The current of the flagship Bat Family title is reaching a new peak with every issue. There’s no question that a lot of fans were a bit uncertain through the first eight issues. The first story arc, I Am Gotham wasn’t received with the same universal embrace that the title’s previous scribe, Scott Snyder, had with his instant classic, The Court Of Owls. Then came Night Of The Monster Men mini-crossover that everyone feels was a misstep. Worse, it was a jumping off point for readers. Fortunately, ever since those spotty early issues, Batman has gained in confidence and each story in acclaim ever since. None more so than the latest collection, The War Of Jokes And Riddles!
Batman has popped the question to Catwoman. But in typical Batsy fashion, he can’t just wait for an answer. No, there’s got to be some brooding, even in bed it seems. So, the Dark Knight goes into story mode and opens up about his greatest failure in the cape and cowl. Thus, we are entered into an epic struggle between two of his greatest rogues. And while there’s little to laugh it, there’s no question, or riddle, that what we get is a tremendous tale. For fans of either iconic villains this is a can’t miss opportunity to see them with the gloves off.
What begins as an attempted alliance devolves into a savage game of super villain chess. The board? Gotham City. The pieces to be moved? Every citizen, hero, villain, cop, and even the Caped Crusader. All of them are maneuvered into picking a side of two evils. And, yes, the creators someone make one of the biggest jokes in the history of comics an unlikely crucial piece for the win.
With nail-biting tension, thorough character mining, and some ridiculous splash pages, this is a war with no winners except you, dear readers. You won’t even mind if the titular character’s riding in the backseat for most of it. I mean, seriously, doesn’t Batman have enough stories where he’s the center of attention? Just look at the damn shelves every week, sheesh!
Collects BATMAN #25-32.