Batman Who Laughs #1
(with as few spoilers as possible)
The book opens with Batman on his Bat Raptor (trademarked?) is chasing smugglers using flatbed trucks carrying houses. In usual Bat-fashion he manages to save bystanders and disable the gunmen and stop the criminals. But upon checking the truck, he finds what they were smuggling: a dead Bruce Wayne.
Even as Batman struggles to find out why there is a dead double of him, the titular character leads another Batman into Arkham Asylum, killing any guards they find until they make their way to the Joker held there.
Meanwhile, Batman allows one of the other Jokers (remember, there are three of them out there) into the Batcave but this Joker has plans of his own, creating a nightmare in the caverns.
I swear, just when I thought Snyder couldn’t make me love his work any more, he puts out this book.
I mean, it’s true, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. The Batman Who Laughs is one of my favorite villains in recent memory of ANY publisher. He was the star of Dark Nights Metal and when he showed back up in Justice League and this miniseries was revealed, I was beyond excited.
And Snyder didn’t let me down.
Above all else, it’s a Batman book, but it’s giving us both sides of the coin. We get the Batman who’s brilliant and the other Batman who’s…also brilliant. One who believes in order and the other who believes in chaos. It’s hard to imagine just how similar the two are and how close one is to becoming the other.
I mean, we should already know who the Batman Who Laughs is (you hopefully read his one shot in Metal) so this story isn’t going to give any mind blowing revelations as to his motivations or history. But it shouldn’t. It’s setting up the next 5 issues and it does that well. And throughout we get some downright creepy scenes.
And let’s not forget that this book is essentially a horror/thriller and Jock and Baron nail the art work perfectly. It looks like a horror novel. The shading is perfect, the colors are moody, and the smiles are just…unnerving.
This is as near a perfect book as I’ve read in a while. Snyder’s story combined with the visuals deliver a book that I’m still wowed by. That hasn’t happened in ages.
Snyder takes us back to what he does best: a Batman book. It’s a thoroughly amazing horror story that makes you root for the bad guy. Snyder, Jock, and Baron have crafted a masterpiece.
The Batman Who Laughs #1: No Laughing Matter
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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