I know, I know, another comic review. For a blog about whatever I read, I sure do read a lot of comics. This time, though, it's one I felt I really needed to talk about.
With the conclusion of "Trinity War," the DC universe is overrun by villains, and the heroes are presumably dead. Suffice to say, that won't take, but the writers are using this time to focus on the villains of their comics, creating several in-between issues dedicated to them for their "villains month." In this case, we have an issue of Batman focusing on The Riddler.
Now, I like The Riddler. I cosplay as him, and I've stocked up on quite a few riddles for those moments. This comic gave me a few new ones to use, and out of the five riddles presented to us at the start of the comic, I managed to solve three of them, though they are all well-crafted. (I'm also glad that the design they used for this issue is similar to the version I cosplay. I couldn't stand how he looked earlier on in the reboot, with his hair cut into the shape of a question mark.)
Snyder and Fawkes use this issue to not only show Edward Nigma, aka The Riddler, as he carries out a heist. It shows his thought process and plans as he carries out each step expertly, in a manner befitting his intelligence. He's not just leaving riddles around for Batman to know where he'll strike, he incorporates each riddle into his plans without basing the plans around them; the closest we get to them being set for anyone to find is when they appear on the security monitors, otherwise he asks them to either the other characters or himself as he carries out his plan. This makes his M.O. all the more effective, while still remaining true to continuity and character.
It can be hard to make a villain whose theme is "riddles" appear threatening and effective, but this comic does it quite effectively. I could believe everything was calculated, without him being the type of character who claims everything that happens works right into his plans; the unexpected can and does happen with every plan, and his is no exception.
The believability is made possible with the look into his mind the comic provides us with. I put it down feeling I had a better understanding of the character, and very entertained by his plans and heists. This makes a nice companion to "Forever Evil" without having to connect to it completely. If you want to read a Villains Month issue that can be enjoyed on its own and gives some nice character exploration, this is one to read.