In the week leading up to the 2017 Will Eisner Awards voting deadline this Friday, the Comics Beat will feature a series of “For Your Consideration” posts highlighting a number of the nominees as a celebration of their well-deserved acknowledgement. We’ll feature some never-before-seen behind the scenes content and some of the books’ gorgeous interiors. We encourage all of our readers to check these titles out and all of the eligible comics industry members to vote for the titles they think best exemplify what make comics great.

Every winter, our screens and shelves are absolutely inundated with holiday specials. While many of these stories are entertaining and many are simply saccharine (sometimes both), the true mark of a great holiday special is one that can cut through the forced smiles that accompany holiday stories and create a genuine sense of pathos. “Good Boy,” written by Tom King, pencilled and inked by David Finch, colored by Gabe Eltaeb, and lettered by Deron Bennett, is one of those rare stories. Originally appearing in last November’s Batman Annual #1, “Good Boy” follows the journey of Ace, a crazed dog that Batman discovers after the animal has been subjected to torture by the Joker. While Bruce initially wants nothing to do with Ace, Alfred tries to rehabilitate him instead. The results are violent and…surprising.

“Good Boy” is nominated for the Eisner award for Best Short Story.

As King revealed in adorable Twitter post, “Good Boy” was inspired by his pupper, Roxy. Fingers crossed Roxy wasn’t quite as rambunctious as Ace is!

Courtesy of DC Comics, the Beat presents the entirety of “Good Boy” for your consideration:

Check out of all of our 2017 Eisner coverage.


  1. Great story, but I’m a little confused on one detail. The guy at the pound twice refers to Ace as “she,” contradicting Alfred and Bruce’s references to “boy” (not to mention the title of the story). It’s too obvious to be an oversight, but I’m not really sure I see the point. Are we meant to think the pound guy is clueless as well as callous, or is there more to it?

  2. To Jim, that’s why Alfred corrects him by saying Martha not Marsha, subtle jab that he got the dogs gender wrong

  3. I really don’t get the appeal of Tom King
    ( like Jeff Lemire, another writer who seemingly came out of nowhere and has been hailed in a very short time period as a truly exceptionally great comic book writer)
    or this particular story.

    What makes this story an exceptionally good story?–is it because of the inclusion of that obviously gay background character with the orange hair at the Dog Pound?

    For the subject matter, the rehabilitation of a dog that was used for nefarious deeds, this story fell pretty flat. This could have been so much better and it wasn’t. This story was not really something that played to the strengths of Tom King nor David Finch.

  4. Cosplay Not Consent,

    The reason this story is good is because of the obvious metaphors. On a comics level, it is a short retelling of the Batman origin that demonstrates the power Alfred had in shaping Bruce. Alfred takes in a traumatized dog (with a subtle nod to Batman 89 by having it be one that the Joker tortured) and trains it and it ends with Bruce placing a mask on him, just like Alfred took care of a traumatized child and helped him channel his anger and rage. It is also a nod to how, in comics, Bruce often takes in those who have been damaged by crime or upbringing (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain) and helps them focus.

    On a non-comics level it is about the power of never giving up on people and focusing on rehabilitation rather then mindless incarceration or worse.

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