We arrive at the second interlude for “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” getting another look at Kite-Man. Having gotten his origin story out of the way during Batman #27, the creative team use this issue to delve deeper into his role throughout the titular war. What comes from this is another character driven entry, but one that yet again fails to resonate strongly with me personally. Now I understand what the ultimate goal is within these interludes, with the overall development paying off. That said, much like the previous instalment the creative team try and do far too much in the confines of a single issue, with the overall quality suffering due to this.
Having given us what in my opinion was the best issue of the story to date, it seems strange that Tom King wouldn’t build off this momentum. Instead the writer chooses to delve deeper into Kite-Man’s origin with the villain clearly having trouble getting over the loss of his son. What we get from this is a truly emotional saga, with the subtle storytelling and symbolism being engaging from start to finish. That said, the issue does suffer from some questionable narration, with it not always blending well alongside the dialogue. Nevertheless we do get a strong conclusion, with more than a few intriguing twists along the way.
As much as I enjoy the lavish visuals of Mikel Janín, the talent of Clay Mann is equally impressive. Delivering a detailed set of illustrations, the artist makes it easy to immerse into this narrative, capturing the tone present within Janín‘s prior work perfectly. What I love most about this is the way the talent captures the various tones, as along with the mixture of dark and light colours of Jordie Bellaire we get some wonderful texture. The smooth flowing layouts also help draw the reader in, with the exquisite renderings of our characters being astonishing to say the least. Add to this the crisp inks of Seth Mann, and what we’re left with is a visually stunning comic.
Batman #30 isn’t the best entry in “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” but it’s not the worst either. Giving us an engaging continuation to Kite-Man’s origin, the creative team deliver yet another emotional interlude, that despite its flaws, adds depth to the story arc as a whole.
(7 / 10)