Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles

Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles

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...

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Title:Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles
Author:Tom King
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Edition Language:English

Batman, Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles Reviews

  • Artemy

    Tom King is firing on all cylinders with

    . 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

    levels of impact. Speaking of which, in my opinion Tom King has already surpassed Scott Snyder as

    Batman writer, and if his run keeps goin

    Tom King is firing on all cylinders with

    . 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

    levels of impact. Speaking of which, in my opinion Tom King has already surpassed Scott Snyder as

    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.

  • Logan

    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!

  • James DeSantis

    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!

  • Richard

    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.

  • Sean Gibson

    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.

  • Sam Quixote

    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.

  • Chad

    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.

  • Steve

    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.

  • Sud666

    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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