Scott Snyder Brings Out Bruce Wayne’s Darker Side In ‘The Batman Who Laughs’

by Jeff Testanero
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There is no doubt that Dark Nights: Metal was a total success for both DC Comics and writer Scott Snyder, and now Snyder has brought one of the series’ most demonic and deadly characters back to the DC Universe.

Scott Snyder and Jock brought the Batman Who Laughs back in a new six-issue series.  The Batman Who Laughs is a bookend to Snyder and Jock’s Detective Comics story “The Black Mirror” and a follow up from Dark Nights: Metal.  Snyder says it is a Batman story that is told in a way that shows a different side of the character.

The Batman Who Laughs is Bruce Wayne – just an alternate version of the character who was infected by a strain of the Joker toxin and is now, as Snyder describes him, an “apex predator” that has escaped the Dark Multiverse and is loose, thanks to Lex Luthor, in the DC Universe.

Snyder recently told News-A-Rama in an interview:

“I started thinking about doing this series when we were doing Metal because it became clear to me really early on that I wasn’t going to have enough road to do what I wanted to do with the character.  So I started talking to DC about it pretty early on, and they were really open to it. So then it became about how to tell a really special story with this character that would do justice not only to the popularity that seems to be building around him, but that would give me the latitude to do something really dark and nightmarish that spoke to the character’s intentions and nature.  We built it slowly over time.  What’s the time frame in terms of how I can fit it into the line so it will have effect with Tom (King, Batman writer) and other books.  Where can I do it with Justice League so I can coordinate it too? And how can I make it something really singular?  So it has two different priorities.  One priority is, and the most important, is making something that is one of the best books that I’ve ever worked on.  I’m really focused on the quality on this one – not that I’m not on other ones, but they’re really different muscles.  Like, doing Justice League is a story that plays out over 50 issues and is planned out.  So the quality issue-to-issue is extremely important, but a lot of the quality is Laos making sure that story is told in a way that gives it the right mouth of decompression over a year-plus.  Or that every arc feels special, yet beats of that story are happening.  So it’s just totally different.  But The Batman Who Laughs brings me completely back home.  If I’m going to go back home to Gotham and do a single-character story in Gotham that’s mystery and dark, then I want to set the bar as high as possible.  So that means working with Jock, returning to the themes of “The Black Mirror”, returning to those characters and doing sort of a spiritual successor to that book, but in a way that brings in all the different kinds of expansive, crazy, nightmarish elements that I’ve learned to incorporate through Meal and through Justice League.  So I’m really, really proud of it.”

The Batman Who Laughs will feature James Gordon Jr. who was the focus of Jock and Snyder’s “The Black Mirror” story in 2011.

The Batman Who Laughs hits comic book store shelves on December 12th everywhere.

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