Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1 Review

Here Comes the Knight

Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: March 13, 2019
Cover Price: $4.99

We continue with the Batman Who Laughs with this one-shot focusing on the Grim Knight.  It seems that since Metal, every side Batman in the story gets uber popular and becomes the star and as The Batman Who Laughs was to Barbatos, the Grim Knight is slowly becoming to The Batman Who Laughs.  Boy, that reads like some SAT question from the Dark Multiverse, doesn't it?  So, does this issue make the Grim Knight an even bigger star?  Let's find out...

We open in our time, underneath Gotham and while I would love to tell you that the Grim Knight says, "It's our time down here", he is too busy leading a hooded (but easily guessed) prisoner through the sewers.  Plus, I bet he is more of a Monster Squad kind of guy anyway!

We slide into a flashback showing us the origins of this gun-toting Dark Knight and of course, it all starts with a gun...the one that killed his parents.  We see the difference between him and our Bruce almost immediately, however, and things are set in motion.  Scott Snyder and James Tynion don't dwell too much here, instead, they show us a few greatest hits before getting the parallels of each story to line up and it all leads to James Gordon.

Yep, the Grim Knight has our Gordon as we see what a thorn in the side his Gordon was to him.  We also get front row seats to what the Grim Knight believes is the right way to do things and while we got hints of it in issues of the Batman Who Laughs mini, this really shows you how over the top he really is.  Might is right and if you don't think he believes that, go ask his Alfred!

The issue continues by showing that Gordon was the light versus the Dark Knight and by the end (and with some cool help) was able to take down the bad guy which leads us to the ending of this issue in the here and now.  The Grim Knight wants to prove to Gordon that his way is the right way, but even as he thinks our Gordon isn't strong enough to continue, The Batman Who Laughs shows up to make things even worse.

I really enjoyed this issue.  Yea, we get to see the Grim Knight's origin, but seeing how he treated his "mission" was a twist on some usual complaints about Batman, but also showed the ruthless way he goes about it.  Ruthless and smart as hell...a very dangerous combo.  Snyder and Tynion had me engaged the whole time and while I am not a fan of one-shot tie-ins, I was down with this one.

I also really liked Eduardo Risso's art.  I can't say I am familiar with him, but his style matches Jock's enough not to throw you off but is unique enough to be its own thing.  The "I shall become the bat" scene progression was the highlight for me.

Bits and Pieces:

This one-shot had enough in it to make it well worth the read for fans of the Batman Who Laughs mini-series.  The Grim Knight is fleshed out and if you didn't think he was a badass before, you will after reading this.  I have been saying I am a surprise fan of the Batman Who Laughs and I can now say the same for the Grim Knight.


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