Batman #85 has arrived and with it the official conclusion of writer Tom King's run on the Dark Knight Detective's main series. With the issue comes many defining moments for the character and his supporting cast, the kind that will have lasting effects on the hero potentially for the forseeable future (or as long as DC editorial allows it). Among those effected by this final issue aren't just the heroes, but Batman's rogues gallery, including the universe hopping Thomas Wayne, who gets more than he bargained for in a moment we should have seen coming.
Spoilers for Batman #85, out today, December 18, 2019, below.
As can be expected, Bruce is able to gain the upper hand on his father, the evil Batman from the Flashpoint universe, rejecting his attempts at making him "See reason" and give up his crusade to be Batman. Bruce is able to subdue him as well, leading to the character's arrest and incarceration in Arkham Asylum. While there, Thomas has a flashback to a moment with his wife Martha before bed, where they discussed Bruce and how he will find his own way in the world and be happy. Wayne lies motionless in a bed in Arkham after this aside when none other than Bane enters the room.
(You might recall in Batman #82, Bane was shot in the head by Thomas Wayne, an injury that he has seemingly miraculously recovered from as a simple bandage is wrapped around his head.)
As the muscled supervillain enters, Thomas says "Good night, Martha," with Bane asking "Is that...all?" curious if the villain has any further last words. When he doesn't, Bane lifts him over his head and cries out some superlatives about his foe, concluding with "Time to die, Batman." Bane then lowers Thomas Wayne down on his knee, breaking his back just like he did to Bruce in the 90s and which Bruce did to Bane earlier in King's run.
No indication is given about what will happen to these two characters as of the end of Batman #85. Neither of them are included the solicits for the upcoming issues of the series when writer James Tynion IV takes over the title, but they're both still very much alive by the issue's end. Who's to say where they'll next pop up and what devious plots they will have for Batman when they do, but as it stands now, Bane has a grudge against two Batmen and has successfully broken the back of both them.
The next issue of the series, Batman #86 will debut in stores on January 8, 2020. Its full solicit reads:
It's a new day in Gotham City, but not the same old Batman. With Bane vanquished and one of his longtime allies gone, Batman has to start picking up the pieces and stepping up his game. Batman has a new plan for Gotham City, but he's not the only one. Deathstroke has returned as well, under a mysterious new contract that could change everything.
Beginning a whole new chapter in the life of the Dark Knight, the epic art team of Tony S. Daniel and Danny Miki are joined by new series writer James Tynion IV!