I’d caught up on the War of Jokes and Riddles and while I would agree that it’s dark and violent I would omit the word ‘too’ from that description, but I suppose everyone has their own threshold for that?
I think that it is all very much within the context of the story being told by Tom King. I think that there is a fear in Batman’s narrative when he is recalling this to Selina and I think that overall it is a very effective approach that King has taken.
I always wince a little when I see people apply prescribed parameters to comic books or characters, these characters have been around for 75 plus years, over that time there has been dozens of versions of them. There’s no right or wrong here.
We can’t praise Tom King for his ability to reinvent on one thread (see Elmer Fudd thread) then criticise for the same thing on another, it’s a bit hypocritical.
In the real world these villains would be horrible, scary guys with massive egos, whose only motivation is to serve themselves and their own whims. Other people don’t come into it. They are a plaything for their own amusement. Meaningless.
It’s all very deliberate from King. These villains are assholes. I remember reading the first couple of issues and thinking, I really fucking hate the Joker and the Riddler here, and that was the main reaction it pulled out me. And I think that’s what I was supposed to feel. I enjoy hating them. It’s bringing a strong emotion from me. And King has taken the time to illustrate that those being caught up in this war have lived like me and you. He really emphasises this at times, a memorable example being the goons who are caught up in the crossfire. Well these are bad peaople right? No, they have lives and loved ones and their own troubles like they rest of us. They just happened to end up on that side of the tracks.
The Joker and Riddler are sick, mentality ill, scary people and there’s innocents getting caught in the crossfire and to be honest I drew a real life parallel with world leaders & religious fanatics who care not for the collateral damage for the lives they destroy without a second thought - and I think the Joker and Riddler here also share a similar mentality as those who are going about murdering innocent people in God’s name. Just a fucked up, self obsessed person who cannot be reasoned with.
This is a fucked up world we live in, so none of this really shocks me at all.
Millarworld does surprise me at times when I see the odd comment about something containing too much swearing, violence or sex - not the first time there has been discussions like this on here. I don’t know whether I’m just desensitised to this stuff but it’s. It not really something I have a problem with, unless it’s done in a nasty and mean spirited way - I always remember feeling the Kick Ass 2 movie was pretty horrible in the way they presented violence and it really put me off the movie, so I do have my limits.
I mean I’m not going to show this to my kids, right? But I’m an adult and this is just words and pictures, I’ve seen worse on the news.
My biggest reaction to the War of Jokes and Riddles is how good it has been. Like every issue I’ve finished I’ve taken pause to feel satisfaction at how good it was. I think the writing and art are absolutely fantastic and I don’t think it’s that common any more for us to get such a great storyline as part of the ongoings and I applaud DC for making the decision to keep it within the main bat title. There’s a decent probability they are going to get something ‘evergreen’ out of this anyway.