This week, the conclusion of the three part “Riddler in the Dark” storyline arrived.
I have felt like this has been one of the stronger titles in long line of Batman related books. Even though this series falls largely under the radar. It has nevertheless been of strong quality.
The first two chapters of this story arc were very satisfying. The Riddler was acting strange. Very unlike his normal and clever self, he was distant and withdrawn, and his methods were simpler than before.
The strange disposition of the Riddler developed a suspenseful tone to the story, as it felt like the Riddler was planning something more sinister than his usual crimes.
Batman followed the trail of clues, and it lead to a train car that had a secret information gathering center. With this discovery, the suspense was brought up another level, especially when it was discovered the vicious crime boss Black Mask was involved.
I have finished reading the story arc, and the conclusion was not what I was expecting, as the tone took a drastic shift. The arc, which for its majority was serious and suspenseful, turned humorous at the end. Instead of a sinister crime taking place, or a shocking development in the Gotham criminal underworld, the reader is treated to an ending that falls on the lighter side of the spectrum.
I do not want it to come across like the ending is some kind of joke that is supposed to make the reader crack up, but the ending left me feeling like I had just watched an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. That is not a bad thing, but it turned out to be a different story from the one I thought I was reading.
While the ending was not exactly what I wanted, it was unexpected, and I have always have to give the writer credit for surprising me, no matter which medium a story is in. Also, there are a lot of brutal crimes committed in comic books today, so being treated to an ending like this one actually feels refreshing.
Also, we get to see a cameo from Nightwing in this issue, as he briefly teams up with Batman. It is always nice to see Nightwing and Batman team up, no matter brief their encounter is.
The writer is Charles Soule, and the artist is Dennis Calero. Although I have already praised them both for their work on this series, I will reiterate that this is a great team. I do not know if they will be doing the next story arc, but nevertheless they have done a great job on this one.
I am big fan of this series. These are simple Batman stories that contain elements of Batman’s past, but successfully integrates them into a modern tone. I hope Batman fans will check this series out, because in today’s Batman world of epic events and overcoming of massive grief, this series provides a change of pace from the current status quo to tell us simple but effective Batman stories.