Review: Batman #29

Abel Loza Abel Loza
Expert Contributor
September 1st, 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 #29
Comics
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Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 1, 2017
Last modified:September 1, 2017

Summary:

Batman #29 raises the stakes for the main players and pushes Batman to pick a side of the ongoing War of Jokes and Riddles. Tom King, Mikel Janin, and June Chung create a story that makes you want to read each issue twice


Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On September 1, 2017
Last modified:September 1, 2017

Summary:

Batman #29 raises the stakes for the main players and pushes Batman to pick a side of the ongoing War of Jokes and Riddles. Tom King, Mikel Janin, and June Chung create a story that makes you want to read each issue twice

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In The War of Jokes and Riddles, Part 4, Batman finds a way to stop the Riddler and Joker from tearing Gotham City apart and in one of the most interesting and awkward dinner parties of all time, Bruce Wayne invites both sides to his mansion to talk things over. Instead of putting on the cowl, Bruce puts on his tuxedo to try and put a stop to the War of Jokes and Riddles. Unfortunately for Bruce, he finds out that there is only one way to end the war, and his hand is forced to join a side. Abel Loza, ComiConverse's Batman expert, breaks down the newest issue, Batman #29.

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

Synopsis:

After the fall out from The Battle of the Snipers in Batman #28, Batman wants to find a way to end the The War of Jokes and Riddles with no more blood spilled on the street of Gotham. So instead of putting on the cape and cowl, he dons his tuxedo and decides to invite both sides of the to his house for one of the most dangerous dinner parties of all time. While serving a nine course meal, Wayne finds out that there is really only way way to end the war: kill Batman. He then finds out that the only true way to end the war is to have one of the sides win the war. In order to end the war he must choose a side.

Spoilers ahead!

Break Down:

Tension was built in Batman #29 as the Joker, Riddler and Batman (unbeknownst to the other two) had dinner inside of Bruce Wayne’s mansion. The reason for the little  dinner party was because according to Bruce, his mother would tell him as a child, “When all is lost, have dinner.” She would imply that you can learn allot from a person, or a group of people, from the time you spend eating with them.

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Taking this theory to the extreme, Bruce Wayne invites the Joker and Riddler over for dinner  to try to find out the best way to bring an end to the war that has been tearing apart Gotham. The isolation of all involved parties in one room was a  great story telling element by Tom King to build some tension in the story. Besides some flashbacks, the entire issue is set inside Bruce’s dining room was very a useful way to build some tension between all three main parties involved in this war.

I suspect a second reason for the particular setting. I think Tom King, the author, was trying to differentiate and two kinds of evil that the Riddler and the Joker represent. The Riddler is methodical and precise, while the Joker is anarchistic and unorganized. The panel in which the Joker details how he would kill Batman is well thought out and planned, showing the Joker’s hate for Batman.

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

We have been told that the Joker does not give a second thought to his actions. For him to have given thought to how he would kill Batman shows how much contempt the Clown Prince has for Batman. That hatred then helps explain why he hates the Riddler: for preventing him from killing Batman. For the Joker, his two hatreds are intertwined.

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

Through digging and patience, Bruce finds out what the reader already knows: The war is not going to end until either the Joker or Riddler has killed the Batman.This seems to be the only thing that both warring sides can agree on. Bruce then knows that the fastest way to the war is for one side to emerge victorious.

Bruce offers to give one billion dollars of his own money to the person he decides has the best reason to kill Batman

As Batman #29 concludes, story is fast approaching a reveal of Batman’s biggest regret. We also can't be too far from hearing what Catwoman’s answer will be to Bruce’s proposal.

The art of Batman #29 is excellent and has been for the entire run. Mikel Janin and June Chung continue to deliver amazing art that adds depth to Tom King’s words. The splash pages that the artistic team churns out twice a month are nothing short of spectacular. As I complimented King in my Batman #28 review for his multi-layered storytelling, the art and specifically the splash pages, do their own kind of multi-layered storytelling that pushes forward the narrative and brings a different element to the unfolding series.

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

 

Let’s talk about that ending. Am I the only one who saw the resemblance of Joker’s story in Batman #29 to The Killing Joke’s ending? As I mentioned earlier, Joker was asked by Bruce Wayne, how would he kill Batman? After the Riddler gave a detailed and terrifying account of how he would do it, the Joker simply replied that he would choke Batman, “...he’ll look at me. Not afraid or angry. Peaceful. And he’ll smile.” My mind automatically went to the ending of The Killing Joke. Particularly in the ongoing debate on whether or not Batman actually killed the Joker at the end of that story. That is still open to interpretation, but if King did write this as an homage to The Killing Joke, that is some next level writing and I hope Batman fans appreciate it.

Batman #29

Credit: DC Comics

What did you think of Batman #29? What side of the war would you pick? Joker’s or Riddler’s? Do you think Batman killed the Joker at the end of The Killing Joke?

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

Review: Batman #29

  • 4
Batman #29 raises the stakes for the main players and pushes Batman to pick a side of the ongoing War of Jokes and Riddles. Tom King, Mikel Janin, and June Chung create a story that makes you want to read each issue twice

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