After making a splash this past summer with DC Comic’s big summer event, Dark Knights: Metal, longtime Batman writer Scott Snyder returns to Gotham with a new mini series featuring a new homicidal version of the Dark Knight.
Hailing from an alternate universe, The Batman Who Laugh (TBWL) is a psychotic and murderous take on the Batman character. This version of Batman differs in that he carries a gun and enjoys killing, breaking the two cardinal rules that govern Bruce Wayne in his pursuit for justice. Snyder has injected this character with enough vitriol that readers will be amazed at how polarizing The Batman Who Laughs is compared to anyone else in the Batman universe. This includes the Joker, who is targeted for murder by TBWL inside of Arkham Asylum. In a surprising twist, Batman deduces this scenario and realizes that he must work with the Joker to defeat the The Batman Who Laughs before the causes any more damage.
Such a macabre tale deserves artwork that is equally as dark, and artist Jock provides some of the best action scenes in any Batman comic this year. The opening chase sequence on the Batcycle is reminiscent of the Christopher Nolan’s film, The Dark Knight. Featuring scenes of the Batcycle defying gravity or pushing the laws of physics as it careens through the streets of Gotham, Jock gives readers a distinct view of the dangers that Batman faces as he tries to stop a crime in progress.
However, the most intriguing images are of The Batman Who Laughs. The manner which Jock displays his dark and evil persona is worth the purchase price alone. While Greg Capullo initially introduced the visuals for this character, it is Jock’s deft pencil work that truly defines the terrifying nature of this character. Whether it his maniacal grin or his domineering,unsettling presence in every panel he is featured, the Batman Who Laughs leaves an indelible image that is hard to shake even after finishing this book. It goes without saying that I am impatiently awaiting the next issue so that I can continue to marvel at the story and stellar artwork.
Verdict – 9/10 – As an introductory issue into this twisted mini-series, The Batman Who Laughs #1 lays the groundwork for an intriguing mystery that will redefine the nature of the Batman Universe.