Comic Vine Review

45 Comments

Batman #23.2 - Solitaire Review

5

The Riddler invades Wayne Enterprises, which is locked up tighter than Arkham Asylum.

The Good

The Riddler infiltrates Wayne Enterprises with his superior intellect and awesome strategic skills.

Thus far, this may be my favorite Villains Month book. Most of the issues have been origin stories where we delve into the villain's past and find out what made them so darn evil. Because we're already seeing the origin of the Riddler in "Zero Year," this book takes a look at The Riddler as a character. The reader gets inside his head, and while he comes off as an incredibly intelligent character, there's a large element of crazy there as well. Also, don't touch him. That seems to set him off as well.

The reader really gets to know the ins and outs of the Riddler here, and the story itself is paced incredibly well. Writer Ray Fawkes, along with some plotting help from Scott Snyder, have really put together a story that has the reader rooting for the bad guy, even though there's nothing really redeeming about the guy at all. There's just this weird attraction to this character. He's not overly-sadistic, like so many of Batman's other rogues. He's just a bit off his rocker, but the reader will feel some sympathy for him. This really is a stand-out issue for Fawkes as a writer.

This issue has a fantastic art team on it. Artist Jeremy Haun and colorist John Rausch do a bang-up job here. There's some fantastic story telling through art in this issue. Splash pages have real meaning here. In this issue, they feel more like they symbolize the transition between the Acts in the overall arc. Each splash page is a change in tone and a transition in events here. Each of them are beautifully done. Haun and Rausch need to work on more books together.

Fantastic cover from Guillem March. He sets up the scene very well, and yes, while Riddler's cane "coming at ya in 3D" is gimmicky, it still looks awesome.

This issue has a really interesting and satisfying ending. It bookends the opening and although it's not some incredibly thrilling ending, which isn't a diss on the final page at all, it's nice. It makes me wonder about the future of this character and what the Bat-books have in store for him.

The Bad

One small and very nit-picky problem with this book. It's mentioned that Riddler is a "celebrity criminal," by one of the Wayne Enterprises employees. If he's that well known, then why does security have no problem just letting him waltz right through the front door? People know his face. Better yet, people know that suit, right? Wayne needs to hire some new guards.

The Verdict

BATMAN #23.2: RIDDLER was a big surprise for a few reasons. Obviously, because Scott Snyder had a hand in this issue, it was going to feel more connected to the main series than some of the other Villains Month books, but Fawkes, Haun, and Rausch really turned this into a fantastic one-shot book that really helped define who The Riddler is and what he means to the BATMAN series. This is one of Villains Month books you should pick up, and if you still need a little more persuasion, then check out how spiffy the 3D version of the cover looks.

47 Comments
Edited by Hawkguy

God I hate that I have university. No comics for me until Friday :(

It's good to see that the Batman books are doing well so far this week! Can't wait!

Posted by Mucklefluga

And the moral of the story is... LET THE RIDDLER HAVE HIS DAMN CARDS!

Posted by inferiorego

And the moral of the story is... LET THE RIDDLER HAVE HIS DAMN CARDS!

QFT

Staff
Posted by That60sGuy

Ugh! I have to choose between this and Zod as I'm getting too many things already..... I'm going for Zod.

Edited by soumya

@that60sguy: You should go for Zod.I just read it.It was a good origin story.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

another batman villain destroyed. way to go snyder and cronies.

Posted by inferiorego

another batman villain destroyed. way to go snyder and cronies.

Man.... you hate almost everything

Staff
Posted by theTimeStreamer

@inferiorego: added another to the list. care to take a guess? *huge smile*

Posted by soumya

I really don't find anything interesting in this issue.This is not an origin story...then again I understand that may be explained later in the Zero year story arc.The problem is this issue shows no improvement.We hardly get any connection between Riddler and zero year.It totally serves as a filler issue in the villains' month.

Posted by Mucklefluga

@soumya said:

@that60sguy: You should go for Zod.I just read it.It was a good origin story.

The ending when Zod is a kid. AWESOME. Holy stick that was eye-poppingly cool.

Posted by inferiorego
Staff
Posted by soumya

@soumya said:

@that60sguy: You should go for Zod.I just read it.It was a good origin story.

The ending when Zod is a kid. AWESOME. Holy stick that was eye-poppingly cool.

agreed...and the final page!!!...so awesome.

Edited by Mucklefluga

Oh and the second moral of the story is... DON'T LEAVE YOGURT LYING AROUND AT WORK.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@inferiorego: no, the list is actually named 'things people think are awesome but they're wrong'.

Posted by akbogert

Hm. I was less enthusiastic about this issue than you, Mat. I enjoyed it, but I wasn't particularly impressed. Frankly I wish I had enjoyed it as much as this review suggests you did :)

Edited by inferiorego

@inferiorego: no, the list is actually named 'things people think are awesome but they're wrong'.

I just added your comment to my new list "The wild world of subjectiveness."

Staff
Edited by Mucklefluga

Another thing, would they really allow Nygma to wear those clothes covered in question marks in an asylum?

Posted by Mucklefluga

And what's up with all the villain's getting super powers, Riddler can fly now?!

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice.

Edited by inferiorego

And what's up with all the villain's getting super powers, Riddler can fly now?!

He was supposed to be jumping down from the elevator, I believe, but the "movement lines" didn't match the movement. I also just realized I forgot to mention that in the review.

Staff
Posted by theTimeStreamer

@inferiorego: isnt that also called 'the world behind which mediocrity hides'?

Posted by Mucklefluga

@mucklefluga said:

And what's up with all the villain's getting super powers, Riddler can fly now?!

He was supposed to be jumping down from the elevator, I believe, but the "movement lines" didn't match the movement. I also just realized I forgot to mention that in the review.

I can't stop laughing at that panel now, i didn't notice it through my first read. GIMME A FLYING RIDDLER MINI-SERIES RIGHT NOW DC.

Posted by mksystem74

I was waiting for this issue since they announced Villains Month and it did not disappoint.

Edited by Wilbertus

@soumya said:

The problem is this issue shows no improvement.We hardly get any connection between Riddler and zero year.It totally serves as a filler issue in the villains' month.

I would disagree. The last panel even says "To be Continued in Batman # 25".

Posted by Wilbertus

I really liked this issue. To me, it was exactly the Riddler as he should be. Classy, witty, he has a plan, but he can handle a fight and always relies on his brilliance and intelligence. Even the bowler hat and the cane. Classic Riddler!

Check out my review for a more elaborate version, might contain some spoilers though!

Posted by asjmooney

I'm waiting to read Zero Year in trade but I liked it as a one shot.

Edited by soumya

@wilbertus said:

@soumya said:

The problem is this issue shows no improvement.We hardly get any connection between Riddler and zero year.It totally serves as a filler issue in the villains' month.

I would disagree. The last panel even says "To be Continued in Batman # 25".

lol....If you consider that as a connection then I agree

Edited by Mulder15

I'm not as excited about this issue as you were. It was good but not as good as you were suggesting. Nothing new or exciting happened in this. I'd give it a 6.5 or a 7 out of 10.

Posted by manwithoutshame

I liked the issue but it lacked much of a purpose. 3.5/5

Posted by DecoyElite

I liked the issue but it lacked much of a purpose. 3.5/5

The purpose was Riddler being amazing.

But seriously I'm waaaaaaay too biased for this one.

another batman villain destroyed. way to go snyder and cronies.

What exactly about Riddler was changed for this issue? Besides him being better in combat which isn't really a big deal.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@decoyelite: killing people for a deck of cards? that's not the riddler, that's the joker. snyder finally got joker. tell me this story wouldnt be better with the joker.

Edited by Scantenii

This one one of my favorite books of Villains Month so far. Awesome.

Edited by Booster_Bronze

I really do agree with Mat on this one. This was a perfect depiction of the Riddler. You see a little bit of his craziness with his arrogance, and it ties to Zero Year as well. Sure there's a lot of wondering about what Nygma's been up to in the years since Zero Year, but his planning, his implementation, even his revenge was well portrayed here. I got chills when he said "You. Do. Not. Touch. Me." after he was so calm, cool and collected up until that point! I really do not get all the hate for this issue, it has been my favorite so far for villains month as well! Riddler's always been one of my favorite Bat-villains, so maybe I'm a bit biased, but it was an enjoyable read in my opinion.

Posted by longbowhunter

This was the only Villains Month book I picked up today. These one shots have been tricky. So far I'm just trying to buy the ones that somehow tie in to series I'm following and have a decent creative team. Yep, this was one of the good ones. So glad to see the spotlight being put on the Riddler.

Posted by ILLO_29

Has anyone noticed that the chained up batman on the cover is the exact same chained up batman on the Mr. Freeze cover only he is frozen in ice. That made me chuckle.

Posted by Trodorne

Riddler > Joker. Period.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

This was Awesome, Riddler at his best. Always Love to see that.

Posted by DecoyElite

@decoyelite: killing people for a deck of cards? that's not the riddler, that's the joker. snyder finally got joker. tell me this story wouldnt be better with the joker.

It wouldn't be better with Joker. The card thing wasn't about the cards, it was about someone lower than him daring to threat him like crap. It was spiteful revenge, not random insanity.

But to each their own. I'm just glad you had a reason, as most people with vague negative posts don't for some reason.

Posted by redbullpanda

@hawkguy: Batman is a great series. What University do you go to? I'm in my first year at York, frosh week kicked my ass!

Posted by Hawkguy

@redbullpanda: I go to Guelph, third year. I wish I had frosh and a time where getting my ass kicked by school meant something other than 4 hours of sleep and being buried in notes all day.

*sigh* I do remember frosh first year, and all the drunken nights after... Good times, good times.

Posted by redbullpanda

@hawkguy: oh a Gryphon. Yeah you definitely didn't get to enjoy frosh week being in third year. What's your major? How's the comic community on campus? Tonnes of comic book stores here in the Toronto area.

Edited by Hawkguy

@redbullpanda: I'm in mechanical engineering (doesn't really help with the social aspect of life). You? In terms on stores I know there's one in a mall but by the time I bus and such it won't be worth it, I commute home to Mississauga daily anyway, but I get home at 9pm every day (thanks to my program).

Most of my friends do read comics, in fact I just lent a friend my two volumes of astonishing xmen today. The profs and students seem to idolize superheroes as well, in one of my physics classes we actually discussed flash and his ability to run and had a heated debate about whether superman could out-speed him (that happened today). That's what I love about uni, no more "cool kids" and no more laughing at other peoples interests. Everyone suddenly grows up.

Edited by mickeymayhew

Riddler is my fave Bat-villain too, but all of these villain issues so far just feel like fillers

Posted by _Marc_74

boring, not much happened a slight build up to nothing and a money grab opportunity it seems

2.5

Posted by Superbat420

@inferiorego: that's way the reason for the flash mob I believe to distract the guards long enough for him to get in, he does have a celebrity face hence why when the guards not distracted saw him on the camera they knew right away.