The Batman Who Laughs #1 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on December 12, 2018

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colourist: David Baron
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Scott Snyder and Jock are a creative team that can do no wrong. Their work on DETECTIVE COMICS and WYTCHES remains as some of the best comics I've ever read, and them returning to the world of Batman with this six-issue miniseries is news I like to hear. And they impress yet again.
Snyder has been the father of the recent JUSTICE LEAGUE titles this year and they certainly have a big goal in mind, and their stories are huge and epic in scale and scope. Here, Snyder wisely tones that down and shows us that his story is epic enough that it can focus in on a relatively smaller event while keeping it gritty. While there are clearly cosmic shenanigans afoot, Snyder walks the line beautifully and treats the Multiverse as a sort of terrifying playground of possibilities rather than the biggest thing a writer can throw at the reader.
The Batman Who Laughs is back and with him is the Grim Knight, another Multiversal Batman. It's not clear if he hails from the Dark Multiverse or if he's just another Earth's Batman, though. Another confusing aspect of the character, who says a grand total of four words in this issue, is that he reminds me a lot of the Dick Grayson Batman from Tom King and Tony S. Daniel's THE GIFT arc in BATMAN earlier this year. That character was remarkably sparse of words too, but I may just be reaching. The combination of the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight is deadly and I really can't wait to see what the team does with them in the next few issues. There's a tension here that Snyder and Jock portray wonderfully, matching their work in their BLACK MIRROR story.
Jock is one of the definitive Batman artists of our generation, and his work here proves it. It's as moody and edged as a Batman book should be, and David Baron's stark colouring work is a joy to behold. Jock's take on the titular villain feels more terrifying and weighty that any version of the character I've ever seen.
If you're picking anything up from DC this week, this should be at the top of your pile. It's dark, moody, and tense, and beautifully rendered by Jock and David Baron.

Our Score:


A Look Inside