“War of Jokes and Riddles Part One”
Written by: Tom King
Pencils & Inks by: Mikel Janin
Colors by: June Chung
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Cover by: Janin
Published by: DC Comics
**MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD**
Tom King has been teasing this epic Bat-story for a while and we’re finally going to see a payoff. This story takes place about a year after the infamous “Zero Year”. The Riddler is still in prison and the Joker has been on the scene for a little while but has lost his ability to laugh...all because of Batman. We’ve seen some great takes on Batman and Joker’s relationship of the years. Most recently in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s runs on Batman with “Death of the Family” and “Endgame”. We’ve gotten so used to the idea of that Batman and Joker might actually need each other that no one has ever tackled what Joker was thinking when Batman came on the scene. This looks to correct that.
For a story that takes place in the past, many people, myself included, wondered what would the outcome of the cliffhanger from the previous issue be. Here we do start to get an answer. The issue is narrated throughout from Bruce’s perspective. Then, at the very end of the issue, you see that he is recounting this tale to Selina Kyle as they lay in bed. He says he needs her to know what happened (presumedly before we get an answer to THE question from last issue).
Riddler’s status has definitely been elevated by Snyder and Capullo so it’s great to see a story begin that pits himself against the Joker. Two very different individuals who have gimmicks that, on the surface, might be mistaken for the same idea.
Mikel Janin is on art duty for this arc and while I typically don’t find his work as mature as David Finch’s (who’s also worked on this run), It is nice to get something different every once in a while. He has great composition, and while I think his work looks a little flat, he does a great job framing a scene.
If you haven’t been reading Batman then 1) you’re missing out and 2) then this is the place to start.
- All Star Batman #11 by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Jordon Bellaire, Steve Wands, Rafael Scavone, Sebastian Fiumara, & Trish Mulvihill
- Batman #25 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, & Clayton Cowles
- Green Lanterns #25 by Sam Humphries, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Alex Sollazzo, & Dave Sharpe
- Justice League #23 by Tom DeFalco, Tom Derenick, Tony Kordos, Andy Owens, Trevor Scott, Batt, Adriano Lucas, & Josh Reed
- Justice League vs. Suicide Squad HC by Joshua Williamson, Tim Seeley, Rob Williams, Si Spurrier, Jason Fabok, Tony S. Daniel, Jesus Merino, Fernando Pasarin, Robson Rocha, Howard Porter, Christian Duce, Riley Rossmo, Scot Eaton, Giuseppe Cafaro, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Sandy Florea, Andy Owens, Matt Ryan, Wayne Faucher, Jay Leisten, Daniel Henriques, Oclair Albert, Francesco Mattina, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Ivan Plascencia, Mat Lopes, Gabe Eltaeb, Jeremiah Skipper, Rob Leigh, Pat Brosseau, Richard Starkings and Comicraft, & Josh Reed
- Nightwing #23 by Tim Seeley, Minkyu Jung, Chris Sotomayor, & Carlos M. Mangual
- Super Sons #5 by Peter J. Tomasi, Alison Borges, Hi-Fi, & Rob Leigh
- Superman #25 by Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Mick Gray, Joe Prado, Ray McCarthy, Scott Hanna, Matt Santorelli, Wil Quintana, John Kalisz, & Dave Sharpe
- Trinity #10 by Francis Manapul & Steve Wands
- Descender Vol. 4: Oribital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, & Steve Wands
- Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 by Nick Spencer, Donny Cates, Javier Pina, Andres Guinaldo, Rachelle Rosenberg, & VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Darth Vader #2 by Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, David Curiel, & VC’s Joe Caramagna