Bruce Wayne Dines with Villains in Batman #29
The War of Jokes and Riddles continues in Batman #29 as Bruce Wayne sits down to dinner with the Joker and the Riddler to discuss how to end the war in Gotham.
Bruce tells the reader that his mother always believed in the importance of dinner. Bruce uses dinner to get close to his enemies and find out what the War of Jokes and Riddles is really about. Both parties, Joker and Riddler have their men ready to fight at a moments notice as they eat. The scene looks like something out of a mobster movie.
Joker and Riddler explain to Bruce how the war is about killing Batman and Bruce lets them know that he doesn’t care if Batman lives or dies, all he cares about is protecting Gotham. Bruce is protecting his alter ego and gaining the villains trust.
The two villains go on by telling Bruce how they each plan to kill Batman. Then, each villain has to convince Bruce that he is the one who deserves to kill Batman, the winner will receive enough funds from Wayne to buy the other’s troops. The Riddler takes the moment to reveal that he has figured out what the Joker really is. He says that everyone projects tragedy onto the Joker when in reality, he is just a boring green and white man who is not insane but pretends to be.
As the story concludes, Bruce as Batman, tells Alfred that the purpose of the dinner was to get close and see both sides, so that he can determine which side the Batman will join. He says the only way for the war to end is for one side to be victorious.
There’s no action in this story. I give credit to the artist for having to draw people sitting for an entire issue, it’s a boring task, but can be an interesting experiment in finding new ways to draw the same thing. Mikel Janin keeps the art interesting and fresh throughout.
Batman #29 takes a campy idea and makes it seem serious and real. The idea of Bruce Wayne eating dinner with his rogues gallery is something that would have happened on the late Adam West’s show, but Tom King sells it as serious and completely plausible.
Writer: Tom King
Cover Art: Mikel Janin
Art: Mikel Janin
Publisher: DC Comics