The War of Jokes and Riddles has been a fabulous story arc for Tom King (Writer) in the bi weekly Batman series. The current interlude “The Ballad of Kite Man” continues in Batman #30 and shows the human side of one of the most ridiculed characters DC has ever introduced.
I’m impressed with the role Tom King has written for Kite Man in this story. He has incorporated several foes of the caped crusader from years gone by. Antagonists who never really caught on in the lexicon of super villains. Enemies who don’t come to mind when you think of epic battles from yesterday. Mad Hatter and Man Bat were questioned as rivals, but never have they been ridiculed to the point Kite Man is. Finally, we’re given this opportunity to see him as a human. He’s a person who, just like all of us, will fail, but he keeps trying, over and over to do what he sets out to do. Maybe he makes bad choices, maybe he never gets it truly quite right, but he never gives up. As I read the story, I found myself pulling for him and the success which has eluded him in life.
Clay Mann and Seth Mann do a nice job with the art and Jordie Bellaire provides solid colors while Clayton Cowles delivers enjoyable lettering in the issue. DC continues to put together a solid art team on the Batman series to complement the continued brilliant storytelling by King. With Batman now more involved in putting this war to rest, the end seems near. Neither The Joker nor The Riddler are willing to give up easily, so this battle is one of attrition. I’m anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see where this story takes us as it continues. There appear to be a few more twists and turns still to play out, and I can’t wait.
Batman #30 does the unthinkable. It turns Kite Man into every person we pull for to succeed. After the tumultuous last month in the US, this is a perfect book to remind us of our collective humanity. Sure, it’s a comic book, but as life becomes stranger than fiction, we sometimes turn to familiar characters to keep us grounded. With Tom King at the helm, this book has remained topical, relevant, and very human.
(W) Tom King (A) Clay Mann (CA) Mikel Janin