Review: Batman #25

Abel Loza Abel Loza
Expert Contributor
June 29th, 2017

If you give me the chance, ill talk your ear off about comic books. As the legend states, “Abel’s first words were ‘Batman.'”
#TeamBatman

Review: Batman #25
Comics
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Review of: Batman #25
Price:
Ground Breaking

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On June 29, 2017
Last modified:June 29, 2017

Summary:

Batman #25 is the perfect set up for the The War of Jokes and Riddles story arc which will bring us Tom King’s most adventurous and original story to date. King continues to explore who Batman really is, while at the same time exploring the war that nearly broke Batman. This continues Tom King’s young, but great line of great Batman issues so far.

Review of: Batman #25
Price:
Ground Breaking

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On June 29, 2017
Last modified:June 29, 2017

Summary:

Batman #25 is the perfect set up for the The War of Jokes and Riddles story arc which will bring us Tom King’s most adventurous and original story to date. King continues to explore who Batman really is, while at the same time exploring the war that nearly broke Batman. This continues Tom King’s young, but great line of great Batman issues so far.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

The next, great Batman story arc from writer Tom King, The War of Jokes and Riddles, starts in Batman #25. This issue acts as a prelude and sets up the new story that will undoubtedly be one for the ages. The Joker and Riddler make their triumphant return to the pages of Batman, as the two are the reason for the War that nearly broke Gotham and Batman in half. Our very own Abel Loza is here to break down this extra size issue and part one of the The War of Jokes and Riddles.

Review: Batman #25

Batman 25

Credit: DC Comics

Synopsis:

Bruce is getting acclimated to being engaged now and is trying to get Selina to try to understand him better as a man. Bruce believes he can do this by explaining to Selina about his greatest failure, which occurred during The War of Jokes and Riddles. The War of Jokes and Riddles was the war between the Joker and the Riddler in which neither was willing to give the other satisfaction of killing Batman. Whatever it was that Batman did during this time period, truly shaped him to what he is today. We will soon learn, what that was.

Break Down:

Spoilers ahead!

Tom King’s deconstruction and case study of Batman continues in Batman #25, aka part one of The War of Jokes and Riddles, as Bruce tries to share with Selina his greatest failure as Batman. Bruce believes that if he does this, this will go a long way for Selina to truly understand Bruce in a way no other person has. With that set up, The War of Jokes and Riddles plays as a flashback and a prologue at the same time. This concept should make Batman fans excited to see how far the war between the Joker and Riddler pushed not only Gotham City but Batman as well. This idea ties in well with the theme that King has explored over the past year, does Batman like being Batman?

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Back to Basics. Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

This seems so unique for a Batman story, and so its surprising no other writer has thought about this before. What would happen if two villains started a civil war within Gotham City for the right to kill Batman? This seems so unique for a Batman story and The War of Jokes and Riddles seems to be building up for a sort of “Year Two” storyline. This “thing” that happened must have happened so early in Batman’s career that it shaped and changed him in fundamental ways as Bruce, and not just as Batman. This topic has been exactly what Tom King has been dissecting in the past year, and I'm glad we are getting to the nexus point of his work.

King uses this issue to build-up some major suspense and to get us excited about the rest of this arc. He also gets us really excited to see the Riddler and the Joker in the pages of Batman once again; but this time, instead of trying to take down Batman they are trying to take down eachother. The Joker and the Riddler act as the catalysts for the war, as neither man wants to see the other man kill Batman. Since the Joker lost his ability to laugh and the Riddler can't solve the riddle of Batman, which is making the rest of his life miserable, they both blame Batman for their problems. The only way to solve their respective problems is to kill The Batman. After Joker’s refusal to work with the Riddler to take down Batman as a team, The War of Jokes and Riddles began. The originality of the idea builds its own suspense, but adding the elements of a villain vs villain civil war - one that led to Batman’s biggest mistake - makes this the one of the most anticipated story arcs of the year.

More Violent Riddler? Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

King’s characterizations and Mikel Janin’s drawings of the Joker and the Riddler give a new spring to old characters. The Riddler seems a lot more vicious and psychopathic than I remember him being. The Joker returns to a more classic look and a more classic characterization, one that brings back The Joker’s twisted sense of humor. The idea that the Joker can't laugh anymore because the punchline to every joke has become predictable is genius. It reminds us of the old, original classic Joker.

The War of Jokes and Riddles feels like a black-noire story mixed with a mobster story all in one. Both elements bring something to Batman that we haven't seen in a while. When you mix all of it together, the story, the characters (specifically characterizations), the themes and the tone, we're all in for a wild ride. It really does seem that that Tom King has hit his stride with this series.

After you initially read Batman #25, you should really give this issue a second reading. It is filled with so many details and homages that you might have missed the first time around. For example, did you catch the “Year One” reference in this issue?

 

Year One. Year Two? Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

How about the Batman Forever Easter egg on the cover? “Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big black bat?” was originally said by Jim Carrey’s Riddler in the 1995 movie.

So if you haven't read it twice, go do it!

What did you think of Batman #25?

Do you like Tom King's run so far?

Story continues below

Are you excited for  The War of Jokes and Riddles?

Let me know in the comments below!

Abel Loza is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @st_abel45

Batman #25

  • 5

Ground Breaking

Batman #25 is the perfect set up for the The War of Jokes and Riddles story arc which will bring us Tom King’s most adventurous and original story to date. King continues to explore who Batman really is, while at the same time exploring the war that nearly broke Batman. This continues Tom King’s young, but great line of great Batman issues so far.

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