[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]
Writer: Tom King
Pencils: Mikel Janin
A war has come to Gotham and only Batman can stop it! The Riddler has broken out of prison and has an encounter with The Joker! The run in between the two villains will have dangerous consequences in Gotham City with Batman in the middle with “The War of Jokes and Riddles”!
I actually enjoyed this issue which primarily focused on Riddler and Joker. King gave us a Riddler I can be proud of in this issue already! First let me say I was never really a Riddler fan. I always saw him as a nerdy carbon copy of Joker almost. However King took my perception and tossed it out here. Riddler comes across as a psycho in this issue as he stabs a police officer while in custody before he escapes into the streets. All of this is of course for Batman’s attention, as Riddler is searching for the answer to the ultimate riddle–who is The Batman?
My only complaint with this issue is the absence of Batman throughout the book roughly until near the end. However it’s completely understandable because everything is seen through Riddler’s and Joker’s prespective, while Batman recalls the story. Batman is retelling the story while laying in bed with Selina, and it’s actually refreshing to see Bruce be normal with someone. King is taking Bruce out of his comfort zone of super villains and heroes, and essentially made him, for once, open up about himself and what he goes through as Batman. I really hope this engagement works for Bruce because he deserves someone he can lean on and trust outside of the costume. I’ve always preferred Selina over Talia, or even Diana so I really hope she can provide a balance that Bruce desperately needs.
Overall Batman #25 was a solid issue. It’s not focused at all on Batman, but that’s not a bad thing. Tom King has made me a Riddler fan in this issue, and after seeing how Joker nearly kills him at the end, I really hope Riddler gets his revenge! I can already tell that Tom King plans to make this series a mental tug of war between two dangerous villains. I can’t wait to see how Batman ultimately stops this war!