4 Amazing reasons to read Batman : A war of Jokes and riddles
Over the years we have had some pretty amazing Batman stories with The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween and Year One among the stories to make our skin tingle with excitement. All these known for their truly amazing and mesmerizing story lines, artwork and overall depiction of the Batman. We have also sadly seen many really lackluster story telling of the Batman’s many adventures. But one may ask, what makes a good Batman read ? Is it the art? Batman himself? The dark no holds barred nature of violence in the stories? Or some really subtle intrinsic quality that is not so easy to spot?
I might not know the universal answer to that, but I definitely know why Batman : War of Jokes and Riddles is one of the best, if not the best batman story written in recent years. Here are some of my top picks (among the numerous reasons) Why A War of Jokes and Riddles is epic and worth checking out.
Kite Man’s origin story:
OK, let me first of all say it, Kite Man never really impressed me (I’m sure he never really impressed anyone else) until this particular story here. Thrust into a war between the despicable and the just plain insane. Kite Man is given a backstory that is truly befitting of his potential as a DC villain.
After being caught in between these two, Charles Brown (Kite Man) is forced by Batman to spy on The Joker, this does not bode well for him as the Riddler finds out and tries to use this scenario to his advantage as well. The Joker finds out as well and Charles is caught in a three way crossfire he can do nothing about, ultimately leading to the murder of his dear son. This unravels the man and wounds up his clock as he falls to the dark side, culminating in a really tragic story for a man we have all laughed at for his silly penchant of always losing to Batman.
This is a tragic reminder of how casualties result from Batman’s war on crime. Personally I consider Kite Man as a man among gods, caught in the crossfire of beings he can do nothing about but be a pawn at their game.
Who doesn’t love a great superhero vs supervillain fight right? But what if the battle is between two very notable and highly skilled supervillain assassins, each with an intent to kill and desire to please his master. OK, now imagine that on a much grander scale with Two face, The Riddler, Deathstroke, Scarecrow on one side and The Joker, Deadshot, Mr Freeze and co on the other side and you get a story that will make you beg for more.
Unlike superhero fights, this showdown was for one reason and for one reason alone. Which of the two maniacal bosses gets the right to kill the Caped Crusader. Comic book fans are treated to non-stop action sequences (The fight between Deathstroke and Deadshot is particularly epic as it goes on for 5 days!) by Mikel Janin with beautiful gripping storytelling by Tom King as we watch events unfold.
The Riddler vs The Joker
OK, Many in DC universe would dispute the fact that The Riddler can truly be a match for The Joker. The Riddler is smart, organised and highly calculative in his plans. The Joker is a narcissist, dangerous and insane to degrees that can’t be quantified. It is often a general consensus that The Joker is a much more dangerous and intriguing villain than The Riddler and yet, this story takes all that and makes you understand why The Riddler is an equally dangerous threat to Gotham city as a whole.
To orchestrate his escape, he murdered a cop and went on to stage a blackmail of sorts of all the cops that attempted to stop him, threatening the lives of their family if they refused to let him through. The results? The Riddler walks out a freeman, all set to stage his come back on the Gotham Crime scene. This introduces us to the almost pinpoint accuracy of plans that The Riddler would go on to employ on his quest to take down both Batman and The Joker.
The Joker as well is another story entirely, unable to laugh, he goes on an almost calculated maniacal killing spree that involves him killing comedians and leaving clues culminating a series of events that involve him shooting The Riddler and sparking off a war that disrupted the city’s peace. Though these two characters are almost polar opposites, their scheming and ruthlessness made for really exciting reading as the story went on.
Batman crosses the line.
As a Batman fan, I must say that I adore the Caped crusader, I adore his strength, will and his ability to stand out in a pantheon of super powered beings, being able to hold his own up to extreme levels that would break any other human being. But all of that almost went to naught as we saw Bruce pushed to a point he had not been to before. Still inexperienced and young, Bruce after a meeting with both The Joker and The Riddler ( as well as events resulting in the death of Kite Man’s son) came to the conclusion that he was going to kill The Riddler.
What is really most interesting is that the comic takes the time to explain that this was not a moment of temporary insanity or loss of control, but a calculated attempt to end the life of another human. Luckily for us, Batman is saved from crossing the line he could never return from by The Joker who eventually finds it all very funny and can’t stop himself from laughing at the strange turn of events.
This panel is really impressive not just for it’s story value but it’s whole contribution to the Batman/Joker lore as whole. Giving more meaning to their mutually dependent existence.
Simply put, this is a must read for all Batman fans out there and all fans of the superhero genres in general as it is simply too good a story to miss. I hope you get to enjoy it. Don’t forget to give me your feedback on what you think about this story. What are the highlights, the low points as well as your most memorable parts of the story, please let me know in the comments section below.
Expected on: December 2017 Author: Thomas King / Illustrator: Mikel Janin