Tom King has been hit and miss lately for me, but the first chapter to The War of Jokes and Riddles has me becoming a believer. After reading this I think it is evident that King wants readers to never look at The Joker and The Riddler the same way again.
Over the years I’ve felt that both the Joker and the Riddler threat got somewhat watered down- But King is driving to ensure they are viewed as psychotic unpredictable wild cards.
The riddles are cold and to the point, somewhat matter of fact.
And Joker is even more horrifying. Writing the Joker with a stone-faced that kills off random people seemingly now declaring himself the judge of what’s funny.
Janin art is solid with simple arrangement and layouts, but it’s his framing that makes these pages intriguing. The character positioning is what makes his pages stand out.
You rarely see Riddler and Joker in full view, typically just peering out from a darkened environment or the brim of their hat.
Janin’s decisions make two already twisted characters into terrifying antagonist.
For 80% of the issue- Batman is absent. But his absence gives us detail into why the Riddler and Joker go to war.
Great issue and strong start to a new arc I’m sure will leave me wanting more.