In the first of several new DC releases with the same prefix: Batman One Bad Day, we have a strong title right off the mark: “The Riddler”!
Writer Tom King delves, deeply, richly, and dramatically, into the mind and ’soul’ of The Riddler. From his early bright and earnest days, and then, when he is whipped into shape in questionable boarding school surroundings.
King sticks to his strengths here, his perceptive ear for character dialogue, his cinematic storytelling techniques, and his enjoyment of time shifts in his narrative. There are amazing moments of Batman’s detective procedure as he investigates a seemingly random murder; there are moments of madness and mayhem, of true terror as exploited by the ’no longer smiling’ Riddler. The conversations cut like razors, opening old wounds, revealing scars that don’t heal, prodding and poking around the tendons and tension. It’s genius: complicated and compelling.
Artist Mitch Gerads provides truly amazing artwork in One Bad Day: The Riddler. His figures are not only rendered accurately, they are imbued with full personality in their stance, their poses, their expressions. Gerads shines through his paces as he unveils a Gotham of mist, atmosphere, and harshly lit environments stopped up with fear and loathing.
The end result of this creative teamup is moody, haunting, and jarring: Gerads drawing a perfectly powerful counterpoint to King’s nine-panel grid. And this is somehow symbolic of the chaos, just peeking around the corner, everywhere you look in One Bad Day: The Riddler.
Pick up this book, it is haunting and memorable.
Lettering by Clayton Cowles, editing by Dave Wielgosz
DC Comics, Batman One Bad Day: The Riddler, $7.99 for 64 pages of content, mature readers