Title: The Batman Who Laughs (2018-) #1
Words: Scott Snyder
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Publication Date: December 12, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse—something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain—the Batman Who Laughs!
“He’s not the Joker, Jim. He’s Batman. He’s me. Joker has points to prove–to me, to the world. The Batman Who Laughs…he’s not here to prove anything. He’s here to win, to kill anything and everything that’s a threat.”
It should come as no surprise that Batman’s greatest adversary is himself, or, at least, a different version of himself.
Readers who enjoyed the Dark Nights: Metal event have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Batman Who Laughs (2018-) #1 as this sinister smiling Batman seated at the center of this story is, perhaps, one of the most interesting new characters in DC’s lineup. Certainly, he’s the most terrifying.
Watching Jim Gordon’s face fall into fear as he comes to the realization that a world where “Batman always wins” is actually a terrifying one, immediately established the tone of this series. This scene, though subtle, is one of the issue’s best and will resonate with Bat-fans for some time. In fact, this issue, though clearly a first issue that is working to establish a series, is one of Scott Snyder’s best works in recent time.
While reading, and re-reading, this issue, it felt as though Snyder was all-in and was writing a story that only he could write.
Sharp and expressive, Jock’s illustrations immerse readers in a dark and twisted lived-in landscape filled with fully-realized characters. More than a complement to Snyder’s well-crafted script, Jock’s artwork stands on its own, tall and impressive, and is fully capable of capturing the attention of readers and keeping it.
The Batman Who Laughs (2018-) #1 is a stunning presentation of modern visual storytelling, creativity and reinvention.
The Bottom Line:
A Batman who laughs is a Batman that always wins; The Batman Who Laughs (2018-) #1 is a stunning presentation of modern visual storytelling, creativity and reinvention.