Tom King (writer)
Tom King is an American author, comic book writer, and ex-CIA officer. He is best known for writing The Vision for Marvel Comics, and The Sheriff of Babylon for the DC Comics imprint Vertigo, his 2012 superhero novel A Once Crowded Sky, Mister Miracle for DC Comics, and the "Rebirth"-era Batman for DC Comics.
King during an appearance at
Midtown Comics in Manhattan
|Occupation||Author, comic book writer|
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
|Notable works||The Vision|
The Sheriff of Babylon
|Notable awards||Eisner Award for Best Writer|
King primarily grew up in Southern California. His mother worked for the film industry which inspired his love of storytelling. He interned at both DC and Marvel Comics during the late 1990s. He studied both philosophy and history at Columbia University, graduating in 2000. He identifies as "half-Jewish, half-midwestern".
King interned both at DC Comics and Marvel Comics, where he was an assistant to X-Men writer Chris Claremont, before joining the CIA counterterrorism unit after September 11. King spent seven years as a counterterrorism operations officer for the CIA before quitting to write his debut novel, A Once Crowded Sky, after the birth of his first child.
A Once Crowded Sky, King's debut superhero novel with comics pages illustrated by Tom Fowler, was published in July 10, 2012 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, to positive reception.
King was chosen to co-write Grayson for DC Comics, along with Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin on art. After penning Nightwing #30, King, Seeley, and Janin launched Grayson on May 2014, featuring Dick Grayson leaving behind his Nightwing persona at age 22 to become Agent 37, a Spyral spy. King and Seeley plotted the series together and traded issues to script separately, with King providing additional authenticity through his background with the CIA.
A relaunch of classic DC Comics series The Omega Men was published in June 2015 by King and debut artist Barnaby Bagenda, as part of the publisher's relaunch DC You. The series follows a group of rebels fighting an oppressive galactic empire, and feature White Lantern Kyle Rayner. The Omega Men, created in 1981, are DC's cosmic equivalent to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, though significantly more obscure. King's and Bagenda's use of the nine-panel grid, popularized by Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, has been praised by reviewers.
In San Diego Comic-Con 2015, Vertigo revealed a new creator-owned project written by King with art by Mitch Gerads titled The Sheriff of Baghdad. The project, a crime series in the vein of Vertigo titles like Preacher and Scalped, was set to launch in late 2015, and was inspired by King's time in Iraq as part of the CIA. Initially an eight-issue miniseries, it was later re-titled The Sheriff of Babylon and expanded into an ongoing series. The first issue launched on December 2015 to critical acclaim, with reviewers praising its "deeply personal" storytelling and the "intriguing" and "captivating" personalities of its characters. That same year, DC announced "Robin War", a crossover storyline set for December that would run for five week through titles Grayson, Detective Comics, We Are Robin, and Robin: Son of Batman; King was set to orchestrate the crossover's story-line and pen two one-shots to open and close the series.
As part of Marvel Comics' All-New, All-Different relaunch, King was announced as the writer of The Vision, a new ongoing following the titular character and his newly created family, with artist Gabriel Hernández Walta, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and covers by Mike del Mundo, launching in November 2015. The Vision has been well received by the public, with reviewers calling the series one of Marvel's "biggest surprises" and praising the narration, art, and colors.
In September 2015, DC cancelled King's The Omega Men, along with four other titles, with the series ending with issue seven. After negative fan response to the cancellation, Jim Lee, DC's co-publisher, announced that they would be bringing back The Omega Men through at least issue 12. Lee described the decision to cancel the series as "a bit hasty," crediting the book's critical acclaim and fan social media reactions as the reason the title would go on for the planned 12-issue run.
King penned a Green Lantern one-shot that ties into the "Darkseid War" Justice League storyline, titled "Will You Be My God?", which James Whitbrook of io9 praised as "one of the best" Green Lantern stories.
King and co-writer Tim Seeley announced they would leave Grayson after issue #18, with King clarifying on Twitter that they were working on something "big and cool" and needed time. King and Seeley officially left the series in February with issue #17, with Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly taking over for its last three issues with issue #18 in March.
DC Comics announced in February 2016 that King had signed an exclusivity deal with the publisher, which would see him writing exclusively for DC and Vertigo. King revealed via his Twitter account that he would stay on The Vision as writer through issue 12, finishing the story arc he had planned from the beginning.
In March 2016, it was announced that King would be writing the main bi-weekly Batman series beginning with a new #1, replacing long-time writer Scott Snyder, as part of DC's Rebirth relaunch that June. King has stated that his run will be 100 issues total, with the entirety being released twice-monthly, though this was later curtailed to 85 issues with a followup Batman/Catwoman series to finish the story.
In August 2017, King and regular collaborator Mitch Gerads launched the first issue of their Mister Miracle series, with a planned total run of twelve issues. In June 2018 DC Comics announced King would be writing Heroes in Crisis, a limited series centering around a concept he introduced in Batman.
In May and June 2019, King, DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee, and CW series actresses Nafessa Williams, Candice Patton, and Danielle Panabaker toured five U.S. military bases in Kuwait with the United Service Organizations (USO), where they visited the approximately 12,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in that country as part of DC's 80th anniversary of Batman celebration.
In July 2019, he once again received the Eisner Award for Best Writer.
King lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.
- A Once Crowded Sky (with illustrations by Tom Fowler, 336 pages, Touchstone, 2012, ISBN 1-4516-5200-3)
DC Comics and VertigoEdit
- Time Warp: "It's Full of Demons" (with Tom Fowler, anthology one-shot, 2013)
- Nightwing vol. 3 #30: "Setting Son" (with Tim Seeley, Javier Garrón, Jorge Lucas, and Mikel Janín, 2014) collected in Volume 5: Setting Son (tpb, 200 pages, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-5011-4)
- Grayson (with Tim Seeley, Mikel Janín, Stephen Mooney (#7, 14, Annual #1, Futures End one-shot, and the short story from Secret Origins v3 #8) and Álvaro Martínez (Annual #2), 2014–2016) collected as:
- Agents of Spyral (collects #1–4, Futures End one-shot and the short story from Secret Origins v3 #8, hc, 160 pages, 2015, ISBN 1-4012-5234-6; tpb, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-5759-3)
- We All Die at Dawn (collects #5–8 and Annual #1, tpb, 160 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-5760-7)
- Nemesis (collects Divergence preview, #9–12 and Annual #2, tpb, 160 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6276-7)
- A Ghost in the Tomb (collects #13–17, tpb, 184 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6762-9)
- Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK #4: "Black Death in America" (with John Paul Leon, anthology, 2015) collected in CMYK (tpb, 296 pages, 2015, ISBN 1-4012-5336-9)
- Teen Titans v5 Annual #1: "The Source of Mercy" (with Will Pfeifer, Alisson Borges, and Wes St. Claire, 2015) collected in Volume 2: Rogue Targets (tpb, 192 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6162-0)
- The Omega Men v3 #1–12 (with Barnaby Bagenda and Toby Cypress (#4), 2015–2016) collected as The Omega Men: The End is Here (tpb, 296 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6153-1)
- Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern: "Will You Be My God?" (with Evan Shaner, one-shot, 2016) collected in Justice League: Power of the Gods (hc, 200 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6149-3; tpb, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6524-3)
- Robin War (hc, 256 pages, 2016, ISBN 1-4012-6208-2; tpb, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-6811-0) includes:
- The Sheriff of Babylon #1-#12 (with Mitch Gerads, 2015–2016) collected as:
- Batman Vol. 3 #1-85 (2016–2019) collected as:
- I am Gotham (collects the Rebirth one-shot and #1–6, tpb, 192 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-6777-7)
- I am Suicide (collects #9–15, tpb, 168 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-6854-4)
- Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 1 (collects #1–15, hc, 400 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-7132-4)
- I am Bane (collects #16-20, 23-24 and "Good Boy" short story from Batman Annual (Vol 3) #1, tpb, 176 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-7131-6)
- The War of Jokes and Riddles (collects #25-32, tpb, 200 pages, 2017, ISBN 1-4012-7361-0)
- Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 2 (collects #16-32 and Batman Annual (Vol 3) #1, hc, 448 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-4012-8035-8)
- The Rules of Engagement (collects #33-37 and Batman Annual v3 #2, tpb, 160 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-4012-7731-4)
- Bride or Burglar (collects #38-44, tpb, 168 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-4012-8027-7)
- Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 3 (collects #33-43 and Batman Annual (Vol 3) #2, hc, 328 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-4012-8521-X)
- The Wedding (collects #45-50, tpb, 176 pages, 2018, ISBN 1-4012-8338-1)
- Cold Days (collects #51-57, tpb, 176 pages, 2018, ISBN 978-1-4012-8352-0)
- Rebirth Deluxe Edition Book 4 (collects #45-57 and a story from DC Nation #0, hc, 336 pages, 2019, ISBN 1-4012-9188-0)
- The Tyrant Wing (collects #58-60, Batman Annual (Vol 3) #3, and a Story from Batman: Secret Files #1, tpb, 152 pages, 2019)
- Knightmares (collects #61-63 and 66-69, tpb, 176 pages, 2019)
- The Fall and the Fallen (collects #70-74 and Batman: Secret Files #2, tpb, 144 pages, 2020)
- City of Bane Part 1 (collects #75-79, tpb, 144 pages, 2020)
- Batman/Elmer Fudd Special #1 (with Lee Weeks, one-shot, June 2017)
- Mister Miracle vol. 4 #1-12 (with Mitch Gerads, 2017– 2018)
- The Kamandi Challenge #9 (with Kevin Eastman, 2017)
- DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (with Francesco Francavilla, 2017)
- Swamp Thing Winter Special (with Jason Fabok, 2018)
- Action Comics #1000 (with Clay Mann, 2018)
- DC Nation #0 (with Clay Mann, May 2018)
- Heroes in Crisis (with Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads, 2018-2019)
- Superman: Up in the Sky (with Andy Kubert, 2018-2019)
- Batman/Catwoman #1-12 (with Clay Mann, 2020)
- Polo, Susana (25 September 2018) "The World’s Finest: Batman’s Tom King and Superman’s Brian Bendis in conversation". Polygon.
- Goldstein, Rich (2014-06-24). "The CIA Spook Turned Comic Book Scribe: Robin Grabs a Gun in 'Grayson'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Tom King Explores the Undercover History of "Grayson"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Ottesen, K. K. (2016-01-27). "Holy DC connection! A local comic book writer used to work for the CIA!". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
- "From CIA to comics: Former agent makes career splash". MilitaryTimes. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Tom King: A Once Crowded Sky". www.avclub.com. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Heroes and Villains Are Gone From A Once Crowded Sky". WIRED. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Archipelago, World. "A Once Crowded Sky". pages.simonandschuster.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Batman's sidekick leaves the cave for 'Grayson' comic". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Seeley, King Enter the DCU's Espionage World in "Grayson"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Yaws, Jay. "Interview: Grayson's Tim Seeley and Tom King". Batman News. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "CBR TV: "Grayson" Co-Writer King Connects CIA Past to DC Comics Future". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Yehl, By Joshua; Schedeen, Jesse. "The Omega Men Are Reborn in the New DC Universe". IGN. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Decoding DC Entertainment's 'DC You' Comic Book Relaunch". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Tom King Hasn't Decided if DC's "Omega Men" Are Good or Bad Guys". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "This new comic series is the 'Star Wars' meets 'Game of Thrones' mashup you didn't know you wanted". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Restriction & Revolution: 'Omega Men' And The Nine-Panel Grid". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Vertigo comes back from the dead by announcing 12 new titles at Comic-Con". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "SDCC: Vertigo Finishes 2015 by Launching 12 New Series". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON #1". www.vertigocomics.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DC Comics' Sheriff Of Baghdad Changes Name Because Of John McPhee". Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Two new releases spotlight Tom King's sharp, sophisticated storytelling". www.avclub.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #2, MIDNIGHTER #7, STAR WARS #13, More". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "SDCC: DC Announces "Robin War" Crossover, Weekly "Batman & Robin Eternal"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "King & Walta To Launch "The Vision" Ongoing This October". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Tom King Shares His Familial "Vision" for Marvel's Synthezoid Avenger". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Loikamania 244: Tom King". Loikamania. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- Whitbrook, James. "Marvel's The Vision Is Telling a Story Unlike Any Superhero Comic I've Ever Read". io9. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Whitbrook, James. "The Vision Is One Of The Most Unsettling Comics I've Read This Year". io9. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Five DC Titles Set to End, Including "Justice League United" and "Lobo"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DC Brings Back OMEGA MEN Due To Fan Response At Cancellation". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- Yehl, By Joshua. "Jim Lee Talks Batman Noir: Hush, Un-Canceling The Omega Men, and Potential Supergirl Comic". IGN. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- Whitbrook, James. "The Fallout of Darkseid War Gives Us The Best Green Lantern Story In Years". io9. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- "Seeley and King Leave Grayson for "something big and cool"". The Beat. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "GRAYSON Writers On Finale & Building Towards NIGHTWING's REBIRTH". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Tom King, Clay Mann, and John Timms Sign Exclusive Deals at DC". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on 2016-03-22. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DC ENTERTAINMENT SIGNS TOP TALENT". DC Comics. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DC-Bound TOM KING Reveals His Last Issue of MARVEL's THE VISION". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Axel-In-Charge: Investigating "Black Widow," the Future of "The Vision"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "WONDERCON: DC COMICS REVEALS "REBIRTH" CREATIVE TEAMS". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2016-05-29.
- McMillan, Graeme (June 12, 2018). "DC's 'Heroes in Crisis' to Explore Superhero Trauma". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Ducharme, Jamie (21 July 2018). "A Woman Has Finally Won the Top Writing Award in Comic Books". Time.
- Arrant, Chris (June 2, 2019). "JIM LEE, TOM KING, DC-CW Stars Make Surprise USO Trip To KUWAIT". Newsarama. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.