Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Batman Who Laughs #2 Review

Batman Who Knows

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Jock, David Baron, and Sal Cipriano
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 16, 2019

There is one big thing you have to get into your head while reading this series...The Batman Who Laughs knows everything that our Bruce Wayne does.  It's something that is explained again in this issue, but it is something that tends to escape me at times.  I think it's because the BWL feels like a character whose Dark Multiverse split off from our familiar one in a way that caused a divergent path that would have then given him a whole different set of memories, situations, etc.  Nope!  The Batman Who Laughs knows everything that our Bruce Wayne does. Say it with me...The Batman Who Laughs knows everything that our Bruce Wayne does.

The issue opens up in the Batcave and if you thought that Scott Snyder was going to kill off the Joker, you were wrong.  That's not to say that Alfred would not be down with that because he certainly would be.  Not this time, buddy!  We also get a touching opening monologue that comes back to kick our asses later.

After seeing that Batman is undergoing some Joker Toxin therapy, we jump to the streets of Gotham where it is raining men...Wayne men.  Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock discuss it a little too casually at first and while I still think they are taking the amount of Bruce Wayne's suddenly appearing in Gotham better than they should, we see that it is actually Batman disguised as Bullock.

After seeing that Bruce is really on edge, we find out that Wayne Tower is way more than we could have imagined and then cut to it for a scene that is full of horror and tension and again, works because The Batman Who Laughs knows everything that our Bruce Wayne does. Seriously, whether you like this issue or not, this part is easily the best part.

We continue with Batman and his Dark(er) Knight counterpart going at it and when they go toe-to-toe I may agree with BWL that our Bruce is the mistake.  Bruce told Alfred earlier that the Batman Who Laughs is also the Batman Who Wins and you can see why.  No holds barred Batman equals winning!
We also get a bit more of a glimpse at who and what the Grim Knight is and I am not a guy who clamors for one-shot tie-ins all the time, but I want to read his now!

The issue ends with a huge explosion...figuratively and metaphorically and both Bruce and James Gordon looking for help in some really dark places.  If you are a fan of Snyder's Black Mirror, I think you will be excited.

I liked this issue more for the character work than the action scenes.  Wayne Tower going down in a blaze of glory felt like something that won't have a lasting impact after this mini is over, but learning more about the Grim Knight and seeing how cold and badass the Batman Who Laughs really is was awesome.

I liked Jock's art.  I am not usually a huge fan of his, but his style fits the book especially as it veers more and more down horror lane.

Bits and Pieces:

I liked this issue for the character moments and the cliffhanger promises even more of those.  Yea, there is also action and some big moments, but right now I could read a book with Batman and the Batman Who Laughs hanging in a room together talking about how different they are from each other.  Of course, the Batman Who Laughs would probably blow up the room after slicing Bruce's neck, but isn't that whey we love him?