The Riddler: Year One #3
Edward reaches out to the daughter of a mob victim who might have insight into their operation. Meanwhile, his boss at the accounting firm believes there’s a reason to be suspicious about Wayne Industries’ payments to Bruce Wayne. And in his most daring move yet, Edward goes undercover at a company responsible for locking away highly sensitive documents. What he finds may lead to his most shocking revelation yet!
The Riddler: Year One #3 gives us the closest look to the Riddler we saw in The Batman. This obviously isn’t a mistake. Each issue gets us closer and closer to what we see in the movie. What impressed me is how ceaselessly the process is. The Edward in issue one is not the same as the Edward in issue three. We are starting to see the character we are familiar with take form and plummet into madness at the same time. I’m continuously impressed with Paul Dano’s writing. I know this version of the character is his and Matt Reeves’ probably gave him a lot of room to develop the character. There is some great character development being shown through Edward’s investigation. The further he digs the deeper he falls into his paranoia.
Dano does an excellent job but what keeps me coming back each month is the art. Stevan Subic has such a distinct style that pairs so well with Dano’s writing as well as the art direction of The Batman film. His attention to detail and ability to capture the dark and gritty atmosphere of the film is truly remarkable while still feeling unique. I found myself really noticing little things in this issue, mainly the use of shadows and reflections. I think I’ve said this in my previous reviews of this series, but DC Comics needs to hire Subic for a horror book ASAP. The Riddler: Year One #3 has some terrifying visuals. Subic nails the dark and gritty look, but it’s the nightmarish monsters that plague Edward that blew me away. Whether he actually sees them or not, they are a perfect depiction of the tension and dread that Edward is facing.
Subic does some creative things with panels in this issue. There are several instances where Edward and Mr. Joon’s daughter are messaging each other. Subic unitizes full pages of several horizontal panels spanning the width of the page. The slim panels are perfect for the short bursts of messaging back and forth. Clayton Cowles’ lettering is fantastic and really bridges Dano’s script with Subic’s art. Subic’s art is highly detailed and can tell a story on its own but Cowles keeps things refined and focused. It looks like there’s a lot of hand lettering within the issue whether it’s writing on a note or on a wall. I’m not sure if this is from Subic or Cowles but there’s such a great balance between the environmental writing and traditional lettering of speech bubbles and narration boxes.
There is a lot to like about The Riddler: Year One #3. The pacing and character development don’t feel rushed even though a lot has happened in the first three issues. Stevan Subic’s art is worth the price of admission alone. This is such a stellar looking book and a fantastic companion to the movie.
The Riddler: Year One #3: The Descent
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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