Batman #31 Review

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Posted September 20, 2017 by Aron Pohara in Comic Books

Written  by: Tom King                        

Art by: Mikel Janin

Published by: DC Comics

What does the penultimate chapter of War of Jokes and Riddles bring to the table? More insanity!

This entire story has been created to show us the sheer insanity of the Joker and Gotham City. Gotham deserves the Joker. The Joker deserves Batman.

This chapter sets up a final conflict between Nygma and Joker.  More than that, it illustrated that even Batman is not innocent in this whole story; especially when he chose not to pick a side.  This chapter showed us, clearly, the difference between Joker and Riddler. Joker is like an unpredictable hurricane – you can never truly predict his actions, or the devastation he is going to create. Riddler is a thunderstorm that is lot more localized and not as devastating.

King shows Batman failing to see this sooner, and ultimately put more people at risk than he should have.

Where previous chapters have shown the scope of the war on the streets of Gotham, this particular chapter is a lot more personal and grounded. It loses a bit of its power by not focusing on the greater casualties of the war. With the previous chapters prior to this arc Batman tells us that this has changed him on a personal level as to what it did to him and what it did to the city. So far we have only seen glimpses of the personal struggle.

Janin’s art continues to be stellar here especially in his representation of Joker. He portrays him as maniacal but always angry; visceral and with a scowl on his face which is something that is rarely seen for the entirety of the run. His lines are clean, but everything is detailed and every stroke serves a purpose. Janin and Gerards have been my two favorite Batman artists in a very long time as they both brought something unique to the table, something that is not a classic comic book art sort of speak. That is always refreshing.

Overall War of Jokes and Riddles part V is a good addition to the story and even characters like Kite-man are not relegated to just background characters. That is one particular thing King has been really good at in this run, everything that happened served a purpose. With one more chapter to go, it is going to be interesting to see how this story ends. This might not have been the best chapter of this particular arc but it is still a damn good Batman story. Recommended.


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Aron Pohara