The Batman Who Laughs #5 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on May 08, 2019

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Colouring by David Baron
Lettering by Sal Cipriano
I was mildly worried when DC announced they'd be extending this six-issue miniseries into a seven-issue one. I prefer a tighter, more self-contained narrative and the implication that this was going to tie into and set up future DCU stories concerned me. Reading this issue quelled those feelings. It's not like it reassured me that all would be well and it wouldn't do what I was afraid of, but Scott Snyder and Jock have created such an interesting and unique story here that I just can't help but be impressed.
I liked this issue a lot. Not as much as the previous issues of the series, since this moved a little slower. Despite this, it still felt jam-packed with story and fantastic moments. Jock and David Baron continue to deliver excellent pages. It feels at home within the general visual look of Snyder's entire run on Batman, and I attribute a lot of that to Baron himself. His use of red as an indicator or reminder of how far along Batman is in the process of being the Batman Who Laughs is kind of brilliant. Jock and Baron divide the pages to allow these red POV panels to enter every once in a while and they contributes greatly to the feeling of dread and looming inevitability. The last section of the issue is such a tightly constructed and amazingly paced few pages. The tension was certainly palpable and the cliffhanger had me wanting more.
Snyder has consistently been centering each issue around an aspect of Batman's psyche or code that is ultimately destroyed by the Batman Who Laughs. This time, it's his perception of Gotham as a hopeful place, which to me is the very foundation of his mission. To destroy this hope is to destroy what Batman even means, so Snyder is playing with some very heavy themes here. He handles it fairly well. Some scenes go on for a bit too long, namely one involving a shadowy organisation that I think should be in its twilight years by now. The opening escape scene also drags a little bit. I don't think it's anything wrong with the team's storytelling sensibilities as it is the enormous page count they have to reach. 28 pages is a lot of comic each month and the series has expertly avoided filler material until now.
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #5 drags in a couple of places but still delivers strong thematic resonance along with exciting storytelling by Jock and David Baron.

Our Score:


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