Batman #23.2: Riddler #1 Review

batman, Comic Reviews, comics, dc, Riddler, villains month
“It’s true I don’t own many suits, and those are hardly rare. But when I show my noble face, my lessers can’t compare.”

Batman #23.2: The Riddler #1 is positioned to have ties to two concurrent events in the DC New 52 right now—Forever Evil and Batman: Zero Year—but much like the titular character himself, this issue is content with operating under its own guidelines. Even though the bulk of the issue takes place within Wayne Enterprises in a Gotham City torn asunder, Batman is merely mentioned in passing and does not figure into the overall story that Scott Synder and Ray Fawkes have crafted. Instead, this is a brilliantly-scripted revenge tale about the Riddler plotting against a former Arkham Asylum guard now head of security at Wayne Enterprises.

Narration dominates the issue and while that might be a problem for a villain that ultimately has nothing intelligent to contribute to the conversation, Riddler’s narration is what enriches the substance of this book. Fawkes conveys a calculating and meticulous Riddler who lays out his infamous brainteasers to the reader upfront, setting the stage for his ascent to the top of Wayne Enterprises. Each unraveled riddled becomes a solution for the obstacles Riddler must overcome along the way, and he moves through the offices with such a cold finesse, finally coming face-to-face with his oppressive former Arkham guard. Discovering Riddler’s intentions once he reaches the top of the building might just be as disturbing as his trip up there.

Equally meticulous is Jeremy Haun’s art, which provides the issue with the same sense of efficiency embodied by Riddler. Haun’s lines are smooth throughout, and the characters are captured with a realism that makes Riddler’s actions all the more frightening to behold. It’s unnecessarily brutal at times, but Riddler #1 is an essential read for those picking up Synder’s Batman each month. You’re going to want to see what kind of madman Batman is up against.

GNN Comics Grade: NEAR MINT (8/10)

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batman, Comic Reviews, comics, dc, Riddler, villains month

Greetings true believers! John is the Comics Director of GNN and when he isn't reading books with pictures and made up words, he can be seen on twitter @thisjohnd or on Facebook. To contact him the old fashioned way, his email address is [email protected].

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