Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Batman #32 Review and *SPOILERS*

Who Cares?

Written By: Tom King
Art By: Mikel Janin, June Chung, Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 4, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's finally over boys and girls.  The War of Jokes and Riddles is coming to an end with this issue and because each issue seemed disjointed as hell and because nothing was ever explained from each plot point to the next............ I just really don't care anymore.  I'll let you in on what went down previously before we get into the nitty gritty though because you're cute and I like you, but don't even think for a second that I'm doing it because this story needs to be told more.  Previously, we saw our Dark Knight working with the Riddler as the two found  out where Joker was hiding, now that all of his troops were taken out....... or arrested.......... or locked up by the Riddler........ we don't really know.  Anyway, everything boiled down to Kite-Man betraying the Riddler after giving all of his troops kites that made them fly up to a Bat-Blimp and we were left with our three main characters here........ and Kite-Man, who was immediately knocked out by the Riddler because just like me....... he couldn't take one more "Hell Yeah".  Let's jump into this issue and see how the whole thing ends.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with a long drawn out bit, where we just see Bruce sitting with Selena in bed, then a bunch of pictures of people who all died during the War of Jokes and Riddles and then some more sitting in bed before we finally get back to our story, where we left off previously and that's where we see a clumsy ass fight that pits Joker and Riddler against Batman........ until Batman puts both of them down........ which is halfway through the book already.

With the Riddler pleading for mercy, he asks Batman if the Joker is laughing yet, which he isn't and then Riddler loses his shit and explains to Joker, Batman and all of us readers that everything that went down in this arc was all a set up by the Riddler just to get Joker to laugh......... even Kite-Man's involvement and his deception that got Riddler's troops out of the way........ all Riddler........... even though Batman seemed to be the key to all of this originally.  So yeah, with this revelation and the thought of Kite-Man's boy in his head.............. no one else of the hundreds that died in this war, Batman grabs a knife and tries to stab Riddler in the face........ which Joker then blocks with his hand, causing the Clown Prince of Crime to bust out laughing because this situation, where Batman would finally kill someone, especially the Riddler and he was the one to stop him........ Well, that just tickles the Joker something awful.

In the end, Bruce tells Selina that he was made by the Joker that night, which is an odd thing to say in my mind and it seems that the thing he regrets the most is this fact......... not the rest of the people in Gotham that he let die because he refused to act before siding with the Riddler.......... Oh, and Selena says yes to his proposal........... I'm done.

That's it for this issue of Batman and I have to tell you, this finale is fucking garbage.  Yeah, I'm guessing that if you really try, you can make yourself believe that something important went down here with the whole "The Joker Made Me" line, but even that feels like it's pulled out of the '89 Batman movie a bit, which wouldn't surprise me because it seems that King has taken as many opportunities as he could to force a Batman movie reference into this arc.  You know things are going to be rushed to a damn conclusion fast as hell when the story doesn't even really get started before halfway through the book and Riddler's claim to have set all of this up and that Batman's too easy of an opponent just came out of nowhere to me and doesn't make much sense and by the end of the day........ I just really want to know what the hell Bruce Wayne did with that billion dollars he promised one of the villains.  That just seemed to be a throwaway issue at this point.  Anyway, the art was as fantastic as it always is, but this story just stunk to high heaven and I hope that we don't ever have to deal with anything Jokes or Riddles again and especially not Kite-Man.

Bits and Pieces:

While you do get an answer from Selena about whether or not she'll marry Bruce Wayne........ don't expect much else because what you get in this issue is half of the book doing nothing, while the second half just throws a forced ending at you that doesn't make much sense and even makes you wonder why you've been a Batman fan for so long if this is his past.  The art was as decent as always, but the War of Jokes and Riddles from a story point, did nothing but disappoint.



  1. Thank God it's over. I'm trying decide if this story beats out "Night of The Monster Men" as worst Batman Rebirth story. I'm leaning toward it being in a CLOSE second place because it only infected one title instead of crossing over. "I am Bane/I am Suicide" squeaks into a third place tie no matter how the top two are stacked. It all just really makes me ponder why the hell DC suddenly hates Batman.

  2. Somehow the idea that he almost killed Riddler is worse than he actually caused the death of Kite-Man's son... Whatever you say King. This issue just made me laugh at the stupidity of this arc. Riddler looking at Joker as a riddle that he wants to solve on the surface level is an interesting idea, but what we got was absolutely worthless and so scattershot to lead to an answer from Catwoman that I just don't care about.

  3. I applaud Weird Science for digging below the surface with their reviews. Most other reviewers have given much higher marks for this issue & story arc, and I like that WS has it's own "mind."
    While I am not the biggest King fan, I do appreciate when a writer tries to "mess with the formula," as Mike Love mythically told Brian Wilson NOT to do---so I give King credit for trying, even while wishing his efforts were a little more thought through (Batman is a calculating, analytical crime fighter so when he is not as thorough as he should be and gets played, it does tend to irritate me...but as this story takes place early in his career, I can give this a pass).
    Then again, if King is going to shake things up, it's still got to jibe with what came, be Tony Asher or Van Dyke Parks, as long as we can recognize Mike, Carl, Al, Dennis, and Brian's voices and it all comes together in the end

    1. I hate Mike love so much!!!! Brian Wilson is and always was and will be a genius!!! Now let's stop reading comics and start a beach boys podcast!

    2. Mike wrote the lyrics for Good Vibrations. So I can give him a pass for his other transgressions. A guy named Mike can't be all bad... even if he was a weird yoga monkey.

    3. If his name is mike he must be doing something right

  4. This is definitely going to be an unpopular opinion, but I actually didn't hate this issue. The art was good, There has more talking in this arc then I care to read so seeing more action was pleasing to me, and most import is what the reason for Joker actually laughing again and is it a good enough reason to make me believe it. And to me it was. Was this is ground breaking "Hell No" but was serviceable to end a shotty arc, Yes.
    Don't hate me Eric, but to me this was a 6/10.

    1. I see what you're saying. 6/10 is not way off from me on this issue

    2. The issue itself wasn't too bad. But this arc should have been two issues, three max. The whole "war" was superfluous, because the only characters that mattered in the end were Batman, Riddler, and Joker.

  5. Mopey, inept Batman doesn't do anything for me, and with the quality of the "riddles" told in issue #31, you can't convince me that the whole war was orchestrated by the Riddler. I briefly entertained the idea that the inaccuracies in this arch, such as the Riddler being a martial arts master, were related to storyteller embellishment since it was told as a flash back, but that makes it even worse.

  6. It's style over substance . I enjoyed it more than 90% of the stuff I am reading . 10/10 .

  7. I loved this arc and I loved this issue. Before I go any further in my thoughts I must confess that I'm in a bitchy mood and I'll probably regret writing this the moment it's published.
    I'm a huge DC fan and have been for at least 30 years. I fell off reading about half way through the New 52 for budget reasons. When Rebirth started I jumped back in. I found a lot of new things to fall in love with again. Especially a podcast and website from two non high falutin guys from Quakertown. Not only was their site informative, their podcast was fun as “H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks”. Even more enjoyable was the community that followed them. A group of comic loving guys and gals called The Get Fresh Crew. To join them all you need to do is just send an e-mail and you've passed the test.
    When I began reading Tom King's Batman it really struck me. His “I am Gotham” arc was ugly and beautiful at the same time. It literally made me cry. I couldn't wait for more. I found his subsequent arcs to be much less enjoyable. While I personally didn't care for “I am Suicide” and I liked “I am Bane” even less, I didn't think they were awful. Something happened in this time though. The community that I once loved talking comics with began getting more and more critical and angry of comics. Especially anything Tom King. What began as a fun time has begun feeling less and less fun to me. What began as just send an e-mail now feels like just hate Tom King and you've passed the test.
    This brings me to The War of Jokes and Riddles. Finally the first time The Joker and The Riddler have come together in a story. While the story wasn't action packed, it was more of an emotional character study. Something that I prefer in not only most of my comic stories, but most of my stories in general. That being said, there were certainly action oriented pieces to it. I enjoyed seeing a Joker who can't smile. I enjoyed seeing a Riddler who antagonizes the Joker. I enjoyed seeing the cameos from the Rogues gallery. I enjoyed seeing how this war effected the people of Gotham. I always enjoy when a writer takes a throw away villain and gives him/her some depth and meaning. I mostly enjoyed Bruce confiding in Selina. I haven't seen this type of romance in a Bat book since Denny O'Neil wrote Bruce and Talia. I'm not saying the book was perfect. I didn't like how Bruce decided to align himself with a side, but it was never shown. I think it was obvious he chose Riddler, but I would have liked some clarification. I really enjoyed this book and I think all the hate thrown at it is a bit undeserved.
    I'm not saying that everyone should like everything. There are certainly things I dislike. I'm not saying that people should like what I like and dislike what I dislike. I just feel that there are things with this book and writer that get called out that are perfectly acceptable with other books and writers. I almost feel like Tom King was convicted of raping underage puppies and I'm the last one to know. I just don't get it.
    I feel like my thoughts and comments will not go over well with the group. I'm actually afraid to publish this. I feel like people might rush in to defend this or that. That's completely fair, but also somewhat unwarranted as I don't feel I've attacked anyone or anything. Anyway, I just wanted to express my thoughts. I love Jim and Eric. I love Weird Science. I love The Get Fresh Crew. I love this arc and I love this issue. 9/10 for me.

    1. You should never feel scared to voice your opinion Bobbie. I'm glad you liked this arc and I wish I did as well.

    2. I get your frustration with the "Hatin' Tom King Club". I'm not sure what everyone else is thinking, but I'm a member of the club because King has taken the potential and promise of "Rebirth" getting back to what made DC's characters popular in the first place and wasted it . Instead of bringing back the Dark Knight Detective, King has given us an almost unrecognizable Batman, where more of the character's legacy is stripped away with each arc. As far as I'm concerned, the only good things King has brought to the table is Batman having to share the spotlight in Gotham with super powered characters (a great idea that was wasted in extremely short order) and the upcoming marriage to Catwoman (we'll see how that one goes). Everything else has served to deconstruct Batman when the promise of Rebirth was to bring the characters back to what made them great. It's very disappointing when one of DC's greatest characters has suffered the most during a publishing initiative that SHOULD be shining a spotlight on the qualities that have made Batman one of the World's Finest heroes.