Tom King gave us two deaths of Batman in his truncated 85 issue run – now intended to be completed almost as intended with the Batman/Catwoman. In Batman #5, with Dave Finch, he showed us Gotham Girl, mourning the loss of her brother from the future, but also stating that she kills Batman at some point. At the time, he also talked about this being his big plan, taking Grant Morrison's advice to give his Batman a birth and a death. And setting up his death right at the beginning, pinning it on Gotham Girl. Somehow.
But that wasn't enough for Tom King, he gave us another death for Batman – or Bruce Wayne at least, in the far future, with Catwoman – Selina Kyle – at his side and surviving him. A Bruce Wayne who died of cancer, something even he couldn't beat.
In today's Detective Comics #1027 dubbed the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics with Batman in it (even though it's the 1001st issue), we get another point in this timeline (if timelines are still allowed) courtesy of Tom King and Walter Simonson. And it turns out that this isn't your average run of the mill cancer. It's Batcancer.
And it's all from Doctor Phosphorous. That's Dr. Alex Sartorius, a member of the Tobacconists' Club, who wanted to build a nuclear power plant in Gotham City with help from the Club's chairman, Rupert Thorne. However, the people of Gotham refused the construction of the plant and he was forced to take the project far from the city. Eventually, Sartorius was transformed by sand irradiated during the nuclear plant's meltdown, driven up one element on the chemical table, from silicon to phosphorus. His body was changed as his skin would burn at any contact and his skeleton showed through his skin. For his mutation, he swore to make Gotham pay by poisoning the water supply. Hence Batman.
It's not Doctor Phosphorous' first rodeo when it comes to killing his foes, longtime. In Starman, he gives Ted Knight a terminal disease as a result of years of conflict. And now?
With the upcoming Batman/Catwoman series set in three time zones, the past, present and future, will Tom King kill Batman all over again? And give us a consolidation of whether Gotham Girl or Doctor Phosphorous killed Batman?
DETECTIVE COMICS #1027 JOKER WAR
(W) Peter J. Tomasi (A/CA) Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy
Light the Bat-Signal, because Detective Comics #1027 is here! In honor of Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics #27, this special, book-size celebration brings you the biggest names in comics as they chronicle the most epic Batman adventures Gotham City and the DC Universe have ever seen! The World's Greatest Detective has a mountain of cases to crack: Who murdered Gotham's most corrupt police officer? What does The Joker's annual visit mean for Bruce Wayne? And most importantly, what WayneTech mystery will sow the seeds of the next epic Batman event? All this and more await you within the pages of the biggest Batman issue of them all! In Shops: Sep 23, 2020 SRP: $9.99