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"The Batman Who Laughs #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

Batman Who Laughs 2 00

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Jock
Colored by David Baron
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
2018, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on January 16th, 2019

Review:

Everyone knows that Batman is the Chuck Norris of comics. He's prepared for any obstacle and can fight any adversary, but can he fight himself? That's the situation he faces in The Batman Who Laughs. This twisted version of the Dark Knight has returned to this dimension to wreak havoc on Bruce Wayne's life. He's powerless to stop it because he can't outthink himself. To make matters worse, this demented creation has brought along yet another version of Batman, the gun-toting Grim Knight.

While I love Batman, there are times when he can be a little off-putting. The opening pages of The Batman Who Laughs #2 are a great example of this. Alfred, his loyal servant and father figure, is diligently working to save the life of his greatest enemy, the Joker. Meanwhile, Batman is literally screaming at him the entire time. Granted, he's under some additional stress having been infected with the Joker toxin, but Alfred's just trying to help.

That gets to the root of the problem I have with the latest iteration of Batman. He's this island of a man, waging his never-ending war on crime, despite the fact he has about a dozen people around him that are trying to support and help him in his efforts. They all believe in him and he constantly tries to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Batman's report card would always say that he doesn't play well with others.

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In any case, he heads out to Gotham a little worse for wear. He's already stressed about the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight, but now he's not at his best with the Joker toxin coursing through his veins. This creates some uncomfortable moments as this situation eats away at him. He's unable to maintain his usual grim composure, so his emotions get the best of him, lashing out at others in more ways than one.

I'm so glad the Batman Who Laughs made it through Dark Nights: Metal because you can't deny how awesome this character looks. Artist Jock depicts him in such a twisted way too. His body is strong yet lanky, making it appear like a deformed skeleton, bending in ways no human being should be able to do. All the while he has this sick grin on his face. His eyes are hidden by a spike-covered mask, but you can imagine the deranged look that might be lurking beneath.

Everything about this character screams violence and insanity. It really is the Joker mixed with Batman and that makes him a terrifying villain. Colorist David Baron makes the red of his sickly smirk pop against his pale face and dark clothes. The blood that flows after his attacks has a similar effect, standing out against the shadows.

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Even his speech is disturbing. Letterer Sal Cipriano uses black word balloons with swirling tails framed in red for his dialogue. I picture the lilting madness-infused tone of the Joker with the gruff voice of Batman which is a chilling thought.

While the plans of the Batman Who Laughs are convoluted and occasionally hard to follow, I'm more plugged into this issue than I was with the first. That is mostly attributable to the final pages, which leave off on a great cliffhanger, harkening back to an earlier story from Jock and writer Scott Snyder. Desperate times call for desperate measures and you don't get much more desperate than this.

It's telling that the person that has pushed Batman beyond the breaking point is Batman himself. You'd think this would lead to some serious self-exploration as he figures out what he's really doing with his life, but that's probably not going to happen. In any case, The Batman Who Laughs flows like the biggest action movie the Dark Knight has ever seen, with the most unsettling villain he's ever come across.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Batman Who Laughs 2 Cover
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Art: Threeandahalfstars
Overall: Threestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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