Updated: Jan 24, 2020
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Colorist: David Baron
Publisher: DC Comics
When The Batman Who Laughs was first introduced in DARK KNIGHTS: METAL, he instantly became a fan favorite. The idea of Batman being infected by Joker toxin released form the Joker's dead body, gave us one of the deadliest and most twisted characters ever created. When this book was announced, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but with Snyder and Jock I knew it was gonna be something special.
The Batman Who Laughs comes from the Dark Multiverse and terrorized our world with twisted versions of Batman in METAL. He's popped up in JUSTICE LEAGUE also written by Snyder, but this series sets up al lot of interesting things. The issue starts off with a Batman stopping a heist only to discover a dead body that happens to be Bruce Wayne. While it bears resemblance to him, it happens to be older version of him that stopped being Batman after Bane broke his back. Batman was able to figure this out based on the scars on the body. From there we enter Arkham where we are introduced to another "Dark" version of Bruce, a gun-toting "Punisher like" Batman that comes in gun blazing with The Batman Who Laughs with the intention of killing Joker.
We come to find out that it wasn't really Joker in that cell but a decoy. After returning to the cave, Bruce allows the "real" Joker to enter the cave only to have the Joker "kill" himself. After which Bruce , just like The Batman Who Laughs, gets infected and begins to change in to a Jokerized version of himself.
Jock brings this story to life like nobody else could have. His art perfectly suits this dark and frantic story. His "Grim Knight" tearing through Arkham was perfectly choreographed. Not to mention how absolutely terrifying his Batman Who Laughs is. David Baron's color palette really helped set the tone of the story as well. His contrast of bright and dark colors take you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
This is a worthy addition to the long and storied history that Scott Snyder has had with Batman. While this book could have felt like a cheap ploy to capitalize on the popularity of both METAL and Batman Who Laughs, it is far from that. It is a worthy successor to the stories that have come before. What Snyder and Jock have brought us, is another look story that deals with Bruce's inner demons and is setting up to be another fantastic Batman story. I can only imagine the insanity that they have in store for us.