BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 – DC Seriously Hits the Mark

author img
BY May 20, 2019

Every once in a while you lay your hands on a comic, and soon you are engrossed in it and at the same time regret picking it up because it scares you too. Batman Who Laughs #1 is the perfect candidate for such a comic.

Although it’s just a mini-series, the titular character has all the making so of being the scariest/creepiest creatures in the DC universe. Imagine, a being who is the perfect amalgamation of Bruce Wayne and Joker. The will, strength, skills of Batman and a touch of maniac madness of Joker; how do you fight someone like that?

BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 – THE CREATORS

Snyder and Jock are masters of creating terrifying monsters. They spooked the comic world with their excellent creator-owned series Wytches. If you haven’t had a chance, go to the closest comic book store and but it.

But here they seem to have created something which gives a new definition to a mad-genius. Someone who has a follow-up contingency plan to his contingency plan. Someone who has all the knowledge, skills, powers and stealth of Batman. And also has the no holds barred unpredictability of Joker.

Batman who Laughs could be one of the best works in DC after a long time. Let’s dive deeper and see how it unfolds.

HAPPIEST MEMORIES

From the first line of the Batman who Laughs says “What is your happiest memory?” As a reader, you are forced to think about the happiest moment of your life. It is a flashback of Bruce’s youth and probably his happiest moment. A rare moment in the comic where you feel joyous and free as Bruce plays with his parents and Alfred. This opening is heartwarming but also sad and heartbreaking because we know what followed these happy moments.

And this joy soon changes to a high-speed chase, which turns very dark and sinister when Bruce finds out the identity of the body smuggled by the grave-robbers. Both Alfred and Batman are shocked to find that the body in the truck belongs to Bruce. Later we find out that this dead Bruce seems to have made different choices at some point in his life.

Batman soon realizes that details of the body are designed to hurt him psychologically. It also adds a foreboding sense of dread because even before the Batman Who Laughs enters the pages of the comic book, we have already established how twisted he is.

THE BATMAN ACTION BEGINS

The real act of this issue begins in the second half when a previously unknown and unseen evil Batman called the Grim Knight unleashes an attack on Arkham Asylum. Once he starts gunning down Arkham’s staff, we realize that this is a vicious character with some very horrible intentions. Heavily armored, he breaks into the Asylum and soon torches Mister Freeze and seemingly kills Joker. That joker though is a decoy. The real one apparently aware of the imminent disaster escaped a long time ago. We also get to read why Batman refuses to kill the Joker.

A few frames later the Joker returns and pulls off another trick to bring a twisted prophecy into reality. The beauty of this particular comic is that even without fully introducing the villain, Snyder has put into motion a series of event which could have disastrous consequences. Step by step this comic explores Batman’s inner demons and fears while still including a quiet moment of introspection.

A VISUAL TREAT

Even though the Batman Who Laughs primarily works behind the scenes, when he does show up, he looks menacing and terrifying. Adding to the jarring feeling of reading this comic is the visual created by Jock. As the action moves along in this comic, the drawing makes it genuinely unnerving, especially when you pause to think about the psychological aspect of it.

GOING FORWARD

Back to Snyder’s writing, often it feels like one is reading poetry. The smart and detective Batman is also a positive change, where he uses a disguise while he investigates the body. The banter between Alfred and Bruce is so refreshing since the rest of the comic is dark and moody. Going forward my only hope is that the creative team behind Batman Who Laughs keeps the eerie tone going instead of significant action. This is the kind of stuff which makes you wait for the next edition and is gripping and intense.

In the end, I think this story has a big heart, lots of action, its psychological horror with a few drops of physical violence. It introduces a relatively less explored side of Batman. This is recommended for anyone who likes both mental and physical horror, for anyone who loves to navigate the dark alleys of the human mind. Especially if you wish to get into someone else’s shoes and want to experience what they are feeling, then get BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1.

COMICSDC

Leave a comment

Related

COMICSMarvel
Moira X is Getting Her Own Comic in Dawn of X Wave 2

One of the biggest missing pieces in all of the Dawn of X announcements was Moira “X” MacTaggart. She was the catalyst of the House of X and Powers of X, but in the seven books announced so far, we haven’t seen her name come up at all. Well, Jonathan Hickman finally revealed a few details […]

BY Roman Colombo October 16, 2019
COMICS
Walking Dead Box Set a Must for Diehard Fans

If you love comic adaptations, then fans of The Walking Dead TV show have a lot of content to enjoy. This has a lot to do with its adaptation for television. The Walking Dead series on AMC is in its ninth season, and plans to film a trilogy of films following its once-central character Rick […]

BY Taylor Bauer March 23, 2019
MarvelTV Shows
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Ending With Next Season

Jeph Loeb dropped the news about Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD ending after the upcoming season 7 and how they feared it was over after season 5.

BY Joshua M. Patton July 18, 2019
Google Stadia Launch is Missing Key, Promised Features

So here’s the thing; it’s easy to get excited about an idea. Something like 4K game streaming, top titles and developers on board, and a new way to play sounds great. The Google Stadia launch is fast approaching, and a recent Reddit AMA about the console raises major concerns about the state in which this […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 14, 2019
Best Exclusive Sony Series of All Time

It goes without saying that Sony wins this round of the Console Wars. While some people hate to think of gaming, as a war, it sort of is. Most gamers are going to buy one console, meaning each major company does what it can to influence consumers to buy their brand. With insane exclusives and […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 13, 2019
Pokemon Hashtag Goes Viral – #ThankYouGameFreak

It’s been a tumultuous built up to Pokemon Sword and Shield. Because of the game’s limited Pokemon roster, hundreds of characters won’t be playable in the new games. Fans are fairly upset, and in a way, they have a right to be. It’s the first time that you won’t be able to transfer Pokemon from […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 11, 2019
EA Renews Skate Trademark, But No New Game Likely

People got really deflated and then somewhat excited about a trademark this morning. One of EA’s most dedicated fan-bases are obsessed with the Skate games. There hasn’t been a new game for 10 years, but it’s not something we can rule out. When you read that EA renews Skate trademark, it’s easy to get excited, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 8, 2019

Trending

Joker Passes $1 Billion Worldwide, Making October Look Better to Studios

Joker has been having quite the time passing records left and right. From highest-grossing R-rated film, to top opening weekends in October, it just wants to have the last laugh everywhere that it goes. Well, Joker now passed $1 billion dollars in the worldwide box office. It is only the 4th DC title to do […]

BY Meghan Hale November 16, 2019
Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern Is A Lyrical Metafictional Dream

Erin Morgenstern first captured the hearts of fantasy readers around the world with her debut novel, The Night Circus. It began as Morgenstern’s NaNoWriMo project, and went on to win the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Eight years later Erin Morgenstern has published The Starless Sea. Her second novel is a lyrical, romantic work […]

BY Emily O'Donnell November 16, 2019
Impeachment: American Crime Story Casts Clive Owen as Bill Clinton

American Crime Story might be less beloved than its horror-centric sister show, but it’s great nonetheless. The People v. O. J. Simpson was incredible, and the The Assassination of Gianni Versace earned Darren Criss a well-earned Emmy. Next up is Impeachment: American Crime Story, set to depict the action and aftermath of President Bill Clinton’s […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 16, 2019
Disney Sets Upcoming Untitled Marvel Movies Release Dates Through 2023

Disney reserved a slew of dates through 2023 for their properties, including five previously unannounced, untitled Marvel movies. The massive movie studio set dates for 24 films in 2020, 19 in 2023, and 21 in 2021 and 2022. Nearly every two weeks, they will be putting out a movie, which is a staggering fact alone. […]

BY Joshua M. Patton November 16, 2019