Fanatic readers of DC’s Dark Knight probably already know that Batman made a significant life changing choice after questioning whether he should give up his calling as Gotham City’s greatest hero. But before Bruce Wayne can enjoy the closest thing to a happy ending that he’ll ever get, he’ll share his deepest, darkest secret from a hidden chapter of Gotham’s history.
Writer Tom King and Mikel Janin are kicking off the first installment of their next multi-part epic this week in Batman #25, an extra-sized look back to the past as narrated by the title character himself. Judging by the events laid out in this issue, “The War of Jokes and Riddles” takes place about 12 months after the events depicted in “Zero Year.” At that point, it was still very early in Batman’s career and most of his villains hadn’t quite become who they were meant to be. That includes the Joker, who is on a particularly dark path of destruction when this issue begins.
Usually the Joker takes joy in the pure mayhem that he leaves behind. But this time, the Clown Prince of Crime is far from the jovial madman that we’ve come to know. What does it mean when the Man Who Laughs stops laughing? To start, it’s bad news for anyone who claims to be a comedian!
What about the Riddler? By this time, Batman’s other nemesis has been making himself indispensable to the Gotham City police. The Riddler is the only one who can see the message that the Joker is trying to convey. He may be chuckling now, but the sounds of laughter will be over by the end of the issue. Gotham’s deadliest villains are on a collision course, and not even Batman can stop it.
You can see the rest of our preview pages in the gallery below, including a variant cover by Tim Sale. Batman #25 will go on sale tomorrow, June 21 in comic book stores everywhere.
What did you think about this glimpse into “The War of Jokes and Riddles”? Let us know in the comment section below!
Images: DC Comics