Batman #38 Might Well Be Tom King's The Killing Joke

Batman #38 isn't out yet. It isn't even the next issue, that's Batman #37, the continuation of the Superfriends story. Batman #38 is basically a fill-in issue by Tom King and Travis Moore. And it's called "The Origin Of Bruce Wayne".

Except it is not the origin of Bruce Wayne. Oh sure, it talks about the day Bruce Wayne's parents died and the effect on Bruce Wayne, resulting in the Batman who know and love.

But the comic is not about his origin. Instead it's Tom King's take on the themes raised in The Killing Joke about what makes a person become a Joker or a Batman, married with the imagery and superficial tone of the classic The Boy Who Collected Spider-Man, by way of the far darker Brian Bolland classic An Innocent Guy – which often is collected in the back of The Killing Joke.

I've just read an advance copy. I then read it again. Man, it is dark. Man, it is affecting. And certainly one of the best Batman stories I've read. Okay, I'm going to read it again, just to check.


There are those of you who will have loved the sentiment expressed in Batman Annual #2, a Bingo Love-style story of Batman and Catwoman and their lives together. This is not that. This is so far away from that. Batman #38 is the anti-Batman Annual #2.

And it's a fill-in issue.

May I suggest you ask your retailer to reserve you a copy? Whether you are a Batman fan or not? It may possibly be a highlight of 2018…

While I go and scrub my brain out with mental steel wool.

(W) Tom King (A) Travis Moore (CA) Tim Sale
"THE ORIGIN OF BRUCE WAYNE"! If Mattie could grow up to be anybody, he'd grow up millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. But what would happen if he was forced to relive the worst tragedy of Bruce's life and his parents were murdered? Batman's hunt for the killer puts him face to face with a strange mirror version of his own past.
In Shops: Jan 03, 2018
SRP: $2.99

Batman #38 Might Well Be Tom King's The Killing Joke

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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