Review: The Batman Who Laughs #2

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jock

Variant Cover: Greg Capullo

Colors: David Baron

Letters: Sal Cipriano  

 

Summary

“That thing out there.  Seeing myself like that.  He feels like the last one.  The one at the END!” – Batman

Fighting against time as the Joker’s toxin seeks to transform him into the very creature he must defeat, Batman is at a crossroads!  He holds onto his moral code more so now than he ever has as he doesn’t want that to slip away as he has to confront the most evil doppelganger of himself he has ever faced.  Alfred, against his paternal need to rid Batman of his nemesis, is keeping the Joker alive by a string.  Another Bruce Wayne from another dimension has shown up dead.  The World’s Greatest Detective (and arguably Master of Disguises) does some undercover work to put the pieces together on how to stop this new nemesis resulting in first contact with The Batman Who Laughs.  The stakes are high….how do you defeat an enemy that knows all your thoughts and is bent on making sure all your fail-safes to protect Gotham fail.  All this, the Grim Knight appears as a wild card, and Joker is arguably holding the Ace of Spades in knowing what can stop The Batman Who Laughs.  Buckle up….. Chapter Two doesn’t disappoint!

Positives

Where do I start?  How many Batmans does The Batman Who Laughs have at his disposal?  With the many Multiverses at his disposal, it doesn’t look good for Bruce.  Jock’s rendering of Batman eventually be revealed in the shadows of the Batcave with no less than thirty syringes of Joker Anti-Toxin is awesome.  How can a human body that has been broken both physically and emotionally in the past be up to this task.  For those that think Batman is a mere mortal of a character, we have to think again on that level as to what he has been through has made him so much more!  Snyder paints a great picture of Alfred as a father who simply wants to put Batman out of his Joker misery.  And I love the fact that Batman gets to disguise himself in order to perform his detective work.  This is reminiscent of an 80’s Batman where this was typical work in Detective Comics.  What a great homage to a wonderful comic era.  

First contact with The Batman Who Laughs doesn’t disappoint, and I love that Sal Cipriano in his lettering provides the dark dialogue bubbles with red letters…..this paints a vivid voice in one’s mind as The Batman Who Laughs (TBWL) speaks!  And Snyder has thought of everything.  Even after TBWL massacres a host of security guards, he knows the instant when Batman is expected to arrive.  TBWL has played this movie in his mind numerous times, so he is running the show!

We have never seen Batman beg….. but we do know.  Snyder has ripped Batman down to his core.  And I’m not sure he’s coming back from this!

The teaser ending…..you’ll have to buy the issue!

Negatives

The cover is a foreshadow and on a scale of negatives…. it is minuscule.  You know the Grim Knight is going to be the wild card this issue.  Two “Anti-Batmans” in one issue is really when two negatives make a positive.  Holy Basic Math Batman.  Again, the only negative is that the issue ends and we have to wait. 

 

Verdict

Again, The Batman Who Laughs is years in the making.  What a great imagination from Scott Snyder and Jock is providing the right ways to depict all of these characters.  To this reviewer, this is a brand new way to run Batman through another gauntlet.  You are not too late to buy the first issue and now the second one as these will be as valuable as when Frank Miller put the Dark into the Dark Knight!  Get yours today.  All that and a few new drawings of The Batman Who Laughs that are frame worthy!

 

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Carl Bryan

Carl is a college physical education instructor that has coached numerous sports on the rec, club, and collegiate level. He has a wonderful wife, two awesome kids, and remembers when Kryptonite came in a lot of different forms. He also has learned not to utter "Mxyzptlk" backwards!