DC Just Let Readers Solve Batman’s Most Impossible Case

Batman Black and White #5 allows readers to become the Dark Knight in a choose your own adventure story, but the tale also comes with a big twist.

SPOILER WARNING for Batman Black and White #5!

DC Comics just allowed readers to step into Batman’s shoes and overcome one of his most impossible challenges yet. While facing off against the Riddler in Batman Black and White #5, the Dark Knight is forced to think outside the box in order to make it out alive.

Batman Black and White #5 is the latest in a series of Batman anthologies and features five new tales about the hero’s adventures. Joining many other creators on the project are Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Clayton Cowles, who deliver a choose your own adventure style experience in their short story, “The Riddle.”

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“The Riddle” sees Batman taking on two infamous villains: the Riddler and Killer Croc. Forced to pursue his enemies through an elaborate maze created by the Riddler himself, it quickly becomes apparent that Edward Nygma has planned for every possible eventuality. As the story progresses, readers are confronted with several decisions that dictate what actions the Dark Knight will take, but by following these options, there is no actual way for the hero to win. In fact, one path in particular reveals the Riddler’s true plans, showing that there is no direct way for Batman to emerge victorious. While this realization may lead readers to feel like they’re stuck at a dead end, however, there is a twist that allows Batman to succeed.

Instead of following the rules set within the story, readers must skip ahead to certain panels that cannot be reached by following any of the other options. Each time this is done, the Riddler appears shocked, not understanding how the Dark Knight could possibly get past his death traps. Eventually, playing by his own rules instead of the Riddler’s allows Batman to apprehend both enemies and walk away unscathed. In the final panel, the Riddler even rants about how his game was supposed to be unbeatable. This prompts Batman to remark about how the only way he could win was by not accepting the Riddler’s premise that they were playing a game at all.

This isn’t the first time that this form of storytelling has been used in comics. In fact, Marvel’s Carnage recently had his own choose your own adventure comic. Still, allowing the reader to act as Batman in this story is a smart move as it lets them truly experience just how unbeatable the Riddler’s game is. With the options presented, this case is truly impossible, with many of the paths leading the Dark Knight’s death. Luckily, Batman is Batman, meaning he can always find a way, no matter how high the odds are stacked against him. Batman Black and White #5 from DC Comics is available in stores now.

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