Comic Book Review: The Batman Who Laughs #2
When the Batman Who Laughs made his entrance in the DCU, he left a trail of intense reactions to his existence. Many of which put the toughest on edge when it came to this madman who was the best halves of both Batman and Joker. I mean, who was really expecting that batman would be so desperate to turn to the Joker of all people to bring him down? Who would have even thought that the Joker would be so bold as to kill himself to turn our Batman into the same abomination as the BWL? I couldn’t help but look forward to what came next.
What did come next was as cringeworthy as you would think when Bruce would go to some lengths in order to fight this new development. Some might call this predictable for him, but honestly I don’t think there is a bigger challenge to give the guy than what he has been hit with right now. Lets not also forget that this wouldn’t be much of a story if instantly Bruce lost control of himself, because where would you go from there? With that said, I enjoyed the small changes that you could see taking form from where the first issue ended. His attitude has changed, his temperament, all the small things that could easily lead to bigger problems down the road if a solution isn’t found for staying himself.
Being the second issue, of course it was important that we could actually see more of the Batman Who Laughs himself. That was a treat because the dialogue for this character is both chilling and brilliant. You can tell that Snyder really gets into writing him when he is pretty much throwing everything you love about Batman right back at you. He laughs in the face of everything he takes pride in, and everything that makes him believe that fighting him is like fighting any other psychopath who stumbles into Gotham. The Batman Who Laughs raising the curtain on his second act was the highlight of the issue. For all that occurs here, I found myself more captivated by the moves he made to try to bring Batman’s world crashing down around him. He makes it all seem so effortless which makes the biggest difference. I only felt let down that at the same time we didn’t actually see too much of the Grim Knight. We got our explanation of what makes him stand out from the rest of the Batmen in the Dark Multiverse, but that was really it. Well, that and the one role he played in the Batman Who Laughs’ second act.
By the end of this issue, it was the way that this story continues to drum up to an escalation which stood out the most. Bruce was pushed to great lengths to combat this threat, and the same could be said for Commissioner Gordon who turned to the most unlikely source for help. The very last person you would expect to have a hand in a situation like this.
Another solid issue for the interior artwork. Jock and David Baron did a great job of creating this image of the Dark Knight on the edge. They took every opportunity to show just how different of a person the Bat can be when the very things that challenge who he is are running through his veins. The redness in his eyes was the most consistent quality which stood out when he was getting out of character. The shade of reds and yellows in particular used worked best for adding the effect that he was losing it. When it came to the BWL, the best thing they did for this character was give him such an imposing presence. His actions are always so smooth, fluent from one move into the next. Giving us the impression that he is just that formidable in the way that he accesses the situations around him. With that said, it was also thrilling to see just what kind of madness comes from his brand of violence. The slaughter was indeed over the top, but just what you expect from someone who wouldn’t value others’ lives as much as the Joker.
The Batman Who Laughs #2 is yet another issue which knock you at the edge of your seat. This villain knows how to make an entrance and does so in a way that sends a message. How does one beat Batman? That is the only question that matters right now, because this fight is over before it begun if Bruce can’t figure this one out.