Batman #32 Review

Written by: Tom King

Art by: Mikel Janin

Published by: DC Comics


War of the Jokes and Riddles comes to a somewhat shocking but also somewhat anticlimactic conclusion and I am not talking about finally finding out the answer for the proposal.

Tom King has set out to do this story since he started his work on Batman over a year ago and it is clearly evident that all of the roads have led to this particular moment. From Kite-man being in background of pretty much every issue of Batman throughout King’s run, to Rooftops storyline, to proposal back in issue #24, it all culminated in this particular issue.

But as Riddler says to Batman toward the end of this issue “This is not your story, not everything needs to be about you all the time!” it sets a precedent that King is not afraid of shaking up the norm and put the Dark Knight in the background during his own book. It is that type of writing and the bold direction that differentiates this book from other Superhero titles.

There was another little nice touch King added to this issue at the beginning with the victims of the war. It is those little moments as well that expand on what King was working on this run to slowly deconstruct the myth of Batman but also modernize it for new readers.

Janin comes back to finish the run that he has started  and other than couple of interlude chapters that gave us a background on a character of Kite-man gave us uniformity that these arcs lack now days.  His attention detail and his expressive tones are what made this book work.  It’s rare to read a book and feel tension ooze from the page. It is a mark of a good story-teller to make us feel for these characters. Janin and King are certainly that!

There are certainly moments of Batman brooding in this issue. He is Batman. He broods. But it is the context of all of this that put this current Batman run above many others before it.  Subtleties in this run are numerous and they are handled well. It is always refreshing to read a book in Superhero lore, whichever it is; when you can see a real situation pertaining to those heroes. It brings them down to Earth a bit which certainly makes them more relatable. That is exactly what Tom King has managed to do with Batman villains during the war of Jokes and Riddles showing there is a little insanity in all of us.