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Generally tired
"In the CIA, the sort of thing you do is you pretend to be other people so you can get across borders, get into places they don't want you to know that you're CIA. And most of my colleagues (bless them) wore suits like this and very much like James Bond-ian kind of, cross as nice businessmen. And I would always cross as the supernerd comic book writer. I would go on an airplane, I would spill on myself, I would read comic books, I had graphic novels with me. I'd basically be me and they'd be like 'that guy could never be CIA.'"
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Tom King (born 1978) is an American comic book writer. He's currently well-known for his run on Batman (Rebirth). He's also a former CIA operative.

After quitting the CIA and writing his debut novel (about superheroes, of course), King teamed up with Tim Seeley to co-write Grayson, drawing from his experience in espionage to add to the authenticity. King was later responsible for rebooting Omega Men, as well as another personal project called Sheriff of Babylon. While Grayson gave him marginal success, King's solo career was launched into stardom with the twelve-issue The Vision (2015), about the titular Avenger trying to start his own family while continuing work as a superhero. It's creepy.

The Vision receiving critical acclaim and his "Trilogy of Best Intentions" complete, King signed on to work exclusively for DC Comics and took on the role of Scott Snyder's replacement on Batman. What begins from there is what King plans to be a 100 issue bimonthly epic that asks "Can Batman be happy?" It can get creepy.

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Simultaneously, King worked on The Vision's Spiritual Successor Mister Miracle (2017), which is basically Jack Kirby's New Gods meets Jacob's Ladder. It's very creepy.

Spinning off from his Batman run is also the Crisis Crossover Heroes in Crisis.

King's work is notable for tackling the psyches of his characters, darker leanings that hearken back to the 2000s, somewhat topical undertones, slow-paced rhythmic dialogue, Dissonant Serenity-brimmed stories and for implementing many of stylistic trappings of his own favourite authors — most notably Alan Moore and Frank Miller.

Suffice to say, he's living the dream.

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Tropes:

  • Arc Words: King seems to love this considering individual issues of his work has some. For examples:
  • Author Appeal: Out of all the Batman Mythology Gags, King seems to really like referencing Batman: Year One. He's gone as far as to take it as canon over the supposedly canon "Zero Year".
  • The Bus Came Back: Taking a few pages from Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns's books, King also brings back silly and oft obscure characters to tell darker stories with them. Kite Man. Hell yeah.
  • Broken Bird: They flock his books, Heroes in Crisis deals with the consequences of having super powered beings with untreated trauma.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Almost every story he's written is entirely comprised of these, edging dangerously close to Dissonant Serenity. Especially in Mister Miracle.
  • Cerebus Callback: Standard modus operandi of a Tom King story: everything established in the canon of the characters is true; EVERYTHING; including the deaths, rebirths, loss of loved ones, ambiguous rapes, multiversal wars and backstory change; and then it gets worse.
  • Continuity Porn: He seems to be trying to one-up Grant Morrison in that regard considering the slew of references to Batman's comic history (among other things) during his run.
  • Creator Thumbprint: King has a habit of utilizing the nine-panel grid in his work.
  • Mundane Horror: Mister Miracle and The Vision place heavy emphasis on the more creepy, disturbing and destructive aspects of the superhero lifestyle in juxtaposition to the eerie calm of domestic family life.
  • Repeated For Emphasis: Many of his characters will repeat what they say, from single sentences to long poems. Repeatedly. Repeating them. Repeatedly.
  • Shout-Out: King confirmed in a tweet in memory of Stan Lee that he insisted on having the titles of his stories be preceded by the phrase "DC Comics Presents" as a reference to "Stan Lee Presents." When he told this to him, Stan just snarked that King should write for Marvel.
  • Write What You Know: King has gone on record to say that a lot of his superhero works draw influence from his time in the CIA. A lot of the looks at the effects on mental health, the questioning of whether or not the job is making the hero happy, etc., are questions King himself found facing in the field.
    • Subverted with Grayson where King went out of his way to avoid the gritty realism of actual spy work in favor of sci-fi fun in the vein of Nick Fury and James Bond — This is despite him being brought on specifically to lend authenticity to the work.
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