Review: Batman #29 & #30

Batman #29

  • Written by Tom King
  • Pencils by Mikel Janin
  • Inks by Mikel Janin & Hugo Petrus
  • Colored by June Chung
  • Cover by Mikel Janin

Here’s the pitch: Aldred serves the warring Gotham City villains a 9 course traditional French dinner while Bruce Wayne attempts to broker a peace deal. We see the beginning of Batman’s big mistake. The issue is as much fun as the pitch sounds.

End review.

On to #30!



Batman #30

  • Written by Tom King
  • Pencils by David Gianfelice & Clay Mann & Danny Miki
  • Inks by David Gianfelice & Seth Mann & Danny Miki
  • Colored by June Chung
  • Cover by Mikel Janin

It is another Kite-Man interlude and it is heart breaking and fun, giving the reader an inside look at the War of Jokes and Riddles from a foot soldier’s point of view. The scenes are set to dialogue boxes of a conversation between Kite-Man and his son while we see him get punched by Batman, fly with Man-Bat and deal with the up frightening villains on both sides of this gang war. The juxtaposition of the very human moment of a father talking to his son and a C-list Batman villain trying to survive fighting for the Joker is well done.

The Kite-Man Interludes have done for Kite-Man what Heart of Ice did for Mr. Freeze.

It is worth mentioning that page 11 has my favorite Two-Face moment ever.

There War of Jokes and Riddles continues to be a classic that is en route be shelved next to Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween among my favorite Batman arcs ever as I read with baited breath to see it stick the landing.

Batman #28 Review

It is another fine issue in the War of Jokes and Riddles. The issue has 3 main parts: Gordon trying to end the war by talking to both sides, Battle of the Snipers – Deathstroke vs Deadshot and a bit with Catwoman during this mess. The Kite-Man interlude  is over though he clearly has a role to play. We’re back to Bruce telling Selina the war story as the narrative device.

  • Written by Tom King
  • Pencils by Mikel Janin
  • Inks by Mikel Janin
  • Colored by June Chung
  • Cover by Mikel Janin


Not an issue goes by without a reminder that this arc is building on top of Frank Miller. This issue was a line referencing a memorable panel from Batman: Year One:

But these were the best mercenaries in the world.

And I was a year away from kicking a tree.

Batman is vulnerable. His costume is different in the flashbacks, more simple year one style different from than the modern DC look with the lines and the yellow outline around the chest bat icon. In stopping Deathstroke and Deadshot he gives Deadshot a concussion that nearly kills him (NOTE: that touch made me smile because I was just talking to friends at a party about how brutal someone of Batman’s size, strength and training dealing out head trauma would be).

I love that Batman’s inexperience is shown by having to use too much force to stop the violence. Once again, the textual spotlight isn’t on the cool Deathstroke vs. Deadshot matchup but the bystanders killed in the crossfire and the excess of violence deployed to end it. That said, these mercs facing off was still cool and got some amazing panels.

Janin’s clean lines really shine here, both in showing off the action scenes and the innocent bystanders trying to get away from the war. His one and two-page spreads are amazing every issue, especially the scenes where we get to see the Joker and Riddler’s gangs all together.

I’m curious to see what mistakes Batman will make and what lessons will we see him take into future arcs. Will this arc take us into the present with Batman and Selina fighting crime together while the story is finished? I’m intrigued and I’m in, feeling like I’m reading the best Batman arc that I can remember.

Marvel Heroic Role-Playing: The Trinity from another world’s Golden Age

In the midst of WWII, a Crisis on 52 Worlds. Now they are stranded here on 616, an alternate reality embroiled in its own eerily similar second World War.

Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne


Solo 1d6
Buddy 1d10
Team 1d8



Inspires Fear

Playboy Facade

Power Sets

Peak Human Conditioning and Training: REFLEXES D8, STAMINA D8, PERCEPTION D6, SENSES D8

SFX: Skills, Means and Method. Use any Peak Human Conditioning and Training Power Trait with any Utility Belt Power Trait in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.

SFX: League of Assassins trained. Step up one Power Trait from Peak Human Conditioning and Training when you trying to stalk or kill your enemies.

SFX: Sherlock’s Student. Add a D6 and step up the effect die by +1 when you are creating an Asset that utilizes your Crime Master or Psychology Mastery.

SFX: Cowardly and Superstitious Lot. Step up the effect die by +1 when you are using Menace Master to cause Emotional Stress to your enemies.

SFX: To the Batcave. You can step up any Specialty to D12 for an entire Chapter if you spend a Transition Scene in a conflict with the next scene’s upcoming Doom Pool.

SFX: Lucky Amateur/Lucky Old Man. Spend 1PP to reroll when using any Peak Human Conditioning and Training power.

Limit. Flesh and Blood. If the opponent has DURABILITY at Superman D10 or higher, this Power Set can only be used to create assets to be used against the opponent or complications against the opponent unless you beat the Doom Pool in a conflict, showing how you prepared.


SFX: Pistol. Step up or double any Weapons die for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the Doom Pool equal to the normal rating of your power die.

SFX: Gas Grenades. Step up the effect die when creating an asset or complication.

SFX: Prepared.

LIMIT: Gear. Shutdown Utility Belt and gain 1PP. Take an action vs. Doom Pool to recover.


  • Combat Master D10
  • Covert Master D10
  • Menace Master D10
  • Psych Master D10
  • Acrobatics Master D10
  • Vehicle Master D10


 Crime Alley’s Shadow
1XP When you talk about justice.
3XP When you inflict Mental or Physical stress on someone breaking the law.
10XP When you either take justice into your own hands and execute a villain or decide that killing is a line you will never cross, no matter the cost.

Batman Family
1XP When you talk to a bystander or ally about an injustice they have suffered.
3XP When you recruit an ally or bystander as a soldier in your war on crime..
10XP When you either adopt and train a new member of your family or use your resources to make sure that they can lead a happy life apart from your war.

No Powers
1XP When you talk about how one might bring down a super hero or villain.
3XP When you spend a transition scene studying a super hero or villain’s powers, habits and methods.
10XP When you either bring down a hero or villain with one D12 in their Power Sets or give a file you have compiled to someone else so they can bring the threat down.

Superman a.k.a Clark Kent a.k.a. Kal-El


Solo 1d10
Buddy 1d8
Team 1d6


Last Child of Krypton

Farm Boy from Kansas

Truth, Justice and the American Way

Power Sets

Kryptonian under a Yellow Sun: DURABILITY D10, LEAP D10, REFLEXES D10, SENSES D10, STAMINA D10, STRENGTH D10, EYEBEAMS D8 

SFX: Speeding Locomotive, Tall Buildings… Use two or more Kryptonian under a Yellow Sun powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.

SFX: “Great Krypton!” Combine 2 D10’s from the Kryptonian under a Yellow Sun power set to get a D12.

SFX: Invulnerable. Spend 1PP to ignore stress, trauma or complications from mundane physical attacks.

Limit: Sorcerous Weakness: Complications created by Sorcery take +1 to their effect die.

Limit: Kryptonite: Stress from attacks using Kryptonite take +1 to their effect die and Kryptonian under a Yellow Sun cannot be used until an action is taken against the Doom Pool to recover.


  • Combat Master 1d10
  • Vehicle Expert 1d10
  • Cosmic Expert 1d10


Lessons of Ma and Pa Kent
1XP When you simplify a morally complicated situation into right and wrong.
3XP When you
10XP When you either

1XP When you talk about alienation, loneliness or Kryptonian super-science.
3XP When you use Cosmic Expert to create an asset.
10XP When you either disconnect from your earthly origins and take up your Kryptonian name or make peace with your heritage and dedicate your Fortress of Solitude to remembering your birth parents’ home.

Wonder Woman a.k.a. Diana, ambassador of Themyscria



Solo 1d10
Buddy 1d6
Team 1d8


Themiscyran Diplomat

Amazon Warrior

Feminist Icon

Power Sets

Hephaestus-forged Arsenal: WEAPONS D12, DURABILITY D10

SFX: Bracelets. Spend 1PP to ignore stress or trauma from any bullets, melee weapons or missile weapons.

SFX: Golden Lasso. Step up the effect die by +1 when inflicting mental stress after already inflicting the D8 or higher Complication, Tangled in the golden lasso.

SFX: Sword of Ares. Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by -1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.

LIMITGear. Shutdown Hephaestus-forged Arsenal and gain 1PP. Take an action vs. Doom Pool to recover.


SFX: Sentient Plane. If Wonder Woman is stressed out, spend 1 PP and the Invisible Jet can enter into a conflict with the Doom Pool in order to remove her from the scene.

Limit: Off to Hephaestus for repairs. Gain 1 PP when the Invisible Jet is out of a scene.

Amazonian Warrior Princess: DURABILITY D10,  REFLEXES D10, STAMINA D10, STRENGTH D10, SPEED D8

SFX: Counterattack. On a reaction against physical combat, inflict physical stress with your effect die at no PP cost or spend a PP to step it up by +1.

SFX: Second Wind. Before you make an action including Amazonian Warrior Princess power, you may move your Physical Stress die to the doom pool and step up the Amazonian Warrior Princess power by +1 for this action.

Limit: Conscious Activation. If stressed out, or unconscious, shut down Amazonian Warrior Princess. Recover Amazonian Warrior Princess when stress is recovered or you awake. If Physical trauma is taken, shut down Amazonian Warrior Princess until trauma is recovered.


  • Combat Master D10
  • Acrobatics Expert D8
  • Psych Expert D8
  • Vehicle Master D10
  • Mystic Expert D8


1XP When you discuss peace with warring parties.
3XP When you inflict Physical stress on an enemy in an attempt to force a cessation of the conflict.
10XP When you either broker peace between two warring nations or choose a side and arm yourself for war.

Gather the Furies…
1XP When you talk to a woman about her power.
3XP When you inflict stress on someone who is oppressing another based on their gender, race, class or religion.
10XP When you either gather an army of super heroic women with you as their general or train super heroic women so they can be their lead their own armies.

I’m blending inspirations from a bunch of different eras and comics for the Trinity.

If I was going to play this, I’d start in WWII and let the group age through the Silver Age, having adventures in the founding moments of Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains into the Modern Era of the Marvel Universe where I’d probably rock out with an event.

Fun What If? Things to Think About:

  • Are there Amazons in the Marvel Universe and if so, how do they react to Diana?
  • Are Bruce’s parents alive here?
  • Does Arkham Asylum exist here?
  • Does Krypton exist and was it saved from destruction from the Nova Corps?
I’d want familiar details, Lex Luthor as a struggling executive at Roxxon Oil, a struggling comic hired to poison a water treatment facility outside of New York City, Harvey Dent running for D.A.,  a WWII fighter ace named Steve Trevor.
Other blog posts to consider:

Places to Brawl in the Golden Age (WWII – Fantastic Four’s Voyage)

  • Pick a WWII battle
  • Red Skull’s fortress in Norway alongside Captain America and Bucky. [Rocket Ship, HYDRA goons]
  • The Nazi Submarine Siege of Atlantis [Nazi Underwater Robots, Undersea monsters]
  • The Nazi Siege of Wakanda [Unstable Vibranium, Wakandan Freedom Fighters]
  • The Nazi Occupation of Latveria [Fleeing Refugees]
  • Isolationist Inhumans’ City [apathetic mutants, decadent mutants]

Places to Brawl in the Silver Age (Fantastic Four vs. Mole Man – X-Men vs. Krakoa)

  • The under-construction Baxter Building [Iron Beams, Super Science Widgets]
  • The Gamma Radiation Testing Site in Arizona [Radiation, Green Rage Monster?]
  • The Brooklyn Bridge when Spider-man and Green Goblin were battling over the falling Gwen Stacy [kid in a mask, crazy guy on a rocket sled, bystanders]

Places to Brawl in the Modern Age (X-Men vs. Krakoa – Break-Out)

  • Inhumans City [Mutagenic Gas Chamber, Super Powered Bystanders]
  • Savage Land [Dinosaurs, Abandoned SHIELD Installations]
  • New York City (particularly near the Flatiron Building where we always see Spider-man swinging around)[Beautiful Bystanders,]
  • Genosha [Busted Sentinels]
  • Xavier School for Gifted Children or Jean Grey School for Gifted Children [Mutant Bystanders, Danger Room]
  • The Baxter Building [Unfinished Experiment, ]
  • Right in front of the Watcher on the dark side of the Moon [Craters, ]
  • Morlock Tunnels [Unstable Tunnels, Reeks of Death]
  • Roxxon Oil Platform [Secret Super Villain, Pipes that Explode]
  • Atlantis [Under Water, Thermal Vents]
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-Carrier [Top Security, Villain Transfer]
  • Wakanda [Unstable Vibranium, Panther Guard]
  • Latverian Tech-Castle of Doom [Oppressed Bystanders, Latverian Artifacts]
  • Asgard (especially the Rainbow Bridge) [Mythological Bystanders, Monsters, Epic Architecture]
  • On an Avenger’s Quinjet [Inevitable Crash, Stark Tech]
  • Negative Zone [Bug Monsters, Reed’s Gate]

If you have any critique or questions, please let me know in the comments and if you play using these folks and/or situation, please let me know.

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