Batman, Volume 4
Early in Batman’s career, the Joker and the Riddler would seemingly be natural allies. But each man determined that he and he alone must be the one to kill the Bat...and either would sooner burn down Gotham than be beaten to the punch line.Untold until now, one of the darkest chapters in Batman’s history sees all of Gotham’s villains choosing sides in a battle of wits that soon turns into a full-blown war—complete with civilian casualties. In the War of Jokes and Riddles, only one side can claim victory...but the scars it leaves will shape Batman’s future as he makes the most important decision of his life.From the critically acclaimed, best-selling creative team of Tom King (GRAYSON, The Vision) and Mikel Janin (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK), the epic graphic tale BATMAN: THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES has quickly embedded itself as one of the great stories in the Dark Knight’s mythology. Collects issues #25-32.

Batman, Volume 4 Details

TitleBatman, Volume 4
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 19th, 2017
PublisherDC Comics
ISBN-139781401273613
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Dc Comics, Batman, Superheroes, Comic Book

Batman, Volume 4 Review

  • Sean Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    For anyone out there who has ever wanted to root for a bad guy who eviscerates someone as he asks them “What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?”*…have I got a book for you.Forget Adam West’s biff-sock-pows; this incarnation of Batman makes even Frank Miller’s grimmest and grittiest look like the Muppet Babies (though, in Miller’s version, I have zero doubt that Gonzo would have an uncontrollable fetish for those white-and-green striped socks Nany wears, a For anyone out there who has ever wanted to root for a bad guy who eviscerates someone as he asks them “What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?”*…have I got a book for you.Forget Adam West’s biff-sock-pows; this incarnation of Batman makes even Frank Miller’s grimmest and grittiest look like the Muppet Babies (though, in Miller’s version, I have zero doubt that Gonzo would have an uncontrollable fetish for those white-and-green striped socks Nany wears, and Skeeter would be secretly stripping to fund her cocaine habit). In this year one-style tale, Batman takes a backseat to Joker and the Riddler, who are at odds over which of them should be the one who gets the honor of bumping off the Batman, and they’re willing to make the streets of Gotham run red with the blood not-so-innocents to earn that right. Madcap hijinks ensue, including the stabbing, poisoning, strangling, shooting, defenestrating, and blowing up of people (amongst whom is the son of the man who would go on, in a tragicomic turn of fate, to become the villain (antihero?) known as Kite Man). There’s also a very bizarre yet delightful dinner at the home of one Mr. Bruce Wayne, wherein the rich white playboy does his best to buy off the baddies with a billion bucks while poor Alfred serves an underappreciated 9-course French feast. If you can get past the idea of a guy who runs around in green pajamas with question marks on them and who was once played by Jim Carrey in a movie in which Goose played Batman being portrayed as a stone-cold killer to the point where he’s in danger of surpassing the Joker’s body count, this is an entertaining foray into Batman’s past (or, rather, his past in a particularly violent and dark incarnation of Bat continuity). There’s even a delightful three-way fight in which Joker gives the Batman an unlikely “hand” in a way that shapes his character forevermore. Might not satisfy lovers of angsty Batman or dark knight detective Batman, but should sate your mad-on for (bad) boys being (bad) boys.*As everyone knows, the answer to that riddle is a centipede starring in Cirque du Soleil.
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  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    The Joker’s lost his sense of humour and he’d kill to get it back - specifically Batman but also anyone standing in his way. Like The Riddler, whose ego won’t allow anyone else to take down Batman but him. And so the two go head to head in all-out war on the Gotham streets, roping in every villain in town in Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles. I’ve been surprisingly enjoying Tom King’s Batman run a lot though I’ve also been waiting to see how long it’ll be before he writes his first The Joker’s lost his sense of humour and he’d kill to get it back - specifically Batman but also anyone standing in his way. Like The Riddler, whose ego won’t allow anyone else to take down Batman but him. And so the two go head to head in all-out war on the Gotham streets, roping in every villain in town in Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles. I’ve been surprisingly enjoying Tom King’s Batman run a lot though I’ve also been waiting to see how long it’ll be before he writes his first less-than-gravy Batman book - and here it is with The War of Jokes and Riddles which is mediocre at best. The story was full of too many plotholes for me to really get into. First of all, the framing device is Bruce telling Selina this story of his past in the present - why? Because he wants her to know this terrible thing he did before she marries him. Except we have to wait until the next book to find out what that thing is, which is very unsatisfying. Secondly, WHY is this set in the past? And not just the past, but the very earliest days of Batman’s career. Bruce dates the story at one point saying “And I was a year away from kicking a tree”, referencing that famous panel from Year One. But everything from Batman’s outfit, his fame, the setup, the villains, feel far too established to be this early on in the Batman mythos. A few years into Batman’s career maybe but even one year down the line from his first appearance doesn’t seem at all convincing. I don’t know why this couldn’t have been set in the present - setting it this far back in the past just throws up too many questions! And, besides Joker and Riddler’s flimsy motivations for going to war against each other in the first place, why do nearly all of Batman’s rogues (again, accumulated far too many for such a supposedly short stretch of time!) all get involved - why not just sit back and watch Joker and Riddler kill each other? There’s no motivation for any of them to pick a particular side, let alone go to war in the first place! Then there’s Kite Man. I kinda like that he’s been this bizarre running joke throughout Tom King’s Batman series but here he gets the full secret origin treatment with such a weirdly serious tone too! Did Tom King lose a bet or something? I mean, why else do we get this many pages devoted to this one-note character? It wouldn’t be bad if Kite Man were interesting but he’s as rubbish as he’s ever been and his origin was tedious to read. Things get way out of hand in Gotham before the Feds step in which is another stupid detail and Riddler’s question mark scar was a bit naff too. But there was stuff I liked here. It’s interesting to see a mirthless, grimacing Joker for a change and King writes him really well. Same goes for Riddler - in fact, King might’ve written the best version of Riddler ever in this book! Many of the riddles are clever and funny. The nine-course dinner scene, though pointless, was cool. Mikel Janin’s art has never looked better either. The book is visually spectacular and Janin draws Batman, Joker and Riddler as superbly as King writes them. Janin definitely elevates King’s patchy script up from a crap book to a middling one. I didn’t hate The War of Jokes and Riddles but it’s very flawed. If you’ve been enjoying King’s Batman as much as I have, don’t expect the same high level of quality with this weak fourth volume.
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  • James DeSantis
    January 1, 1970
    If you asked me to name top 5 villains of Batman both Joker AND Riddler would be on my list. While Joker is insane and his unpredictable tactics make him interesting, Riddler cold calculated, overbearing personality makes him almost as equally interesting. Put them together and at each other throats? Now that...that sounds like a book made for me. The story starts with Bruce speaking with Selina and telling her what happen years ago. When Joker couldn't laugh anymore and Riddler couldn't solve t If you asked me to name top 5 villains of Batman both Joker AND Riddler would be on my list. While Joker is insane and his unpredictable tactics make him interesting, Riddler cold calculated, overbearing personality makes him almost as equally interesting. Put them together and at each other throats? Now that...that sounds like a book made for me. The story starts with Bruce speaking with Selina and telling her what happen years ago. When Joker couldn't laugh anymore and Riddler couldn't solve the puzzle on Batman, and when Riddler offered to work together with Joker, and instead Joker shot him and started the war in Gotham. Instead of chasing the Bats they decided to go after each other to take control of gotham and THEN kill the Bats. For a anyone else this would be a way to get rid of your villains but you know Batman, he can't let that shit fly. Good: I honestly enjoyed the fuck out of anything with Kite Man in here. Talk about a character I never cared about and turning him into someone I can get behind. HELL YEAH! But really...what happens to him and his family is tragic and really well done. Not in a overly cheesy way, I actually felt for this character, and I loved it. I also really dug the idea of the way. I know a lot of people probably wanted to see more action but I just loved seeing how Gotham was being picked apart and you caught glimpses of the war. The Deadshot/Slade moment was a highlight and the breaking point for Bruce which came across as wonderful. I also loved how sinister and dark joker was here. What he's capable of without his "hahahaha" attitude all the time. It reminded me of "Joker" from years ago made by Brain but not as boring. I also really enjoyed Riddler here and his way of going at war was pretty smart and actually interesting. The ending was a nice touch and can't wait to see the future for Batman. Bad: The Dinner scene. I mean, I know where in a world with flying aliens, walking talking croc, and a dude named Kite Man. Still...the dinner scene was a bit too much of a stretch. Why not just murder each other there? They're fucking killers. Especially how cold joker is, felt just dumb. This was the only issue I didn't enjoy. Overall a very very solid entry into the Batman world. In fact I'll say this is probably my favorite arc Tom King has done. I know his run isn't for everyone (and I HATED I am suicide!) but I am Bane was really fun for me and this one was legitimately great. I love when we look away from just Batman and see the world of Gotham. I want more. Nice job king!
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  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    FINALLY! Finally, a solid, well-done solo Rebirth Batman story! I was not a fan of the first three volumes in this series, but this one really made up for it. Tom King has had some great ideas in this series but until now, they've all been fumbled by messy storytelling. This one was concise and compelling, I'd love to see them make a movie out of it!Bruce has recently proposed to Catwoman but before she answers, in an effort for her to really know the man he is, he wants to confess during a bout FINALLY! Finally, a solid, well-done solo Rebirth Batman story! I was not a fan of the first three volumes in this series, but this one really made up for it. Tom King has had some great ideas in this series but until now, they've all been fumbled by messy storytelling. This one was concise and compelling, I'd love to see them make a movie out of it!Bruce has recently proposed to Catwoman but before she answers, in an effort for her to really know the man he is, he wants to confess during a bout of pillow talk about actions he took a year after becoming Batman, in a crisis known as the War of Jokes and Riddles, a violent turf war between The Joker and The Riddler that shook Gotham to its core. This is that story.Most Batman fans have compared Joker and Riddler, because they seem so similar at first glance. But this book really focused on why the two are so fundamentally different. A joke is surprise and chaos, while a riddle is in essence about order and logic. And I loved King's exploration of this dichotomy. Unlike the other volumes in this run, this was really interesting and always kept my attention, whether it was Tom King's amazing interpretation of the Riddler that rivals even Scott Snyder's version, or his creepily unhumorous Joker. King even manages to take one of the sillier Batman villains, Kite Man (Hell Yeah!), and shine a light on him, making him the most surprising and fascinating character in the book (probably in the entire Tom King Rebirth run so far), and the real heart of the story. Seriously, his story is great. Even though I didn't really buy into the idea that all of Gotham's villains would take the sides of Joker or Riddler and the motivation for the war is a bit weak, I really enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend it.
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  • Chad
    January 1, 1970
    The Joker and Riddler go to war. We just see windows into the war instead of the war as a whole. While there were parts of this I liked (Kite Man, surprisingly), there was a lot that didn't ring true. For one, all of these villains picking a side. There are way too many egos involved for villains such as Two Face and the Penguin to willingly work for someone else. King's writing is often unclear. For a long time in this I was unsure if this was supposed to be a flashback or in current time. The The Joker and Riddler go to war. We just see windows into the war instead of the war as a whole. While there were parts of this I liked (Kite Man, surprisingly), there was a lot that didn't ring true. For one, all of these villains picking a side. There are way too many egos involved for villains such as Two Face and the Penguin to willingly work for someone else. King's writing is often unclear. For a long time in this I was unsure if this was supposed to be a flashback or in current time. The way... King draws out... his narration... drives me nuts... You're often lucky to get one sentence of narration across 2 pages of art. I think he's taking lessons from Negan on The Walking Dead TV show.Mikel Janin's art is stunning. He elevates the story to 3 stars for me.Received an advance copy from Dc and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Artemy
    January 1, 1970
    Tom King is firing on all cylinders with The War of Jokes and Riddles. An incredibly tense, emotional and downright scary story of a mob war between two of Batman's greatest villains, the Joker and the Riddler. I could get a bit nitpicky and say that not every story beat here works well, but damn, the overall result is still incredible, reaching Zero Year levels of impact. Speaking of which, in my opinion Tom King has already surpassed Scott Snyder as the Batman writer, and if his run keeps goin Tom King is firing on all cylinders with The War of Jokes and Riddles. An incredibly tense, emotional and downright scary story of a mob war between two of Batman's greatest villains, the Joker and the Riddler. I could get a bit nitpicky and say that not every story beat here works well, but damn, the overall result is still incredible, reaching Zero Year levels of impact. Speaking of which, in my opinion Tom King has already surpassed Scott Snyder as the Batman writer, and if his run keeps going as strong as this, he could even top Morrison. What a ride! I can't wait to get my hands on the next volume.
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  • Logan
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty good! So The War of Jokes and Riddles has been a pretty good batman arc that's been happening low key while Snyder is doing his METAL story. I think overall I liked this one! So the story is Batman telling Catwoman the story of The War of Jokes and Riddles, which is basically in the same vein as The Long Halloween I feel, where its this year long story, with Batman's entire rogues gallery. In the story, Joker cannot laugh, he doesn't find anything funny anymore; then a war breaks out betw Pretty good! So The War of Jokes and Riddles has been a pretty good batman arc that's been happening low key while Snyder is doing his METAL story. I think overall I liked this one! So the story is Batman telling Catwoman the story of The War of Jokes and Riddles, which is basically in the same vein as The Long Halloween I feel, where its this year long story, with Batman's entire rogues gallery. In the story, Joker cannot laugh, he doesn't find anything funny anymore; then a war breaks out between him and The Riddler, half the villains flock to Jokers side, the other to Riddler's and thus the war begins with Batman caught in the middle. The story I will admit can be odd at times, with some really weird throwaway issues. Its also odd to see a story where Joker has a straight face the entire time, although I'll give King the points for the creativity, there not many stories where you can say that happens. Riddler was bit annoying though, his design is weird where he walks around with his hair gelled back, his shirt always open with this six pack showing like a jack ass! However at least Riddler's dialogue is short and to the point, unlike if Snyder wrote this and each of his speech bubbles would be an entire essay worth of dialogue; so I think overall King writes him better. Also we see a spectacular return of Kite-Man, Hell yeah! No jokes though, the issues that focus more on Kite-Man are actually the best issues I felt, and I don't think anyone has ever given Kite-Man such a meaningful arc like King has here. Kite-Man although not my favourite villain or anything, definitely was a stand out here! Also in the background there's the BIG arc with Catwoman and Batman which I actually thought was pretty sweet and I think King has brought a sweet turn in Batman's and Catwomans relationship. But overall this was a pretty well told story, as much as there were some throwaway issues, this book made me laugh quite a bit, and I think King is taking Batman comics in an interesting direction. The Conclusion to this story was also very good!
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Edelweiss and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. I also received a copy from Netgalley.Another instance with blank pages, with the added bonus of missing the last two issues. An incomplete volume, and that makes this nearly impossible to review.
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  • Sud666
    January 1, 1970
    OK. So I suppose the new D.C. Rebirth is going to do a reboot. They seem to have suckered Tom King into doing it.Batman is caught between two rivals- The Riddler and the Joker. They are battling to kill each other and Batman. To be fair, Batman is mostly reacting to events. It's Joker and Riddler who are truly driving the events. So the premise is that the Joker can't laugh and Riddler can't riddle-so they decide to band togther (it doesn't last very long) and take out Batman. Then they go to wa OK. So I suppose the new D.C. Rebirth is going to do a reboot. They seem to have suckered Tom King into doing it.Batman is caught between two rivals- The Riddler and the Joker. They are battling to kill each other and Batman. To be fair, Batman is mostly reacting to events. It's Joker and Riddler who are truly driving the events. So the premise is that the Joker can't laugh and Riddler can't riddle-so they decide to band togther (it doesn't last very long) and take out Batman. Then they go to war against themselves. All sorts of secondary villains appear from Ivy to Deadshot to Slade Wilson. Again Batman only reacts to the whole situation and doesn't seem to be in control for the vast majority of the story. The whole Bruce Wayne sits the Riddler and the Joker to dinner to hash it out is really freaking stupid. Seriously? Do billionaries have connections with criminal madmen? "HI Joker's secretary? Bruce Wayne's secretary-can we do lunch?" Is that how it works? Also does King think Billionarie businessmen routinely hang out with and are respected by sociopathic lunatics like the Riddler and Joker? Yeah? What's worse is they both accepted. Two of the most crazy and violent people in Gotham and they are sitting around being lectured too by Bruce fucking Wayne? Yeah? I'm not buying it. In fact, this was one of the reasons I gave this story such low marks. It is kinda dumb. Like high-school level logic. "So um...there's a rich guy and umm super criminal psycho listens to him...cuz uhh..he's rich. Ummm OMG WTF LOL." Yes, that kind of sophomoric nonsense. If you found the previous quote to be agreeable then you will love this issue. For the rest of us, the War between the Joker and Riddler was nothing great. The artwork was nice though. Shame the story was lacking.
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  • Stewart Tame
    January 1, 1970
    Most of this volume is an extended flashback. There's a framing sequence set in the present where Bruce is telling Selina about a pivotal adventure from early in his career, what pushed him to the edge, what stopped him from going over, and how the Joker regained his sense of humor. It's very well-written, some of the best I’ve ever seen from Tom King. Characterizations are well-nigh perfect, and he even manages to write Kiteman in a way that stays true to his roots, but turns him from something Most of this volume is an extended flashback. There's a framing sequence set in the present where Bruce is telling Selina about a pivotal adventure from early in his career, what pushed him to the edge, what stopped him from going over, and how the Joker regained his sense of humor. It's very well-written, some of the best I’ve ever seen from Tom King. Characterizations are well-nigh perfect, and he even manages to write Kiteman in a way that stays true to his roots, but turns him from something of a joke into a deeply sympathetic character. I do question somewhat the Riddler’s boasting about the subtlety of his planning towards the end. It seems more like someone taking credit for things that happened on their own. Yes, this version of him is all about the subtle plans, but I think he's reaching just a bit …Also in this volume, Selina responds to the proposal, though if you’ve been even halfway paying attention to news from the world of comics, you knew about that already …Not just this volume, but the entirety of King’s run on Batman is highly recommended!
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  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.With unique charisma and a never-before seen story, writer Tom King, alongside artists Mikel Janín, June Chung and Clay Mann, resuscitate the hopes of fans with what will probably go down as one of the most intriguing wars that the Dark Knight and Gotham have ever faced.Taking place after the events of the New 52’s Zero Year, The War of Jokes and Riddles tosses two of the most unpredictable villains in a pursuit of happiness. Narrated by Bruce W You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.With unique charisma and a never-before seen story, writer Tom King, alongside artists Mikel Janín, June Chung and Clay Mann, resuscitate the hopes of fans with what will probably go down as one of the most intriguing wars that the Dark Knight and Gotham have ever faced.Taking place after the events of the New 52’s Zero Year, The War of Jokes and Riddles tosses two of the most unpredictable villains in a pursuit of happiness. Narrated by Bruce Wayne as he raises the curtains on this event to his newfound love Serena Kyle, the War of Jokes and Riddles offers readers a glimpse into the madness that veiled upon Gotham and that flirted with the resolve of Batman.While the first couple story arcs written by Tom King have been shaky at best, his writing style begins to show confidence. Although the repetitive nature of his script is still present, it now has new purpose and works a lot better with characters whose sanity can be questioned. Tom King also shows that he can have a better grip on his narrative with the extra couple of issues; this volume collects issues #25 to 32.One of the most surprising joys of this volume also lies in Tom King’s characterization of some of the most iconic villains of all time. His portrayal of both the Joker and the Riddler aren’t reminiscent of the images that fans have of these characters in the past year. Joker is introduced as the maniac we all have grown to love, but also comes with a life crisis. Batman’s ability to predict all of his moves has taken away the Joker’s ability to be unpredictable, hence taking also away his ability to laugh since being unpredictable is what cracked him up. This struggle to find anything funny is what is developed throughout the story arc and is delivered remarkably in my books.Riddler is also portrayed differently with far more charisma and with a stronger physical build. He shares a struggle with Joker and looks to solve the greatest riddle of them all: Batman. But the problem that he points us is how they’ll both lose if either one of them does the one thing they both want first: kill the Batman. In hopes of building a partnership, these two villain quickly show readers that they are however incredibly incompatible. And so was born the War of Jokes and Riddles.With two completely different modi operandi, these two insane villains grow in threat level and seek the aid of other villains, thus creating a massive division among all the criminals in Gotham. Tom King does a fantastic job in showing how this war among criminals could only create more casualties as the days go by, but it’s the artwork that delivers the biggest jolt by presenting us with majestic and exquisite full-page panels of the chaos that rids Gotham.Credit has to be given to Mikel Janín (as well as the other artists who have worked on this story arc) for pencils and ink. Although there’s a lot of action going on, the story also focuses on the characters. A lot of panels are devoted to the details and the little gestures, but don’t be fooled. As little as they may be, they often held a lot of meaning. For example, there’s a whole page with equal-sized panels with just Joker trying to laugh. I felt like they really nailed those moments and conveyed far more than what words could ever have been able to do within a page.The story also introduces us to an intriguing character who plays a pivotal role in the denouement. An interlude chapter offers readers the opportunity to understand his character and to quickly build an emotional connection to his destiny. At first he’ll feel like a question with no answers, but as Bruce Wayne continues to tell this story, you’ll only feel the ultimate blow when the character’s real purpose is revealed. Which brings me to mention how brilliant the ending was.The final issue of this story arc is one that hit the Internet like a storm. Not only did it end on Serena Kyle’s verdict on Bruce Wayne’s big question, it also gave us the ultimate plot twist to the War of Jokes and Riddles. Readers found out what Riddler’s real intention were, plans within plans were outplayed and Batman gave us a glimpse into his mind and his conflict regarding what really distinguishes him from all the villains out there.Brilliantly executed and cleverly plotted, Tom King sets the table for bigger things to come. While there are scenes throughout the story that challenged my sense of belief, I’ve come to compromise with King’s vision and see if this story arc is the beginning of great stories to come. One thing is for sure. The War of Jokes and Riddles is by far the best story arc that King has written so far for Batman.Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/
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  • Jay
    January 1, 1970
    I've read a lot of Batman throughout my life. There's been plenty I've had to muscle thru, but also a lot I couldn't put down. This was the latter. You've done it, Tom King, you've made me fall in love with your Batman. An even greater compliment is that this style of story also doesn't fit with my typical preference. *SPOILER* I'm not big on the entire rogues gallery appearing throughout a single storyline. It usually just feels like the writers attempt at a summer blockbuster on paper - a reas I've read a lot of Batman throughout my life. There's been plenty I've had to muscle thru, but also a lot I couldn't put down. This was the latter. You've done it, Tom King, you've made me fall in love with your Batman. An even greater compliment is that this style of story also doesn't fit with my typical preference. *SPOILER* I'm not big on the entire rogues gallery appearing throughout a single storyline. It usually just feels like the writers attempt at a summer blockbuster on paper - a reason I never loved Hush. But when they're used as pawns and we get to focus on the two villains with the most potential? *golf clap*King's Batman has been unpopular with some, mostly because I think anyone after Snyder was going to face an uphill battle of expectations. But I must say, I do enjoy his take. He's retained most of the qualities we love, while adding a vulnerability we usually don't see. It's not weakness, but rather a Batman who is aware of his human limitations, and has to go out there anyways. Snyder's Batman on the other hand was Houdini, who could get out of any situation unscathed (even actual death). Speaking of human vulnerability, King writes every character that way. He's fantastic at writing human characters. Who gives a crap about Kite Man? Well I do now. Pacing, dialogue, or just setting up the scene page to page, it all works for me in this volume - to the point that I would put it down, then be itching to pick it back up to see where it goes next. Well done, King. Your Batman has slowly become one of my favorite interpretations.Oh, and isn't it so much fun to have a Riddler these days worth taking seriously? Thank you, Scott Snyder and Tom King. No more of the asthmatic dweeb who leaves a clue after a jewel heist.
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  • Diz
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved the characterizations of the Joker and the Riddler in this book. They came across as very dangerous and mysterious figures. Also, it explores Batman's insecurities, and a dark secret that he must tell Catwoman before she responds to his proposal. Oh, and we get Catwoman's answer in this volume. Without giving any spoilers, I can say that this book sets up an very interesting future for this series.
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  • Wing Kee
    January 1, 1970
    Really good that is hurt by a choppy issue 3 and 4.World: The art is great, this is the Joker I love, the Riddler that is interesting to me and the splash pages are so good. The art is subtle and brings so much emotions to the story without a single word bubble (just look at Joker when he's thinking). The world building is also fantastic, pulling in the past of the characters and building towards the new status quo of Batman in the Rebirth universe. The pieces that King plays with and the Rogues Really good that is hurt by a choppy issue 3 and 4.World: The art is great, this is the Joker I love, the Riddler that is interesting to me and the splash pages are so good. The art is subtle and brings so much emotions to the story without a single word bubble (just look at Joker when he's thinking). The world building is also fantastic, pulling in the past of the characters and building towards the new status quo of Batman in the Rebirth universe. The pieces that King plays with and the Rogues he chooses for each side is great.Story: On paper the story is fantastic, the idea of a war between the Joker and the Riddler feels supremely 2000s Batman and it is! The different between both is wonderfully displayed and they play off each other so well, where they are the same, where they are different, it's brilliant. The first 3 issues of the arc is pretty fantastic and the tone is exquisite. The lines being drawn, the helplessness that Batman feels. His narration was wonderful. The finale is also beautifully executed but the big reveal of Bats is done to the point of cliche so that's a knock on the reveal to Selina, the finale with Joker and Riddler was great. Where is story stalls a little is issues 4-5 when the story rushes towards the end and the machinations of the story calls for a choppy read, but oh well. Overall this story was fantastic and a beautiful read.Characters: Joker and Riddler get the bulk of the development and it's fantastic. King has obviously thought a lot about these two characters and what makes them tick. They are beautifully realized and a joy for readers to behold. The dialog when it's them together is at a whole level in itself. Batman is okay, he is what he is and is merely there as the catalyst and even the last issue reveal was rather ho hum and done before but it's the villains that really shine. What can I say about King and what he did with Kite Man? He made a throwaway character deep and complex and kinda cool, he's still a joke that would not exist well outside of the confines of this story but in this story he's fantastic. A great great addition to the Batman mythos...actually more the Rogues mythos. King has carved himself a nice little name for himself since I am Gotham and I have been very surprised indeed.Onward to the next book!
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  • Mladen
    January 1, 1970
    When it comes to Tom Kings Batman run so far i only read Vol 1 I am Gotham.And i wasn't that impressed by it, i thought it was good and entertaining story.I read a couple of issues after that before i got bored and the only reason i came back to read this story was because of issue 24 to find out the answer to the question that was set up.My major complaint when it comes to tom kings writing is that his narration can be a little annoying.Especially when describing a character that's not going to When it comes to Tom Kings Batman run so far i only read Vol 1 I am Gotham.And i wasn't that impressed by it, i thought it was good and entertaining story.I read a couple of issues after that before i got bored and the only reason i came back to read this story was because of issue 24 to find out the answer to the question that was set up.My major complaint when it comes to tom kings writing is that his narration can be a little annoying.Especially when describing a character that's not going to play a major part in the story.Who is he?Where he comes from? and we only see him in once before his gone.The story was well written and the art was good But besides finding out the answer that was set up in issue 24 there was nothing that really kept me engaged throughout the story.Overall i didn't like it that much but at least i got the answer to the question.2,5/5.
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  • Rory Wilding
    January 1, 1970
    You can definitely say that Batman has the greatest rogues gallery in comics for many reasons. Each villain is so distinctive that there have been many stories about these characters that even steal the spotlight away from the Dark Knight, which was a curse during the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher cinematic era. Although there is a section of the audience that would suggest that the villains are the only interesting element in the Bat-mythos — something that the TV series Gotham seems to suggest — You can definitely say that Batman has the greatest rogues gallery in comics for many reasons. Each villain is so distinctive that there have been many stories about these characters that even steal the spotlight away from the Dark Knight, which was a curse during the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher cinematic era. Although there is a section of the audience that would suggest that the villains are the only interesting element in the Bat-mythos — something that the TV series Gotham seems to suggest — what makes these characters special is Batman’s relationship with them, which is key to this latest volume of Tom King’s Batman run.Please click here for my full review.
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  • Dan
    January 1, 1970
    I think King wanted this to be over the top epic, but it just read as really average for me. I mean how much can you really draw out a story centered on two villains pitted against each other before it gets old. Especially the whole dinner scene that was really meh.
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  • Frédéric
    January 1, 1970
    After he's lost his sense of humor for some reason the Joker wants to kill Batman, hoping that'll make him smile again. But Riddler can't allow that. He's the one who should kill the Bat. And so starts the war of jokes and riddles.Tom King is one hell of a storyteller. The plot is great but not amazingly great. There are some flaws and some scenes drag out a bit. But the way it is structured simply blew me away. Lots of narrative effects; symmetry, verticality, horizontality, shot/reverse shot, After he's lost his sense of humor for some reason the Joker wants to kill Batman, hoping that'll make him smile again. But Riddler can't allow that. He's the one who should kill the Bat. And so starts the war of jokes and riddles.Tom King is one hell of a storyteller. The plot is great but not amazingly great. There are some flaws and some scenes drag out a bit. But the way it is structured simply blew me away. Lots of narrative effects; symmetry, verticality, horizontality, shot/reverse shot, verbal gimmicks, etc. all methodically and brilliantly engineered. In that regard it clearly makes me think of Alan Moore. Whether you like the plot or not, it's technically breathtaking. Also King has already made the demonstration of his natural-born sense of pacing in his previous books and this one is from the same mother lode.Then the characters: the not-laughing-at-all-Joker has rarely (never?) been so silently threatening. The Riddler, never been a fave of mine, takes a new dimension here. He's not this slim, a bit ridiculous guy in green tights and bowl hat. No siree. He's a much bigger and dangerous psychopath. An analytical and cold-blooded killer that gives you the creeps. And Kite Man.Yep, you read right. Kite bloody Man.Whodda thought somebody could make something out of someone as insignificant as Kite Man? Tom King did. The 2 issues centered on him-both well pencilled by Clay Mann- are great. The first is tragic, the second more pathetic, with some funny parts though, but both are deftly thought and told. Hell, yeah.Artwise it's probably Mikel Janin's best work to date and the guy's not one-handed to begin with. If one thing only should be remembered in this book it's his Joker. Simply memorable, to compare with Bolland's in Killing Joke. All the rest is way above par. It's been a long time since I gave 5 stars to any Batman-one of my favorite characters- book. Thank you Tom King/Mikel Janin for allowing me this small pleasure.
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  • GrilledCheeseSamurai
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not following this Rebirth title. Actually, I'm not following any of the Rebirth titles, but I watched this review of The War of Jokes and Riddles on Youtube the other week and the dude did a good job of convincing me to check it out. So I went out and picked up the run. I liked the covers and the art immediately worked for me, all 8 issues have some AWESOME 2-page spreads that make for spectacular eye candy!Tom King was the other thing that sold me. I am currently enjoying his Mister Miracl I'm not following this Rebirth title. Actually, I'm not following any of the Rebirth titles, but I watched this review of The War of Jokes and Riddles on Youtube the other week and the dude did a good job of convincing me to check it out. So I went out and picked up the run. I liked the covers and the art immediately worked for me, all 8 issues have some AWESOME 2-page spreads that make for spectacular eye candy!Tom King was the other thing that sold me. I am currently enjoying his Mister Miracle series and loved what he did with Vision over at Marvel. I'm happy to say that his work here, with Batman, The Joker, and The Riddler, lived up to my expectations. Each issue in this arc got a legitimate audible reaction out of me, be it a whistle at some cool fight scene, or a, "WOW," at one of the art spreads - or even a grunt at something from the narrative. What I mean to say is, I reacted to this story as I read it. It caused...feeling.And that's what its all about, isn't it?Also...its just a helluva good time reading about Batman, The Joker, and the Riddler beating the shit outta one another.So, fuck yeah, for The War of Jokes and Riddles! Is it an instant classic as some are claiming it to be? I dunno. That shits above my pay grade. All I know is it was a damn good story and that the TPB comes out next month (Dec. 19th) and if you haven't yet read it, well shit...now is your chance!
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  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    Best rebirthed Batman yet.
  • GONZA
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best Batman comic I've ever read in all my life, and the illustrations are perfect for the story.Questo é in assoluto il miglior numero di Batman che io abbia mai letto e le illustrazioni sono perfette per raccontare questa storia.THANKS TO EDELWEISS FOR THE PREVIEW!
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  • Brendan Nicholls
    January 1, 1970
    Tom King is a fantastic writer and while he is doing good work with Batman you can't help but feel he could be doing something original. The conflict is interesting and anything with the joker involved is worth the time to read. My only complaint is the arc, as it doesn't have anything epic to add to the Batman world. The artwork is top notch and has that new 52 vibe. King is clearly heading into the realm of one of the memorable writers, but I feel the talents are wasted on Batman.
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  • Shannon Appelcline
    January 1, 1970
    A fun story of Gotham's past, and a war between the Joker and the (dark and gritty) nu52 Riddler. It offers a great view of how demented Gotham can be, and even if the Riddler claims that not all stories are about Bats, this story definitely is. It's a good look into Bruce's psyche, something that's been continually the case in King's Batman.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    This was my very first Batman graphic novel. Prior to this, my only knowledge of Batman is through the movies ( I know..sad, but true). Even though this is Vol. 4, I still really enjoyed it despite not knowing some of the back stories between some of the characters.The artwork is just incredible. I can't say this enough!
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  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    Nothing in King's run on Batman ever matters. Remember when Bane got his back broken, but he was fine the next issue? Or when Bane broke into the bat cave hanged three robins, but no one died? So in this volume we are treated to more things that look "cool" but will once again never matter. Riddler shot in a fatal manner? Don't worry he will be back with the worst scar in all of comics. Riddler and joker fight a dumb war because that would be cool and they bring all the bad guys ever. Batman is Nothing in King's run on Batman ever matters. Remember when Bane got his back broken, but he was fine the next issue? Or when Bane broke into the bat cave hanged three robins, but no one died? So in this volume we are treated to more things that look "cool" but will once again never matter. Riddler shot in a fatal manner? Don't worry he will be back with the worst scar in all of comics. Riddler and joker fight a dumb war because that would be cool and they bring all the bad guys ever. Batman is a dumdum and decides rather than punching these guys to jail like usual, he needs to be Bruce Wayne and give them a dinner party. He promises them a billion dollars for the war, but then never gives it to them. The plot like our villains forget this promise instantly. Instead batman joins a team. In another instance of great story telling, dead shot and death stroke shoot each other's bullet, because that would be cool right? We have the least believable escape from Arkham ever. A Character that always wears the same clothes. Everyone seems to forget that a bullet would kill one of these guys ( in mean in our would, not in a King book because nothing matters, but going from cool thing to cool thing) prison guards, Feds, police, all of them are to afraid to actually kill one of these mass murderers. No jury in the world old ever convict someone who shot the joker. I can't wait until next parade of cool stuff that doesn't matter is unleashed in volume five.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    I had eagerly grabbed Vol. 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles at my library once it hit the new release shelf -- it had been about four months since I had read the previous books. I was curious to see status of Bruce and Selina after some of the prior developments, if nothing else.Well, in the first ten pages (view spoiler)[a police detective is graphically slashed to death in an interrogation room, then a police officer is shot in the back and an innocent bystander is gunned down for witnessing th I had eagerly grabbed Vol. 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles at my library once it hit the new release shelf -- it had been about four months since I had read the previous books. I was curious to see status of Bruce and Selina after some of the prior developments, if nothing else.Well, in the first ten pages (view spoiler)[a police detective is graphically slashed to death in an interrogation room, then a police officer is shot in the back and an innocent bystander is gunned down for witnessing the act; both incidents are by committed the title villains (and actually there was another, unrelated cold-blooded murder that opened the story) -- timing can be everything, and I happened to read these admittedly fictional deaths in the week after seven actual police officers were tragically killed in the line of duty in just a five-day period in the U.S. (hide spoiler)] and so for personal reasons the book derailed early on and never really recovered for me. End of soapbox.As for the story, it seemed unnecessarily slow and drawn-out, but there was an effective moment where Batman, recounting a particularly violent week in said war between the villains' factions, sounds like he's beginning to crack from dealing with the mounting carnage.
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  • Siobhan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I think the main problem is that I have quite a specific view of the Riddler, and have problems with how this portrays him. For one thing, he's too muscular! For another I can't see him walking around woth his shirt unbuttoned. For another his actions just read as slightly off to me?Ah well, at least we'll always have Bane!
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  • Max's Comic Reviews and Lists
    January 1, 1970
    I'd read some pretty terrible reviews for this book so I had no intention of reading it, especially when I really don't like Batman Vol. 2 I am Suicide. But then good old IGN had to say it was "An Instant Classic!" It rivals Dark Knight Returns, Long Halloween, or Year One! Blah blah blah no. Now just stick with me here I will get to the story soon I just want to say my piece about the characters first. I will just get this out of the way first most of the characters are done very poorly or medi I'd read some pretty terrible reviews for this book so I had no intention of reading it, especially when I really don't like Batman Vol. 2 I am Suicide. But then good old IGN had to say it was "An Instant Classic!" It rivals Dark Knight Returns, Long Halloween, or Year One! Blah blah blah no. Now just stick with me here I will get to the story soon I just want to say my piece about the characters first. I will just get this out of the way first most of the characters are done very poorly or mediocre. I don't really like Tom King's Batman because he is a ROBOT. I just don't recall a moment of King's Run recently where Batman felt like a heroic figure with a complex personality. Don't get me wrong King's Batman has a very complex and brooding personality. But that's about it. He needs to feel like a relatable and LIKEABLE hero. Not just the Punisher who doesn't kill people. (Well......sort of...) The Joker and Riddler annoyed me too. I hate this Riddler. I hate him. I don't mean because he is a villain. I mean because of course, Tom King made him a fuckin psychopath! Why!? Why couldn't he have just been the methodical and intelligent con man who can effect Batman? Like the one in Zero Year. That Riddler never actually got his hands dirty but he committed many horrifying crimes with psychological games or his men. But he would never brutally dismember someone with a knife or anything. You can look to Snyder's run for Batman also. The Joker cannot laugh. This concept definitely limited things for his character. He could have done so much more. He could have had more human qualities or deeper moments because he too is even more robot than Batman. He is a monster. I'll give Tom King that. He made one of the most fucked up versions of the Joker I have ever read. The relationship between these characters is pretty boring and the way their "war" starts is weeeakk. The story as a whole besides how the war starts is an interesting one. It doesn't follow a standard narrative. The story unfolds pretty unevenly but it still kept me entertained. The story is really more about the villains. One of the reasons the story as a whole was kinda fun to read, is because of Kite Man. Who knew Kite Man would be the best character in the whole book? I loved this character because of how fleshed out and layered he is. The reason he is doing what he is doing is pretty clichéd but it was handled really well and was hands down the most interesting part of a story about the Riddler and the Joker fighting. He also adds some cool commentary on being a villain and a criminal. The scene that sums my point up best is a scene in a carnival. Kite Man is talking to another criminal about their lives and it lets the reader see right through the criminal mindset. And that is great. Now the there are some nitpicks I have with the book before I get to the big kahuna. There is a lot of splash/montage pages that just show highlights of a potentially interesting action scene. It's not exactly hard. Just look at Moon Knight From the Dead. While I didn't love that book, it had a pretty kick-ass fight scene near the end, and it didn't just show a splash page of a fight. You can never tell who is frickin narrating! Ahh! You have to make each character's thought bubbles different colors so you know who is talking. Especially when they all talk like robots! And one tiny little thing. It kind of annoys me that Bruce and Selina only call each other Bat and Cat. It just sounds really forced. The big twist at the end. I don't like it. What did you expect? It's not so much that Batman actually did what he did. It's the reason why he did it. While yes to a normal person this would seem like a perfectly acceptable reason to do this thing, Batman would not be this easily manipulated or driven by rage. I don't vomit when thinking about this writing decision, I just think it's pretty idiotic that it happened. Alright, a few more things I like about this book. The art. All of it is intensely incredible. I think Mikel Janin's art has always been frickin great and his first panel of Batman is probably now one of my favorite of ALL TIME. Ya. Of all time. But one of my top 10 favorite artists ever. Mr. Clay Mann. Holy shit! His penciling and colouring are every I everything want in comic art. The way he draws Kite Man is just beautiful. Enough said. I also noticed a Batman 1989 reference in this book. In the end, I liked this book for very specific things. The characters, for the most part, were either bad or awesome. The story structure is strange but ended up being remarkably entertaining. And all the art is just frickin amazing. Letter Grade: (C+)
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  • Scott Foley
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not totally on board with Tom King's Batman. Tom King is a good writer, don't misunderstand, but his take on Batman just isn't really doing much for me. In this volume, Bruce Wayne is in bed with Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. He is baring his soul regarding a horrific moment during his first year as Batman, a moment that occurred during The War of Jokes and Riddles. First of all, that's a really awkward name for a war. Maybe a little too literal as well. Don't you think?Anyway, Bruce is recount I'm not totally on board with Tom King's Batman. Tom King is a good writer, don't misunderstand, but his take on Batman just isn't really doing much for me. In this volume, Bruce Wayne is in bed with Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. He is baring his soul regarding a horrific moment during his first year as Batman, a moment that occurred during The War of Jokes and Riddles. First of all, that's a really awkward name for a war. Maybe a little too literal as well. Don't you think?Anyway, Bruce is recounting his tale to Selina and we experience what is essentially a flashback. The Joker and the Riddler have declared war against each other, and all of the other villains in Gotham have chosen sides. There's some perfunctory attempt at explaining why a band of murderous sociopaths would join forces, but it all fell a little flat with me. Eventually the story begins to focus on Kite Man. Yes. You read that right. That's where it really lost its way with me.I will admit that I appreciate King's take on The Joker. Unfortunately, his Riddler seemed totally out of character in my mind. The whole story felt a little too contrived, a little too forced for my taste. It struck me as though they had a really cool idea to have Riddler and Joker wage war, but then couldn't come up with anything any deeper than that concept.Mikel Janin's art, though, absolutely makes this volume worth reading. I believe his Joker is iconic, and his Batman is both regal and terrifying. I first discovered Janin on Justice League Dark, and his talent has only grown.King's moody, almost whiny Batman is not for me, but I appreciate the risks he's taking and the new stories he's trying to tell. His work is solid and well-executed, I just don't care for his iteration of the character. (His Mister Miracle, on the flip side, may be the best series that I've ever read.)
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    This has to be one of the all time best Batman stories I have ever read. And in most ways, it's not even a Batman story. The focus is more on the Riddler and the Joker. And that, in my opinion, is all for the good. Not that I don't like Batman, but this was a refreshing change of focus by expanding the world in which Batman lives.Tom King's story had me from the first page. I haven't read such a captivating superhero comic in a long time and everything from the story, to the art, to the dialog, This has to be one of the all time best Batman stories I have ever read. And in most ways, it's not even a Batman story. The focus is more on the Riddler and the Joker. And that, in my opinion, is all for the good. Not that I don't like Batman, but this was a refreshing change of focus by expanding the world in which Batman lives.Tom King's story had me from the first page. I haven't read such a captivating superhero comic in a long time and everything from the story, to the art, to the dialog, to the characterizations (especially) all worked. I haven't seen the Riddler be such a visceral and physical threat in probably ever. The Joker revealed even more sides to his psyche and scared me in the best of ways. There are no new characters here. But each of them, from the two main villains, to Batman, to Catwoman...this is the best I've seen them all written in quite some time.Kudos all around to everyone involved in putting Vol. 4 together. They have set a very high bar for Vol. 5.
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