The Batman Who Laughs #1

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipiano
Publisher: DC Comics

A review by Greg Brothers

It is hard to believe that it has been over a year since The Batman who laughs debuted in the pages of the DC Metal. The Batman who laughs was one of the driving forces of the entire event as the darkest versions of Bruce Wayne came to try to destroy the DC Universe. Even as Batman and the heroes of the DC Universe came together to save the world, The Batman who laughs was able to survive.

The Batman Who Laughs #1 picks up as any other Batman story does. Batman is chasing down a group of criminals. They have stolen a whole building. It’s not the building that Batman is interested in. It is what may be inside of it. Once the criminals have been secure, Batman finds out that another version of himself dead in a casket. The question becomes where did this Bruce Wayne come from and how is The Batman Who Laughs involved.

I understand that Snyder loves writing within the Batman corner of the universe. Most of the writers that work for DC love writing Batman. Don’t believe me? Just go an look at the monthly releases and add up how many of them are related to or star Batman is some way. That being said, Snyder usually lands the right tone whenever he is writing a Batman story. Here, however, something just feels off.

From Bruce dressing like a medical examiner, to the tone he takes with Alfred, at one point something feels off with the characters. Maybe it is just the overuse of a Batman on the edge that continues to go too far in many of these alternate stories, or maybe it is because of the event that The Batman Who Laughs #1 comes from. At times the story felt disjointed. Several times I found myself going back to double check what and who was the focus of the story at the time.

Overall, the art from Jock works within the story. I can nitpick and talk about how Mr. Freeze looked more like Morph from the X-Men or how some of the profiles made the mask too pointy. But when it came to layout, and use of shadows the feel of the art worked.

Verdict: Skip It!

The Batman Who Laughs #1 is not a bad story. It just seems unnecessary. The shocking end of the first issue feels hollow as the two things that happened are sure to be reversed by the last issue. When a universe is filled with so many similar stories one that from the beginning will have not lasting effect of the character can be easily skipped.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

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