Title: The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight (2019) #1
Writers: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Colors: Dave Stewart
Published: March 13, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: Ripped from Batman’s greatest nightmares, the Grim Knight is his world’s most dangerous vigilante, unafraid to use any weapon and go to any lengths to stop those whom he deems worthy of death. Trained with the finest arsenal Wayne money can buy, learn the secret origin of the second-deadliest Batman, hand selected by the Batman Who Laughs to bring his dark plans to fruition. This one-shot has a big 28-page story!
“Bruce had barely seen the man moving through the dark. Barely understood why his father stepped out in front of them. Until the loudest noise, he had ever heard ripped his life away, and time seemed to freeze, to stretch into eternity.”
Batman really has done some ludicrous things to avoid firing a gun, Gordon points this out while hoodwinked somewhere in Gotham City’s sewer system. For this reason, the concept of the Grim Knight–a Batman who is always armed to the teeth with manmade death-dealers–is both hard to swallow and fascinating. The reason presented here of why Bruce took up killing criminals and using guns makes sense. But, this thought, this concept, brings readers back to Jason Todd and the conversation, that’s been had more times than I can count, about whether or not Batman should kill in order to protect Gotham. For me, I just don’t want to get into it anymore…so, let’s move on.
Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV have created a backstory that’s interesting and fits well into the bigger tale that’s being told. The issue is well-paced and it generates a good deal of momentum for the main The Batman Who Laughs storyline.
Eduardo Risso’s artwork, especially during the other-universe/flashback scenes, is impressive; the illustrations found in these scenes are bold and intense compared to their modern, highly-detailed counterparts. Regardless of which style works better for you, there’s no denying that this issue is worth taking second and third looks at.
The Bottom Line
The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight (2019) #1 provides readers with an intense and entertaining backstory for the Grim Knight.