Writer: Tom King
Pencils and Inks: Mikel Janín
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Batman #26 brings us part two of “The War of Jokes & Riddles.” The story continues to focus around the Joker and Riddler. The Joker calls Carmine Falcone to kill the Riddler and gives him only an hour to do so. Batman makes his appearance, of course, but there’s still a lot to unravel before he really becomes part of the story. In this issue, we largely see Batman arriving just after a crime happens. He doesn’t say much as a lot of it’s narration, but it’s still a good issue.
Tom King hasn’t surpassed Scott Snyder’s work on Batman, but he’s put his own spin on it that I find enjoyable. He can definitely write a great story and this arc is absolutely an interesting take. It’s hard to not want to know if the Joker or Riddler get the best of one another, leaving Batman with not a whole lot to do. Having two villains face off instead of teaming up is a bit refreshing, too. The Joker is still as chaotic and scary as he’s ever been. You see that when he has a mouth full of teeth from Carmine’s mother just sitting on the desk. And the Riddler is teaming himself up nicely with Poison Ivy. King sure knows how to keep things crazy here.
Mikel Janín on art is always quite the treat. His depictions of the characters fit the story so well. I’m not a huge fan of how thick the bat symbol is on Batman’s suit, but with how outstanding everything else is, that’s something I can forgive. His art matched with the colors of June Chung gives the comic a nice tone. It’s not quite as dark as some of the previous issues in this run have been and it makes sense considering the story isn’t totally revolving around Batman. The King/Janín team up is quite a nice one for the story overall.
Verdict: Buy. If you already read part one, there’s no doubt you should continue along with this arc. And if you haven’t read part one, do that first and then read this. I’m looking forward to how this all plays out.