Title: The Batman Who Laughs (2018-) #2
Words: Scott Snyder
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Publication Date: January 16, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: After the shocking ending of issue #1, a ticking clock sets Batman on a trail throughout the different realities of the Multiverse. He starts to see all the iterations of his life, and what could have been…but more importantly, Bruce Wayne begins to deduce that his current life is somehow wrong, and that all the mistakes he’s made are somehow connected. Meanwhile, the Batman Who Laughs raises the curtain on his second act, pulling out the big guns to break into Arkham Asylum…enter one of the most punishing Batmen of the Dark Multiverse: the Grim Knight!
“He’s from a realm of dark matter, where everything is relative to our hopes and fears. It’s possible he could be creating something that infects our cells with dark mater, changing us into…Nightmares like us. Our darkest vision of ourselves. Predators.”
Just when it was thought that Batman had his hands full dealing with what may prove to be his deadliest adversary to date, the Grim Knight, a well-equipped, gun-wielding, alternate version of the Dark Knight, explodes onto the scene and makes apparent that things are going to get significantly worse for our hero before they get better. Surely, we’re moving toward an epic and intense climax that’ll leave Batman broken (in one way or another), but it is still too early to tell when and how Batman will lose hope and be cast into the void of despair.
When reading issues like this one, it is difficult not to imagine writer Scott Snyder sitting down and asking himself, “What do fans really want,” before penning each script. Beat after beat, Snyder successfully generates momentum while simultaneously soliciting an emotional response–involvement–from readers. This pacing, this intensity, teamed with Jock’s expressive illustrations, provides readers with a reading experience that they can only get here. And, speaking of expressive illustrations that lead an immersive reading experience, Jock does a phenomenal job in this issue in displaying the Batman Who Laughs’ fighting skills as he decimates a team of unlucky combatants. A job well done indeed.
Two issues in, and I’m hooked. Equally as exciting as it is unsettling, The Batman Who Laughs is an intense and visceral expression of Batman’s deepest, darkest fears.
The Bottom Line:
Snyder and Jock’s The Batman Who Laughs continues to excite and unsettle as the Dark Knight’s situation grows more dire.