Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Batman #31 Review and *SPOILERS*

A Man Walks Into A Bar.......... Ow!

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mikel Janin, June Chung, Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 20, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Even with the Ballad of Kite-Man being finished up last issue, it doesn't seem like we've heard the last of "Hell Yeah" and I have no idea how people think that Tom King has taken this "joke" of a character and made him legit by simply saying that he had a son that the Riddler killed because when you have a character just going around saying his name over and over again and then "hell yeah" afterward........... Well, he seems like even more of a joke than before because he's completely one dimensional then and adding the dead son bit doesn't change any of that.  That being said, let's jump into the penultimate issue of the War of Jokes and Riddles and see if any of the loose threads that have been dangling about in this story are tied up or if this is just another issue where you just have to blindly put the pieces together whether they make sense or not and just go with it.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with more lame ass jokes and riddles from our two big bad villains of this arc, where Joker is stabbing a random man in the high rise apartment building, where the War of Jokes and Riddles started, while Riddler is standing outside with Batman as the two determine whether or not there's a safe way in.   Once again though, we see that Bruce is telling Selena a part of the story that she already knows because he's called her in to scale the building to look for booby traps, where she is spotted by the Joker and shot off the building........... don't worry though, somehow she's fine and our Dark Knight discovers that since the bullets went through the windows, then they must not be dangerous to enter through.

Riddler isn't about to let Batman up there with the Joker alone though and he's not about to go up there alone with just the Joker and Batman so Riddler has Kite-Man hook all of his troops up with kites of their own and we see Riddler's army kite into the high rise apartment building, where they take Joker completely by surprise.......... somehow because he'd just been looking out the window previously.  So now that we've taken up the majority of the issue discovering that the windows were safe and getting kites on the bad guys to get them up there, Batman signals Kite-Man, who activates a trap of his own, which sends parachutes out of all of Riddler's troop's kites and sends them flying out.......... which is just really trying to mimic the sky hook scene from the movie Dark Knight, where they are grabbed by Alfred flying above.  

In the end, with Riddler's army taken out, Kite-Man tries to have his revenge on the Riddler by telling him that since Riddler took his boy, he took his war.......... and then as if Riddler were gleaming into my soul and knowing exactly what I wanted from that moment, he knocks Kite-Man out as he's trying to say "hell yeah" and ends the conversation with "Shut the hell up".  I'm all of a sudden on Riddler's side now.  Anyway, the issue ends with Batman, Riddler and Joker meeting up for the final bout as Joker gives us one more lame ass joke.

That's it for this issue of Batman and there's really no meat to this issue at all.  We have Joker torturing some random guy, while Riddler gets his army to wear kites, before they're all taken out and we've reached our end.  Yeah, the art in this issue is as great as it always is, but the art is never the problem with this story, the problem is.......... there isn't much of a story and because of that we're given repeating dialog, elementary school jokes and riddles and characters that just seem off all around.  The War of Jokes and Riddles is almost over and where I'd like to say that it seems like it will end with a whimper, I just can't because that may lead someone to think that it wasn't whimpering the entire time.

Bits and Pieces:

One positive thing that I can say about this issue is that unlike a lot of the others, it at least makes sense within the arc and doesn't go out of its way to go against what it's already told us.  That being said, there isn't much to like with this issue because there's really nothing to it besides for getting everyone out of the way so that Batman can finally come out and tell us and Catwoman what the hell his biggest regret is.  The art continues to be phenomenal in this, but the art has never been the problem with the War of Jokes and Riddles.



  1. I still can't get over the idea how it goes from one issue saying Bruce is going to decide whose side he's on to the next issue having Batman taking a side. Did Bruce's money pay for Batman? Is Batman purchasable? Did Bruce sell it as using his influence to get Batman on one of their sides? In that case why didn't he just sell it as that the whole time? Why make it about giving one of the sides the money to the next issue just having Batman on Riddler's side? I'm supposed to fill in the blanks when the progression makes no god damned sense? One issue it's about money to use to persuade the other side's soldier's to switch sides or get them out of the way. Next issue Batman's just picked a side and taking the people out... Did Tom King read his own previous issue? I'd ask this question to him but all I'd get is some pretentious ass response that says "Is he?" fuck off.

  2. God, I hate King's repeated dialogue fetish. I'm beginning to wonder if Batman's greatest regret will be a fourth wall-breaking confession that he wished he'd actually stayed dead at the end of the New 52 so Jim Gordon would have to be the Batman to be put through King's nonsense. Then the story closes out on Bruce and Selina staring at each other. . .whispering "Bat" and "Cat" at each other until the internet explodes. Fuck this story. The one I just made up is better.

  3. I hate the Joker, it's why I loved Morrison's run so much. Minimal Joker, Thomas Wayne was the big bad.

  4. This is currently my favorite book. Ask me tomorrow and I may change my mind. That's not an insult to the book that's just how tastes work. One moment Tonya likes peanut butter the next moment she likes Hot Pockets. I say this to once again clarify that I do not love nor do I hate Tom King. He's a talented writer and sometimes it works for me and other times it doesn't work for me. As Mr. King so humbly said on Twitter to Jim and Jack, "I wish I knew what makes a thing work".
    This issue wrapped up a few questions like why Riddler didn't immediately kill Bats and why Kite-Man was important. It does so pragmatically without ever going over the top, although I suspect others will claim that was anti climactic. It seems King can't win for losing. I ealso enjoyed how the weakness to Joker's lair was revealed. Nice show of Bats' detective skills. Anyway, I have especially been enjoying the dynamic between The Cat and The Bat so I'd give this issue a 7.5 out of 10.