Although DC managed to pull a Marvel earlier in the week and pretty much spoil the ending to Batman #32 before its release, the Finale to the War of Jokes and Riddles is every bit as great and compelling as it's been made out to be, with Tom King having quite possibly written the most human Batman we've seen in years.
Bruce and Selina's engagement will be the main talking point of the issue, but there's a potentially more climactic moment that occurs earlier on that could, in many respects, be the defining moment from King's run so far. It adds a compelling twist to the Bat-Joker dynamic and further reiterates the fact that Batman isn't as disciplined as popular opinion would suggest.
But again, that's where the character works best. We need to see a more vulnerable Dark Knight on the page as well as off it, and, while that's not to say we haven't gotten that in Bat-comics of old, King has conveyed that element in a way that hasn't just developed Bruce Wayne himself, but the entire Joker-Batman relationship as a whole as well.
Batman #32 isn't just a fine conclusion to the War of Jokes and Riddles, but a new chapter for the Dark Knight going forward. It draws together beats we've seen in Batman/Joker stories of old, and further places King's stamp on the character in a way that could genuinely change things in story-arcs to come.
That's impressive, and it's equally true that we as Bat-fans have been spoiled for choice when it comes to the Caped Crusader's comics in recent years; Grant Morrison only (technically) ended his run in 2013, Scott Snyder has been involved with the character since 2010 and, on top of a bevy of stellar runs in Detective Comics, we now have Tom King plying his trade on the pointy-eared vigilante too.
The War of Jokes and Riddles has, once again, proven that Tom King is meant to be on Batman.
While some Bat-fans may potentially lament the direction the character is heading in, now that his engagement to Selina is moving ahead, it's a breath of fresh air to see Bruce get a win in the end. How fitting it is that the Joker was the one to save him.
What did you think of the War of Jokes and Riddles? Let us know in the comments below and, for more of our thoughts, check out this week's video review on the comics channel!