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YMMV / Batman (Rebirth)

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  • Abandon Shipping: Ironically, for a run that practically ran on their development as a couple, a lot of people ended up actually abandoning Bruce/Selina after the failed wedding. This is mostly because of how out-of-control and abusive Bruce started acting afterward, to the point that many believed that Selina was actually better off without him and made the right choice in leaving him. The fact that it also became something of a Romantic Plot Tumor also didn't help matters.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The reveal that Bruce punched Tim in issue #71 as a way to covertly tell the rest of the Bat-family to use more secure communications, since apparently Bruce trained his prodigies how to "communicate through blows". The only character that has even maybe applied to before then is Cass -– and even that is because of the horrible dehumanising training from birth that she received from her abusive father, not anything that Batman would teach her. A lot of people speculate that this was actually an Author's Saving Throw to convince the readers Bruce wasn't abusive, seeing as Bruce punching Tim just came after Bruce nearly beat Jason to death (and only a few years prior, beaten the crap out of Dick Grayson). If it was, then needless to say, it failed.
    • Thomas Wayne Batman somehow being able to take on the entire Bat-family (minus Bruce) all at once by himself and winning, despite being severely wounded. What makes it worse is that Cassandra Cain was among them (by that point, she was established to be an even better fighter than Bruce), which meant that she should’ve been able to take down Thomas by herself. It was also established that Thomas’s fighting skills were on par with Bruce, but not necessarily better than his. And yet, somehow, Thomas managed to take every single one of them on at the same time, including Cass, despite bleeding everywhere and being covered in wounds, while they were all in top condition.
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  • Arc Fatigue: After issue 50, many fans are eager to see Tom King’s run end, especially since a lot of things that happen from that point makes the story feel very contrived and shark-jumping, even by Batman’s standards. It notably requires every other hero in the Justice League to stand there and do nothing while Gotham gets turned into a craphole and while Bruce suffers, because apparently “the government told them to” and it requires Bane to be able control Gotham like the Court of Owls out of almost nowhere.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • "Everyone Loves Ivy" is this to both those happy with Poison Ivy's turn to Anti-Hero and those who felt she ended up Easily Forgiven. Ivy commits a massive case of Well-Intentioned Extremist by brainwashing the entire world, she is still shown to be acting out of severe guilt over the innocent deaths she caused and is painted as a tragic victim more than a monstrous villain. With Harley's help, Batman and Catwoman are able to save her, with Batman telling her that she's not a villain and being sent to a trauma centre to recover. While not everyone is fully satisfied, it's agreed to have been a decent way to appease both sides.
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    • The Prelude to the Wedding tie-ins cover the reactions of some of the Batfamily to the wedding, something that had been been largely absent in the main book.
  • Awesome Art:
    • Mikel Janin's art is thoroughly praised, particularly his layouts.
    • Mitch Gerads' brief stint was also highly praised, with his art being considered incredibly versatile in how it switches between dark noir and romantic tones.
    • Lee Weeks has been doing some of the best work of his career.
  • Anti-Climax: One of the biggest criticisms of the run, is that King will build up what appears to be a dramatic culmination between Batman and many villains, namely Bane and Flashpoint Batman over every arc, only for the conflict to be resolved strikingly easy or through minimal battle.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Gotham Girl. Some dislike her, as they feel fatigued at yet another young crimefighter joining Batman. Some don't think she's been developed well enough to warrant being the catalyst for the second and third arcs. Others, however, find her story to be appropriately tragic, and that she brings out Batman's best qualities in the end.
    • Poison Ivy. There is considerable debate over whether or not Ivy's Heel–Face Turn and her portrayal of guilt over the people she killed in War of Jokes and Riddles make sense. Some argue that Ivy's a Well-Intentioned Extremist and an Anti-Hero, while others point out other canon stories in which she's been more willing to kill.
    • Catwoman is source of this two-fold; both in regards to how her romance with Bruce is written and whether she should be considered the benefactor of being Tom King's Creator's Pet.
  • Broken Base: Catwoman knowing Superman's identity. It's either a major breaking of the Suspension of Disbelief and just heavily cheapens Superman's need for an identity or a more realistic evolution of Catwoman's skills.
    • Arguably, the entire run after Issue #50. Depending on who you ask, in the subsequent arcs Tom King has either been at the top of his game or has completely gone off the deep end. Whatever the answer, you can expect it to be quite a strongly held opinion. It doesn’t help that for the story to work, the plot has to become very contrived and requires a huge amount of Superman Stays Out of Gotham on the part of the other DC heroes to work.
    • The Wonder Woman portion of the "Supefriends" arc. Some liked seeing Batman and Wonder Woman's relationship and possible attraction towards one another explored. While others felt the story reduced Wonder Woman to an objectified seductress figure to test Batman's loyalty to Catwoman.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • Early oddities aside, Selina's depiction as someone who understands Bruce at his core and accepts him flaws intact is also a welcome return to form for a character that spent most of the New 52 having rooftop flings and being lectured by Batman.
    • Bane is depicted as both cunning (manipulating Batman into shooing away the Robins) and as an absolute powerhouse, beating down Batman in a Curb-Stomp Battle, disregarding his long-standing portrayal as Dumb Muscle.
  • Critical Dissonance: This run won multiple awards, including several "Best of the Decade" lists. Compare that to the sizable hatedom this run has, including many of the tropes on this page, and it seems the fans are not nearly as fond of it as critics are.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy:
    • While the premise of Bruce rising up to defeat his enemies after suffering a great deal is interesting, since it was done before to great success, the way it was executed this time was not. This involved Batman's familial connections severed in ways that will really pull a reader's Willing Suspension of Disbeliefnote . It doesn't help that Bruce has been the one that is mostly causing the rifts instead of trying to reason with his family, to the point that it looks like an Out-of-Character Moment for him and makes him look like a Designated Hero. This can be explained with him depressed after the wedding fiasco and Bane and Thomas Wayne manipulating events to force Batman to be alone, but fans are just wishing for the arc to end.
    • Many fans are not amused by Bruce's declaration that only Selina can give him happiness, considering the above situation with his family and the fact that King tries to push this idea towards readers as the story progresses
  • Designated Hero: Perhaps the biggest complaint most people have with this run post-Issue #50 is how hard it makes it to root for Bruce at all. His treatment of his family after the failed engagement became so abusive that it made several readers very uncomfortable, especially considering the fact that he never really gets called out on it or apologizes for it, or, in fact, suffers any real consequences for it. The blanket excuse of Bane and Thomas Wayne manipulating him is obviously supposed to be a patch on that, except it actually makes Bruce even more unsympathetic, because said manipulation would've never worked if the issues in those relationships hadn't already been there. The fact that he's acting worse than he was when Jason, and later Damian died (two other notable instances of Bruce's emotional instability) does not help matters, and makes him look like a self-centered asshole. It's gotten to the point that many people have outright disowned Tom King's Batman just because of how unheroic he's been acting.
  • Die for Our Ship: With several arcs focusing on the Batman and Catwoman engagement, there has been considerable hostility from those who ship Batman/Talia Al Ghul, or Batman/Wonder Woman. Not helping matters is that King has included both of those characters, portraying Talia as a villain (a characterization that's been around since Grant Morrison's run), and Wonder Woman as a fleeting attraction.
  • Dork Age: While not a consensus opinion, many decry it as this. It was filled with a surprisingly large number of confusing plots that went nowhere, had a big fixation on a very simple and retreaded idea (Batman not needing to be miserable to be Batman), had strange dialogue decisions that made it hard to read, and was so decompressed that it was the complete inverse of King's usual style (limited series) employed for his acclaimed works. King also had to put up with a lot of Executive Meddling in his book that added further to the lower quality, as some of the things he intended to be resolved easily (Nightwing's bullet through the head, originally healed by Zatanna and Alfred's Neck Snap, originally revealed as a hallucination) were mandated by Dan DiDio to last a lot longer (Nightwing developing amnesia and Alfred dying for real). To top it off, Bruce's characterization, which was already contentious in recent years, became flat-out unsympathetic — instead of a well-meaning but emotionally inept man he's usually characterized as, he came off as a selfish Designated Hero who abuses the people who love him when he doesn't get his way and was overly obsessed with his relationship with Selina, to the point that he outright claimed that she was the only person who could ever make him happy (completely disregarding the family he built for himself).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Kite Man, for how simultaneously badass yet pathetic he is. He's shown to be surprisingly effective, but he's still a lame D-lister. His catchphrase also really helped. Notably, he actually got A Day in the Limelight, when Tom King gave him a new origin... which furthered his popularity for how well-written and tragic it was.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Many fans like to ignore this run entirely due to how off the rails it went after Issue #50, especially in regards to Bruce's unsympathetic characterization and the sheer lack of consequences he faced for it.
    • Other fans are willing to acknowledge the run up to Issue #50, and then headcanon the ending of that issue away by having Bruce and Selina actually get married. Or just do away with many of the unsympathetic actions Bruce took after the aforementioned issue.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Kite Man's oft-quoted Catchphrase after Issue #27 reveals its origin: it's a tribute to Kite Man's son, who was murdered by the Riddler.
  • Growing the Beard: Despite the early mixed reception (see above), the general consensus is that "Rooftops" showed King off at his best, with a lot of pay off on "I am Suicide", a great depiction of the Batman/Catwoman relationship as well as the less hand-holdy narrative King is known for.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Bat. Cat. Bat. Cat. Bat. Cat." Used to mock some of the repetitive dialogue, as well as the pet names Batman and Catwoman use to address each other.
    • "Kite Man. Hell yeah.", Kite-man's catchphrase gained popularity as he ascended to Ensemble Dark Horse, in part because of its tragic story. Nowadays it's not uncommon to see Kite-Man related comments on the internet without someone else replying "Hell Yeah".
    • "Knightfall of the Heart" or "Knightfall 2: Emotional Boogaloo", in reference to King's interview in which he explains that he's setting up a spiritual sequel/homage to the original Knightfall, this time with Bane wanting to emotionally break Batman, and doing so by manipulating an unwitting Catwoman into leaving him at the altar.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Bane finally crosses this line when he kills Alfred.
    • Flashpoint!Thomas crosses this by orchestrating the plan that led to the above.
  • Narm:
    • During the "War of Jokes and Riddles" arc the Riddler is shot by the Joker after he rejects his offer of joining forces to take on Bats. After recovering, he takes a shard of glass and carves a question mark into his chest, with the gunshot wound as the period. While supposed to be a dramatic moment, this was seen by many as unintentionally funny and a blatant attempt at making the Riddler Darker and Edgier. It doesn't help that during the rest of the storyline, the Riddler walks around with an open shirt for no apparent reason other than to show off his new scars.
    • Bane and Thomas Wayne repeatedly saying how they've broken Batman after every action they've taken. While effective in certain moments, they say it so often it eventually loses all meaning, and just becomes comical.
    • In the middle of the City of Bane arc, Bruce and Selina go on vacation on a tropical beach while everyone else is fighting for their lives.
    • The extent to which Bane is focused on breaking backs and Batman in turn is intent on breaking Bane's is repeated over and over to the point where it gets either tiring or unintentionally comedic. This is not helped by Batman shouting cheesy lines like "I'll break your damn back!"
  • Narm Charm:
    • Bruce and Selina having sex on a rooftop on a pile of diamonds is completely ridiculous, but somehow works due to the history and love between them, especially how sweetly it was portrayed.
    • Batman defeating Bane on a splash page with a headbutt while saying "I am Batman" is totally cheesy, but boy was it cathartic.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Bruce/Selina arguably became post-Issue #50 after the wedding was called off. Bruce's constant lashing out at everyone, up to and including his own family, for what happened gets tiring real quick to the point of becoming Unintentionally Unsympathetic, and the fact that he's acting like it's the worst thing that ever happened to him is not helping matters.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While Flashpoint Thomas Wayne is unquestionably a villain and his way of going about making Bruce quit being Batman is horrible and beyond excuses, he's technically correct in pointing out that Bruce being Batman is actually having a negative effect on his mental health and on his relationships, and that he should probably quit, or at least go on a break. The fact that Bruce had such a bad breakdown after Selina left him at the altar, causing him to abuse his family in, frankly, inexcusable ways, indicates a severe amount of emotional instability that was present even before Selina and him got together; indeed, every time Bruce has suffered a major loss (i.e. Jason's death, Damian's death, etc.) he's acted no different then than he has now. All of that proves that being Batman actually isn't a good way to cope with his losses and that Bruce needs some kind of help, whether through therapy or some other outlet, to deal with his issues.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It's generally agreed that the general idea of "The Gift" story arc (issues #45-#47), where Booster Gold goes back to the night Batman's parents were killed and unintentionally leads to the present changing due to For Want of a Nail, is a good idea...but the arc does so by having Booster stop the murder of Bruce's parents, which makes Booster look like a moronnote . Why not have Booster take Bruce back to the night of his Parents murder one last time (which he does end up doing as part of a plan to revert the timeline) and either have Bruce panic and save his parents, or have Bruce take a photo with his Parents so he has a memory of him with them as an adult, causing them to show up in Crime Alley after the time they would've been killed, and have that change the present?
  • Unexpected Character:
    • From "I am Gotham", nobody was expecting to see Psycho-Pirate of all people, given his status as someone tied to the Multiverse and various Crisis and not so much regular Batman stories.
    • A lesser case, but still a major one: Saturn Girl's continued presence in Arkham Asylum. Since she was found in Metropolis and is more tied to Superman, people were expecting her to appear in one of that line's series.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: See Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy above. We're clearly suppose to sympathize with Bruce for the gradual deterioration of his relationships with the rest of the Bat-Family after Selina left him at the altar, but the fact that Bruce is causing these rifts in ways that make him look, quite frankly, like an asshole are making very few readers sympathize with him. The aforementioned Ass Pull about the punch he delivered to Tim was clearly meant to be at least partially an Author's Saving Throw to that, but it was poorly executed and contrived, and thus did little to remedy the problem. The fact of the matter is, while it's sad that his relationship with Selina ended the way it did, it is absolutely no excuse to be treating his family in such an abusive manner.
  • Vindicated by History: Many readers returned to this run to find that it reads not only better in trade as an ambitious character study marred by Executive Meddling, especially in comparison to more recent Batman works such as James Tynion's run (which many regard as So Okay, It's Average) and Batman: Three Jokers (whose reception was underwhelming, at best). It helps that a lot of the abusive actions Bruce undertook were in other books, not in the main book itself, though most still hate the theme that Selina is the only person that can make Bruce happy.
  • Wangst: Watching Bruce mope around after Selina ditches him and acting like a miserable prick is partly why he became he so Unintentionally Unsympathetic during this run.


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