This week, part 3 of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” was released in Batman #28 and it seems like the story is finally starting to pick up. I think I can see where Tom King is going with this story now, and I am a little more interested to see it through to its conclusion. I have been fairly critical of this story-arch so far, but I think this issue, though it still has its problems, is a step in the right direction. There will be spoilers from here on.
This issue actually got to focus on Batman! Crazy that an issue of Batman would focus on the title character, but it has been three weeks without seeing much of him so this was refreshing. I just want to say that I really love the costume design for this Batman, the grey and black with the black colored utility belt just makes me smile whenever I see the full thing on the page. This is clearly a younger Batman, and that point is driven home in this issue where Bruce is recounting a battle between Deadshot and Deathstroke that took 5 days for him to stop and resulted in 62 civilians killed in the crossfire. Batman really harps on this fact, and hammers in his guilt and rage that he was not able to stop them sooner, he even says that he came as close as possible to accidentally beating Deadshot to death and that it was a miracle the surgeons saved him. I believe the point of this story is to show the reader a Batman that was still young and learning, a Batman who was not yet ready to handle this war and had to make sacrifices in order to stop it. If I am right, that is something I am very interested to see.
There is a ton of other things that I am very interested to see but we only get snippets from King’s writing. I’m not sure if I am just too much of a Scott Synder fan boy, but Tom King’s writing for Batman so far has not blown me away. These last four issues just seem like a montage of cool things that he only shows the littlest piece of, and then moves on. The meeting between Gordon and the Joker and his other meeting with the Riddler could have been full issues, the battle between Deathstroke and Deadshot could have been a full issue, but they are just boiled down to one to two-page summaries of the events that Batman tells from the future.
With this issue I think I found where the story is going, but I also think I found what bothers me so much about the story so far. There is something to gain from the future narrative, but I think it has been overused to the point where it is suffocating the story. I personally don’t really need to hear what future Batman thinks ten times a page, I want to know what is happening in the present. We never really get a glimpse at present day Batman’s mindset, his what is going on at home with Alfred or anything in his current life. I don’t need future Batman to tell me he’s angry that it took five days, I want to see it in the actions and dialogue of the present Batman.
Due to the fact that this issue seemed to set the stage for the future of the story and it took some steps forward in representing Batman in his own title, I will give Batman #28 a 7 out of 10. What did you guys think of this issue? Are you a fan of this Batsuit? Did you want to see more of the battle between Deadshot and Deathstroke? Please let me know anything you’d like, and as always, thank you for reading this and have a nice day.