman 81. It turns out the Bat Family joins with Damian (may he rot in Hell) and beat and beat and beat Thomas Batman. He utters "because I'm Batman" and hits them once and they drop. King seems to have forgotten, or perhaps never more

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 1.0
    KFuqua Oct 16, 2019

    No shock here....more garbage by Tom King! As I've said before, he can't leave this title soon enough. The art is also well below average, so this month the art can't even help the book at all.

  • 1.5
    gusresm Oct 16, 2019

    Terrible issue. The writing is over complicated and convoluted. The plot is full of holes. I usually like JR JR art but his work here seems lazy. I don’t understand how Thomas Wayne can defeat the whole bat family alone ( including cass Cain). I guess I will never know since it is all off panel. For the first time in ten years I may drop Batman...

  • 1.0
    Rascal4Hire Oct 16, 2019

    Or minus 1
    I've been very supportive of Tom King which was a mistake. I dropped Heroes In Crisis but kept buying his Batman. Supporting him. This is the issue where it's obvious that the writer doesn't care, the editor doesn't care, the artist doesn't care.
    Nobody cares but they still ask for our money. Huge plot holes covered with cringy excuses and dialogue.
    I get it that Tom King is angry or sad that he was fired from Batman but he could at least try and wrap up his story. A story readers have invested time and money.
    But he doesn't.
    It's disappointing. Whatever King's problem with DC is it's not worth disappointing his fans like this. I'm still a huge fan of his previous work but this is the point I have to say more

  • 1.0
    Big Brother Oct 16, 2019

    Putting King on this book has been a blunder of epic proportions. It is clear that the man does not know what he's doing.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 1.0
    OracleJack Oct 16, 2019

    The worst part of the book is that it got published. It feels rushed, the twist here is just incomprehensibly stupid and based on tons and tons of pure luck. But the worst part of it is that it clashes with the previous 20 or so issues.
    It's hard to decide whether this or Heroes In Crisis is Tom King's lowest point.
    What started as an interesting story ended up being filler after filler issue with ridiculous (even for a superhero comic book) plot and twists.
    Tom King is a talented writer. But Batman is definitely not a book that shows his talent.

    + LikeComments (2)
  • 1.0
    Kris_with_a_K_Okay Oct 16, 2019

    Is this a joke?

  • 4.0
    egon244 Oct 16, 2019

    "You irrelevant old man"

    I think that the next thing Tom King should tackle is the X-Men. To hell with Hickman, Tom King should write X-Men. His ability to tell a "story" without actually telling one is truly Uncanny.

    Ok, now that we have this terrible joke out of the way, let's delve into the issue.

    There isn't really much to delve into to be honest. It's the same old, same old. Telling a drawn out, paper-thin story and making an excuse that all that has happened was a part of the plan. Of course, sure it was. NOPE.

    You can't just do things and then try to convince us that is was the plan all along, that it was a part of the bigger picture form the beginning.

    But it gets even better. I more

  • 1.5
    superstan52 Oct 16, 2019

    Wait. I thought Catwoman standing Bruce up "broke" him? Now he says his brokenness was part of a master plan? So that means he proposed, knew he would get stood up, and even knowing that, let it "break" him? HUH???

    Also, the "epiphany" Batman had about needing others to help him? The guy is in more groups (JLA, Outsiders) than anybody else, and he's been relying on his support family - only some of which are are shown in the splash page - for years. So that doesn't make any sense, either.

    Then, of course, that entire support family just lingers on the sidelines while Flashpoint Batman has a gun cocked at Robin's head. What? Betting that this maniac wouldn't shoot? Not a safe bet, in my opinion.

    So yes. Th more

  • 1.0
    SONOFBATMANN Oct 16, 2019

    This is a legitimate waste of paper, ink, money, and most importantly, my time.

    Fuck Morse code, now you can just punch people to convey a message. - Tom King the Scholar

    + LikeComments (2)
  • 5.0
    Linkush Oct 16, 2019

    Come on King, you have 4 more issues left, you can't do a recap now, that's not the right time.
    Even the little bit of progress we did get was unsatisfying because Bruce's plan doesn't make any sense. And on top of that, the art was underwhelming and boring to look at.

    What a waste of time.

  • 1.0
    CaptnAmerca Oct 16, 2019

    This is the worst issue of Batman I've ever read.

  • 4.0
    LunaMoody Oct 16, 2019

    Okay first off let me start with saying I liked parts of Tom Kings run a lot and have disliked parts of it equally as much. This issue however just pissed me off. I didn't mind the " plan" to a point. Some of it was Batman-ish enough to believe he would do that. But seriously him allowing himself to be beaten by Bane to further along his plan to bring him down. Seriously!!! What if Bane had grew a pair and decided beating him wasn't enough this go around and just killed him instead? Are we the reader to assume he had a plan for that to? Or what if the "broken" back wasn't fixable and he was left unable to move? Then what was the so called "plan"? I'm sorry King but that whole Batman's - it was all according to my ''plan'' is just BULLS - - more

  • 1.0
    RedKSuperman Oct 18, 2019

    When you have to publish an issue to explain the story in previous issues, it's pretty clear that you've lost focus and perspective in your own story. Just end the damn story already and start another story arc already...At this point I just want to read a two issue story about the Clock King.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 3.0
    KittyNone Oct 16, 2019

    Does your heart race when you see JRJR's typically stunning depiction of Bane rising above the word "SHOWDOWN!"? Well don't you worry your nerves, it's a false alarm. This is just another issue of people meandering about explaining the plot to one another. Tom King's run might be ending sooner than was meant to, but it's definitely ending later than it should have.

  • 2.0
    Talon1load Oct 18, 2019

    Communicating through violence. I’m PRETTY sure Batman didn’t support this when it was done with Cassandra Cain so I doubt he’d adopt it with the rest of the family. An aged alcoholic alternate world Batman got the shit beat out of him and then magically, off panel, defeats the group of much younger and better trained fighters. Seems legit. Everything has actually been part of BATMAN’s plan now? Riiiiiiiight. With this writing, I honestly don’t know how King keeps getting work. Seriously. How did this guy get awards for this type of bullshit? The art was just bad. I like JrJr for the most part but his work here and on All Star Batman has been horrendous. The cover doesn’t look bad but the interiors suck. The best part of this more

    + LikeComments (1)
  • 2.0
    Spacey Medicine Oct 23, 2019

    “So you see Selina, that is when you and I went to a beach--” “Yes, I was there” “And we trained together--” “Yup I remember” “Do you mind? I’m trying to narrate for the audience, because this is too convoluted otherwise.”

  • 5.0
    sebastianorellana95 Oct 16, 2019

    Worst Batman Rebirth issue to the date.

  • 5.0
    Batman Jones Oct 16, 2019

    I think I'm probably in the 99th percentile of lovers of King's Batman but this issue was disappointing by every metric. Here's hoping King has 4 great issues left in him. The last couple have felt like steps backward.

    + LikeComments (2)
  • 5.0
    mrDovydas Oct 19, 2019

    Oh come on. I've managed to somewhat enjoy the recent issues, I've even loved JRJR's art last issue. But this is crap. Nothing actually happens here, nothing makes sense, and it looks like crap.

  • 1.0
    M1sf1r3 Nov 27, 2019

    King's Batman has been improving recently so here's hoping that trend continues.

    The Good:
    Nope. Nope. Nope.

    The Bad:

    Batman actively teaches his kids how to interpret his punches when he hits them? WTF!

    God, this stinks of BatGod.

    Art has dipped as well.

    How can Thomas beat the Bat-Family here, let alone Orphan who is a BETTER FIGHTER THAN BRUCE HIMSELF! Thomas is roughly 60, he shouldn't be able to take actual trained vigilantes.

    Dialogue was pretty poor, especially without knowing who was speaking.

    Also what the hell is that Clayface twist?

    Naked Harvey Bullock. Do I need to say more.
    Just as Batman was getting good again, King throws that all into the drain. more

  • 10
    axdn Oct 16, 2019

    Game on ! Bane!

  • 9.0
    Another Nerd Oct 16, 2019

    Another fantastic issue. Romita's art is hit or miss with me but the past two issues are masterful, kudos sir! King is moving the story forward while filling us in on the details of recent events. It all makes sense and has me engaged for what comes next.

  • 8.0

    Sweet jesus. I know people are expecting the climax soon, but how is this issue just a recap? It gave us mostly information we didn't previously know and could only speculate on. It is definitely convoluted as heck, but bitch... this ain't my first Metal Gear Solid 2.

    + LikeComments (8)
  • 3.5
    Superheroes for Hire Oct 23, 2019

    2.5 points for the art this time. It's about average thanks to a good deal of coloring work. I respect and admire JR Jr. for all his past work, but it's too squared these days and doesn't work as well with modern coloring. Also the art direction I this book is poor. Scenes of Batman and Catwoman are of them prowling. Scenes of the big "fight" are all off panel. And Bane, while looking like classic Bane at the end, looks nothing like he has for this entire run. 1 point for writing. Words were on the page in complete sentences this time, the characters got from point A to point B, and there was even some dramatic irony. But this plot is still the most contrived, dragged out, awful excuse for a mainstream superhero comic. Not only does it expl more

  • 1.5
    DarePool53 Dec 22, 2020

    Probably the worst single issue of Batman I have read in the 8 years the book has been on my pull list.

    I'm glad the art looked like a burnt bag of turds that someone had put out with a hammer, as it meant that I could zip through the issue in about 5 minutes (5 minutes I shall never get back, I might add!).

    #85 can't come quickly enough.

  • 1.0
    SnakeWilson Oct 21, 2019

    no real progress in the story, this issue is pure tell don't show to try justify the messy plot, flashpoint batman vs the bat family makes no sense

  • 1.0
    mwrock61 Dec 18, 2019


  • 1.0
    Maniax Oct 15, 2019

  • 1.0
    Slay Oct 16, 2019

  • 1.0
    GMan97 Oct 16, 2019

  • 10
    VicSav Oct 16, 2019

  • 10
    Alexander_Tsitokhtseff Oct 16, 2019

  • 10
    HCPxScarecrow Oct 18, 2019

  • 10
    Æther Oct 30, 2019

  • 10
    Angelgt1996 Nov 1, 2019

  • 9.0
    Anotherfan Oct 16, 2019

  • 9.0
    Brideshead Oct 31, 2020

  • 8.5
    Watchtower022 Oct 19, 2019

  • 8.5
    Sunspots Nov 13, 2019

  • 8.0
    Grifter Oct 17, 2019

  • 8.0
    Dorival Oct 23, 2019

  • 8.0
    Spider-Man Prime Dec 8, 2019

  • 8.0
    iPodwithnomusic Mar 8, 2020

  • 8.0
    truffaz Aug 27, 2020

  • 7.5
    JBL Reviews Oct 17, 2019

  • 7.5
    Hamman798 Oct 19, 2019

  • 7.5
    Josecab79 May 19, 2020

  • 7.0
    Issy543 Oct 16, 2019

  • 7.0

  • 7.0
    BitchWitcher Oct 20, 2019

  • 6.5
    FASHI Oct 16, 2019

  • 6.0
    tonpas1989 Oct 16, 2019

  • 6.0
    Radar Oct 22, 2019

  • 6.0
    Balthaak Oct 24, 2019

  • 6.0
    Jason The Dude Oct 27, 2019

  • 6.0
    Tinman Nov 7, 2019

  • 6.0
    Tony May 21, 2020

  • 6.0
    Marvelll Jun 22, 2020

  • 5.5
    ActionCity Oct 16, 2019

  • 2.0
    Knight of the Absurd Oct 18, 2019

  • 1.5
    BlueAndEvil Jul 15, 2020

  • 1.0
    Justin Ray Oct 18, 2019

  • 1.0
    JustCrazy Oct 21, 2019

  • 1.0
    Rinaldi Nov 3, 2019

  • 1.0
    PowerKing Jul 8, 2020

Reviews for the Week of...