Updated: Jan 24, 2020
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #5
Writer: Scott Snyder
Colors: David Baron
Letter: Sal Cipriano
Publisher: DC Comics
Once again Snyder and Jock deliver one of the most twisted Batman comics in DC's long history. With a sadistic and terrifying villain. Batman seems to have met his match. The tension is rising as Bruce slips further and further into the darkness, as a result of the toxin coursing through is veins. This is unlike any Batman comic book I've ever read, which makes it even more entertaining, because I have no f***ing clue what's gonna happen next.
With Bruce losing more and more control, he's being attacked at Blackgate Prison, where a dark version of himself was Warden before being killed. After trying to convince the police officers that he is the true Batman not the BWL. He pleads to them though his intimate knowledge of each of their personal lives. Finally he gives in and tells them, he's the #&%*) Batman Who Laughs. Wtching Bruce descend further into this madness has shown what a master of horror Snyder is. Not to mention Jock's disturbing imagery, the likes of which have never been seen in a Batman book.
When we return to Jim Gordon being held captive, by the Grim Knight, we learn that the Knight's crows are actually twisted versions of James Gordon Jr. Completely unexpected, which only made the "real" James Jr. coming to save his father that much more fitting. This book feels very much like a spiritual successor to Snyder and Jock's "Black Mirror". It really shows how much James Jr. has really come full circle.
Finally we catch up with BWL, he ha entered the lair of the Court of Owls, where he systematically takes them out. How does he take them down, by using another dark version of Bruce who runs the Court of Owls on his world. No matter what comes at BWL, he can't be defeated, which makes him one of the most terrifying villains
we've ever seen.
At the end we have the Gordon's and Bruce reunited, ready to enact the "Last Laugh" protocol. But is this Bruce's idea or BWL's intentions all along. Is Bruce succumbing to the toxin and seeing things more like BWL? This is what keeps you on the edge of your seat with this series. The fact that we get an extra issue in the series, means the conclusion won't feel rushed. Obviously Batman will win, but at what cost. This is a masterpiece in the making and a book that can't be missed.