First Details: The War of Jokes and Riddles

Let me tell you guys, FAN EXPO Dallas was great.  Tons of great comics information was revealed over this past weekend, including the upcoming re-teaming of Snyder and Capullo on Dark Nights: Metal.  Tom King himself was present as well, and he revealed lots of details about what he has in store for Batman.

The Batman scribe, speaking in a spotlight panel Sunday afternoon, discussed his work on Grayson, The Omega Men, and The Sheriff of Babylon, while also divulging a few details about his upcoming Batman/Elmer Fudd crossover special with artist Lee Weeks (expect noir and some delightfully hard-boiled dialogue).

He also went into quite a bit of detail about his current run on Batman, and where the title is going in the next few months.  Some of it is still top-secret, of course, but there was still plenty of great info to be shared, particularly regarding the upcoming epic “The War of Jokes and Riddles” arc.

The basic highlights:

  • Batman #20 wraps up “I Am Bane.”
  • In #20, which is out this Wednesday, King gives Bruce an official middle name.
  • Batman #21-22 will be part of “The Button” crossover.
  • Batman #23 is the Swamp Thing issue with Mitch Gerads, hopefully seriously called “The Brave and the Mold.”
  • Batman #24 will be a sort of recap and wrap-up of the run so far, with a cliffhanger that leads into “The War of Jokes and Riddles.”  He says the last page will be shared and talked about for decades.
  • “The War of Jokes and Riddles” takes place early in Batman’s career, “Year One plus a year or so.”
  • It begins in Batman #25, which is a deluxe sized anniversary issue, and is an eight-part story arc.
  • The basic premise: the Joker and the Riddler clash, as neither one wants the other to destroy Batman and rob them of the satisfaction.  This causes a “gang war” to erupt with people taking sides, all while Batman is caught in the middle trying to keep the city safe.
  • We’ll see some cool fights, like Deadshot vs. Deathstroke and Solomon Grundy vs. Killer Croc.
  • The arc will be broken up into acts, after a fashion: issues 25-26, 28-29, and 31-32 will be part of the main story, with art by Mikel Janín.
  • Issues 27 and 30 will feature a guest artist he couldn’t announce at the time, and they will take a look at what it means be a bottom-tier villain during one of these big wars.  It may or may not focus on Kite-Man.

It was a great panel with a lot of information.  King is positively giddy at what’s to come, and his enthusiasm was infectious.  My personal favorite quotes from him were “What’s the difference between a joke and a riddle?  A joke is chaos; a riddle is order” and “Batman is the comic that makes you think that if you punch a bad guy, he falls.”

King has also been tweeting out teasers and some images from the arc throughout the morning:

More details as we hear them here at Batman-News.  Needless to say, this is some pretty exciting stuff.