Review: Batman 26

Abel Loza Abel Loza
Expert Contributor
July 9th, 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 26
Comics
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Review of: Batman #26
Price:
Fantastic

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On July 9, 2017
Last modified:July 9, 2017

Summary:

Tom King and Mikel Janin keep pushing the Bat-Envelope by telling and beautiful yet brutal story of batman's second year in action. As the Joker and Riddler continue to spill Gotham blood all over the streets, it is now up to Batman to determine what he is going to do to stop The War of Jokes and Riddles.

Review of: Batman #26
Price:
Fantastic

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On July 9, 2017
Last modified:July 9, 2017

Summary:

Tom King and Mikel Janin keep pushing the Bat-Envelope by telling and beautiful yet brutal story of batman's second year in action. As the Joker and Riddler continue to spill Gotham blood all over the streets, it is now up to Batman to determine what he is going to do to stop The War of Jokes and Riddles.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

The battle lines have been drawn in Batman #26 as Batman’s Rogues Gallery has been split down the middle by the feud that is brewing between the Joker and the Riddler. This has caused a villain “Civil War” in the Batman universe, which is leaving Gotham City a bloodied mess. As Batman continues to tell the story of The War of Jokes and Riddles, he is getting closer to revealing his deepest, darkest secret as the Dark Knight. Our Batman Specialist, Abel Loza, will try to make sense of what is going on in Batman #26.

Review: Batman 26

Riddler murder scene. Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

“It took a few more weeks before the city saw what it was…That the monsters were choosing sides. That anyone stuck between the monsters was just a thing to be put aside”

Synopsis:

The War of Riddles and Jokes has now spread to the rest of the villains of Gotham City as the Joker and the Riddler have now chosen their first allies in the war against each other. Oswald Cobblepot and Dr. Pamela Isley have been the first enlisted members for the Joker and Riddler, respectively. As the victims start to pile up, and bodies start to number in the dozens, all Batman can do is count all those who have died during the Civil War and remember their names and find out their personal stories.

Break Down:

Spoiler ahead!

Batman #26 continues the The War of Riddles and Jokes storyline that is being executed perfectly by writer Tom King. King’s utilization of character development (which he has been using through this entire run on Batman) to further the plot makes the story more meaningful and it gives it layers of depth that would otherwise be lost if the plot was event driven.

Story continues below

The Civil War Sides. Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

In Batman #26, King is successful in telling three different stories, Joker’s, Riddler’s and Batman’s, in a way that they all highlight a different part of the story. In the end, they all converge into the main plot; never forgetting what the main point of the story is. That has been a really enjoyable part of reading this story arc so far, it takes multiple readings to fully grasp and understand all that is going on.

One surprising, and welcomed, aspect of The War of Jokes and Riddles is the use of very dark and dry sense of humor to accompany the dark tones of the story. If the reader is beaten over the head with the same dark tones and somber moods for numerous issues in-a-row, then the reader might grow tired of getting beaten over their head and look for something with more levity. So the use of subtle humor by King gives the story a change of pace when it needs some extra life.

Another intriguing part of the story so far, one that was mentioned in the last review, is the sheer brutality of the story; specifically how the Riddler is willing to get his hands dirty. The Riddler has always been known for being more of a criminal mastermind and less of a murderer, but Tom King has changed that. After only two issues, the Riddler has been fundamentally changed and has vaulted himself to one of the top spots within Batman’s Rogues Gallery.

King’s brutal and menacing Ridder and Joker are accentuated by the art of Mikel Janin and the coloring of June Chung. Their art has really brought the story to life and given each character new aspects that will, no doubt, be remembered for runs to come. In a tweet sent out out by Tom King, he said that the scene with the bloody question marks (which is the opening picture of this article) were added by Janin himself and was not in the script. This is an example of how the artists also have a very important part in the telling of a story. That panel is not what it is without those bloody question marks, and the story is better of for it.

Tom King Tweet. Courtesy of Tom King

Credit: DC Comics

Most of the attention for this issue, regarding its art, will be given to the two major splash pages of the villains done by Janin and Chung towards the end of the book. Although those pages should get all the praise, the entire book should be regarded as not only great art but great storytelling.

Another thing that should not be lost in this issue is how Batman is handling the war, or lack thereof. In Batman #26, it feels as though Batman is losing control of the situation and all we can do is count and remember all the outlets I times that have been apart of this war. This stats to build up some momentum as to what Batman had to do to stop the war, which is also his biggest mistake. As stated in our last, Batman review, this dealt very much like a “Year Two” story and this panel verifies that hunch.

Year Two? Courtesy of DC Comics

Credit: DC Comics

So that means Batman is still fairly new at this “superhero” thing, and with mounted pressure from a bad-guy Civil War breaking out might have given Bruce some anxiety about how to handle the situation. Those are the perfect ingredients for a Bat-mistake. King and the entire creative team at Batman are killing it right now and are really making all-time great comic book story.

What did you think of Batman #26?

Are you enjoying The War of Jokes and Riddles so far?

What do you think of a villain "Civil War?"

Story continues below

What do you think Batman did that was his biggest mistake?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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

Batman #26

  • 5

Fantastic

Tom King and Mikel Janin keep pushing the Bat-Envelope by telling and beautiful yet brutal story of batman's second year in action. As the Joker and Riddler continue to spill Gotham blood all over the streets, it is now up to Batman to determine what he is going to do to stop The War of Jokes and Riddles.

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