The Batman Who Laughs #4
The discovery of Batman’s new mask is a bit shocking to Alfred. Despite Batman’s justifications, Alfred is having none of it. And when he takes the mask, Batman attacks. However…Alfred can fight?! In fact, at first he kicks the crap out of Batman, but his reluctance to fight the man who is essentially his son proves to be Alfred’s downfall. But the sight of the man who has been his father for so long break’s Batman’s psychosis temporarily. He shakes the craze and releases Alfred.
Meanwhile, the Batman Who Laughs is having a grand old time taunting Gordon. He gives a fairly typical villainous monologue but then leaves for the next phase of his plan. Interestingly enough, the Grim Knight then goes against orders and releases Gordon, with the hopes of hunting Gordon down.
Batman rushes through Gotham, knowing where the next Bruce Wayne will appear. He arrives in the prison and the portal takes him to an alternate reality Gotham where he finds the alternate Bruce. The two are then taken back to the regular Gotham where the Batman Who Laughs is waiting for them.
It was all part of his plan.
This is possibly the best single book starring Batman Who Laughs that Snyder has dished out.
The story is so gripping, so entertaining, so heart wrenching at times. The confrontation between Batman and Alfred left me stunned. I mean yes, seeing Alfred fight and gain the upper hand was amazing, but it was Batman finally coming to his senses, realizing what he almost did. This entire series seems to be about paving the road to hell.
Jock’s art is as good as I’ve ever seen, setting the mood perfectly (along with Baron’s wonderful colors).
But oddly enough, I want to focus on one particular aspect of this book that isn’t the writing or the art or the colors.
I don’t compliment a letterer very often. I was even told on twitter one time that a good letterer is often invisible, you don’t often notice their work, it should blend in perfectly. But I wonder if that is inherently wrong because I noticed the letterer here.
I noticed Sal Cipriano’s work.
Because as good as Snyder and Jock’s story was, it was brought to a crescendo with Cipriano’s letters in this issue.
See, Batman is dealing with almost a split personality here. He has the Joker’s madness creeping in on his sanity. And the mixture of the normal font and white colors with the red words (sometimes even a fade from white to red or from red to white) tells a story almost as much as the actual words and images do. We can see Batman’s descent into madness with more depth than we ever could with only Snyder’s words or only Jock’s pictures. The style of the letters is as integral part of this book as I’ve ever seen.
This is honestly an amazing book. Had my heart racing until the end, waiting to see what might happen. Yeah, the cliffhanger is almost cliché, but by then I didn’t care, because I was blown away from the start. And a good chunk of that is thanks to Cipriano.
This is possibly the best single book starring the Batman Who Laughs that Snyder has dished out. The art by Jock is top notch, the colors by David Baron are stunning, and the letters, of all things, by Sal Cipriano add this story a depth I wouldn’t have thought possible.
The Batman Who Laughs #4: We All Go a Little Crazy Sometimes
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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