Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SPOILERS: Batman #32

Finale of Jokes and  Riddles, for better or worse, it's been an interesting arc, and I'm curious to see what comes next.

The Spoilers:

So what happens when you've got three men in a room who all hate each other and wear flamboyant costumes? Fights, that's what happens.

When one of those men is Batman, he clearly wins. Riddler eventually gives up, but asks Batman if the Joker is laughing, which he is not. Riddler then gets mad, real mad, demanding why Joker isn't laughing as he should be. It's then when Riddler reveals that maybe not every story is about Batman, who he claims to keep around just for the nostalgia, but Joker, getting a Joker to laugh when he's not laughing at anything, that's a riddle he wants to solve, but can't seem to do so. After laying out all the horrendous shit he did to get Kite-Man of all people to be the lynch pin that takes Riddler down, he demands that the Joker laugh, because it's funny.

Well, it's not funny to Bruce, as all the death that has lead to this moment, Bruce snaps, grabs the knife nearby, and goes directly for Riddler's face. The only thing that prevented Batman from killing Riddler was Joker's hand. Realizing that Batman is no better than any of them and he was the only reason to prevent them all from being on the same level, Joker bursts out laughing.

And there you have it, Bruce telling Selina that he's no dark knight or savior, his entire reputation is to the thanks of Joker. After some melodrama from Bruce, Selina asks him what the difference between a joke and riddle is. It could be a lot of things, but the answer she states is "who cares?" and that's what she goes with, everyone is a lot of things, they carry a lot of baggage, but at the end of the day, who cares? The only thing that matters in that situation is the two of them. She then tells Bruce to ask her again, not to demand, just to simply ask. He does, and she simply says yes.

The Opinion:

So, boy... There's a lot to unpack here. In terms of pay off... I think this was pretty lacking. Throughout the arc it made it out to seem that something happened. Hell, before this arc was even announced, there were teases in previous arcs that made it seem the villains were aware of some shit that went down in this war... but the answer is Bruce almost killed someone... Like... eh. I guess that's something. 

Disappointment in the actual event aside, I do think that the twist with Joker having this thing over Bruce is pretty clever, and I do see how that could mess with a person like Bruce. And I'm glad Catwoman said yes, simply to go back to what I originally said about the proposal: Have some balls and just do it, don't do typical comic fake out bullshit. Do something, commit, tell a story. 

Ultimately, this was a weird arc. I liked where it went, but I felt the execution was spotty at best. I've said it before, but I believe this would be a better arc read in one sitting. 


  1. Now do they pull the trigger with dick & babs after years of fake outs... Or is batgirl back to the monthly romance interest again :/

  2. I enjoyed this arc. I liked seeing a kind of Year Two thing for Batman (though that first year must've been pretty busy if all those villains were made already by the second) and the conceit at the end over how close Batman was, at least in a moment, to the people he fought (understandably, given Riddler killed Kite Man's son and so many others to make Joker laugh).

    I wish we had some kind of wrap up with Kite Man, but I guess he just continued doing his own thing after that, given his exploits in previous issues.

  3. So Bruce is a killer at heart. I like how the thing he regrets isn't all the people who died while he debated whether to do something. It's that Joker made the Batman.