Writer: Tom King / Artist: Mikel Janín / DC Comics

Personally, I’m all for change to the status quo for the sake of progression and development. Especially when the focus of the alterations is improved as a result. However, it’s refreshing to see that despite the Riddler’s badass makeover, Batman’s proposal to Catwoman and even Kite Man’s rediscovered relevance, the Batman story still has some of the same nuance that made it so popular.

Is the Riddler ridiculously clever? Absolutely. But he’s not smarter than Batman. Is the Joker a madman who tries his new comedic material out on his victims? Yep. But he can’t actually throw hands with anyone who has moderate self-defense training. And each of these are put into play in Batman #31.

The War of Jokes and Riddles is nearing a close and the two giant forces that have been on a collision course for months now— the Joker and the Riddler —have finally come to blows. With his forces completely depleted, the Joker retreats to a sky rise with the entire building booby trapped so no one can get to him.

This is usually when Batman would shine by taking him on 1-v-1, but the Riddler knows that. He also knows that if Batman gets them alone,this entire war would come to an abrupt halt as he’d easily kick both of them sideways into next week. So, he uses his ingenuity to avoid both scenarios with the help of, you guessed it, the MVP OF THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES: KITE MAN!!!

It’s like Andre Igoudala winning 2015 Finals MVP. He may have only been the fourth best player on the roster, but he showed out when it was needed. Seriously. I want a Kite Man t-shirt now.

The saga is about to end and we’ll soon be catching up with today’s Gotham City where Selina will let Bruce know whether or not she’ll accept his offer. I almost forgot how that was the point of this whole story. The only possible payoff now is for them to get engaged and elope in the next issue. But, seriously, if they do get married, can Kite Man be in the wedding?

Per usual, Tom King’s advanced the story beyond where I could’ve expected. Mikel Janín returned for the artwork in this issue to give us a beautiful two-page spread that I won’t spoil just yet.

It’s been an enjoyable ride. The version of me that giggled when King first promoted the storyline would e happy to know well things turned out. Now, let’s hurry up and see how things turn out in the end.

9.3 out of 10

Reading Batman? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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