The War of Jokes and Riddles Begins

bat25
Batman (Volume 3) #25
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

This issue begins a flashback story called the War of Jokes and Riddles. It begins with many violent hard to watch/read murders by both the Joker and the Riddler and ends with a great panel of a naked Batman looking pretty great next to Catwoman in bed as he tells this story. We still don’t know if Catwoman said yes to his marriage proposal last issue but who cares – we got to see Mikel Janin draw a great naked Batman! Yay! Jokes aside (no pun intended), this was a great start to what looks like a very cool past-Batman story which if done right looks like it could be on the level of something like the Long Halloween. Tom King is really good at dissecting these characters and his explanation of why the Joker and the Riddler do what-they-do (as told by the Riddler) is fascinating.

Advertisements

I’m Batman Because I’m Batman

Bat24

Batman (Volume 3) #24
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch, Clay Mann, and Seth Mann

Tom King writes one of the greatest lines for Batman in this issue. Gotham Girls asks him if he likes being Batman and he says, “I am not Batman because I like being Batman, I am Batman because I’m Batman.” This was one of my issues with the Dark Knight Rises movie. The real Bruce Wayne is Batman, Bruce Wayne is just a character he plays. It is the opposite of Superman, where Clark Kent is the real Superman.  I won’t go into how often the Superman comics have gotten this wrong in recent years by overly focusing on Krypton, but I think Tom King understand this facet of the character of Batman. The entire scene in this comic where Batman and Gotham Girl discuss superheroics is almost required reading if you truly want to understand the character of Batman. I like how he admits he is scared and it is his fear that motivates him. It is true if you are not somewhat scared of the world you must be insane. And yes, I am sure you have heard by now, this issue ends with Batman proposing to Catwoman. And it fits and it was natural and I love it. I especially loved that it is with the same diamond Catwoman was going to steal when they first met all the way back in 1940’s Batman #1. Incredible use of continuity!

I Think You Forgot…I’m Batman!

bat20
Batman (Volume 3) #20
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

Bane tells Batman in this issue how all of the Robins have died at some point including Dick. When in the hell did Dick Grayson die? Is he referring to a faked death or something? Anyways, besides that point, this was an entire issue where just a fistfight happened between Bane and Batman. But unlike say Bryan Hitch’s Justice League, this did not feel decompressed because of the emotion and character study that Tom King puts into it. The whole fight is narrated by Bruce’s mother from beyond the grave…and while that might sound cheesy reading this here, it works in the comic because of the emotion behind it. In the end, Bruce tells her he doesn’t save people because of his parents, he does it because they should be saved. It was beautiful. Hats off to the creative team on this comic book. Also, what a great line when Bruce says, “I Think You Forgot…I’m Batman!” and knocks Bane out.