“Even if everything goes…wrong who does the… Riddler have that… hits as hard as…Batman?”

The Kite-Man Cometh…

Tom King is 30 issues deep into his Batman run. A formidable amount of titles have come from King in the last few years. Every single series, thus far, is a critical and financial success. His ability to pepper humor, mystery, murder and unimaginable amount of detail into his pages is a surprise to any reader. Clay Mann is on board to give usual suspects Mikel Janin and David Finch a break. Thanks to his incredible pencils, King creates one of his single greatest issues yet.

All that you know is coming to an end

Batman has chosen a side. He distributes his vengeance among the cronies of the opposing Gang Leader. As his numbers dwindle a lone Kite-Man is left to soldier on. Readers know Kite-Man from his several, hilarious appearances in King’s 30 issues. His catchphrase, “Kite-Man. Hell yeah!” is a foolish quip and a damning piece of foreshadowing. His is a tragedy surprisingly effective for a minor character.

Tom King uses his greatest comic foil as a tragic reminder of the toil any war can bring. The heart-wrenching conclusion has this man of flight hitting a new low, meeting the hell he’s been predictably greeting.

With Clay and Seth Mann on pencils and inks this issue was bound to impress. The clean, simple look doesn’t embellish the streets of Gotham, instead displaying a sense of realism rarely seen in comics. The best colorist in the business, Jordie Bellaire, perfectly captures Mann’s classic look with surprisingly vibrant colors. She switches casually from more Gothic-inspired like Finch’s, to Mann’s down to Earth visuals. The only surprising aspect of her success is her ability to do so many projects at once.

Flying too close to the sun

There’s a story hidden within the lines of this issue. The tragedy of Kite-Man is a distinct reminder of Tom King’s Batman. His presence is everything from a laugh to a fist-pump, and in this issue has us shedding a tear. Batman represents the stoicism of his reputation, the characters he interacts with show us more.

More humanity, more evil, more grace.

Against them our Dark Knight is tested and judged. Behind this issue is Batman’s ultimately difficult decision to choose a side in the “War of Jokes and Riddles.” While it explores the action, the consequences are left as dangling threads Tom King knows will bring us back for the next installment.

The Verdict

Batman is undeniably one of the greatest characters in modern fiction. Explored to unimaginable depth, Bruce Wayne suffers greatly at the hands of many a writer. Tom King sheds light on his tragedy by spending time with those he affects. Keeping Batman’s inner monologue to himself, King gives a surprising amount of insight into the turmoil within.  The premise behind this vary war is placing two evil pinnacles at opposing ends of our greatest hero. While he may gravitate towards one, he struggles to fathom choosing either maniac.

Batman #30 is a fantastic blend of Batman’s gangster origins and modern comic sensibilities. We see his entire Rogue’s Gallery at work while still remaining within a relatively simple turf war. The Mann brothers and Jordie Bellaire bring this deadly war to life with incredible detail and ease. Tom King’s work draws the industry’s best artists. A few more issues like this and he may just claim that title himself.

Comic Book Review: Batman #30
The Score10
  • Engaging, Tragic Story
  • Clay Mann's Realistic, Down-to-Earth Pencils
  • Building To An Exciting Conclusion
  • This war must end...
10Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
  • About The Author

    Daniel Mills
    Batman & DC Writer

    Daniel Mills is a screenwriter and director working in Los Angeles, California. Far too many comics and Forgotten Realms-novels led him to want to tell stories of his own. From articles and opinion pieces to reviews and screenplays, he sees every new opportunity as another new realm waiting to be explored.