I have a large stack of unread trades, and the reviews I write for Gabbing Geek are generally me grabbing a random one, reading it, and then writing it up here.
But hey, how about a theme week?
So, let’s take a weeklong look at my favorite superhero, Batman, with a week’s worth of Batman-related trades on review. We’ll start with the current DC Rebirth Batman title with its 4th trade, subtitled The War of Jokes and Riddles.
When last we saw Batman in Volume 3, he had just proposed marriage to Selina “Catwoman” Kyle. She didn’t answer right away, so instead we’re given Bruce telling her a dark secret from his past, something he has never told anyone and that she really needs to know. He’s referring to the War of Jokes and Riddles, a viscous gang war between factions of the Joker and the Riddler. What are they fighting over? The right to kill Batman. The Joker hasn’t laughed in ages, and the Riddler of course believes he superior to others and that he has everyone–including Batman and the Joker–completely figured out. In the meantime, the costumed ranks of both side are leaving numerous innocent people dead, and Batman and the G.C.P.D. seem powerless to stop it at first.
Writer Tom King has become my favorite Batman writer, and stories like this show why. The expected way such a story would go here would be to have Batman plow through all his big enemies one by one until he got to the end and took down the source of his troubles. Instead, the story digs into the personalities of the Riddler and the Joker to show why they would care enough to go on a mass murder spree. Likewise, the story deals more with the tactics Batman employs to put a stop to the whole mess rather than just do a big superhero brawl. Along the way, King throws a couple panels in to give what looks like a Penguin origin, and takes reoccurring pathetic villain Kite Man and shows the character is not only smarter than he appears to be and supplied him with a tragic backstory to boot. I just loved every page of it. Ten out of ten Hell yeah’s!