Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Batman Who Laughs #7 Review


Writer: Scott Snyder
Art Team: Jock, David Baron, Sal Cipriano
DC Comics
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Cover Price: $4.99

Jokes on You Batman

The Batman Who Laughs has been a well written, high selling, substitute Batman title for DC, picking up the slack while the main title continues to see sales fall. The slightly extended series comes to a conclusion here this month, which is a bit of the a shame, but I'm also ready for the Batman Who Laughs to take a seat on the bench for awhile ... something I dont think is happening anytime soon.  So, does Batman finally bring the Batman Who Laughs down for the count, or does the Laughing Man and his Bat-Punisher friend end up winning one for the bad guys? Lets discuss.




The issue begins with the big showdown between the Batman and Batman Who Laughs (BWL), as he watches Batman slowly turns to what BWL's has been working towards throughout this mini-series, and revealing he is going to off himself and hand off the reins to his protege. That setup begins to get intercut with the Grim Knight continuing to taunt Gordon, attempting to get his son Gordon Jr to off his father once and for all, as he remains helpless to protect the water supply. 



After some pretty intriguing setup we get a few twists and turns that definitely contribute to the mystery at play here.  BWL begins to realize Bruce has manipulated his tech, in an attempt to trick him into offing himself, this reigniting the fight between the two, only this time Bruce ups his game a bit, with the brutalness of the BWL ruining through him, finally getting a bit of upper hand.  This is definetly the stronger of the two encounters throughout the issue, I espically loved how the tension built up throughout the fight, something Snyder has excelled at throughout his time on the character.

Meanwhile Gordon isn't having as much luck as Batman, first losing an attempt to secure a knife from James Jr, and now at the mercy of the Grim Knight once again after a brief counter.  Gordon becomes faced with either drinking the contaminated water he's being held under, or risk being killed by his son, who again seems to might have lost his way again going through all these events at play here.  This is the weaker of the two stroies running through the title, becuase to me the Grim Knight just hasnt done enough to convince me Gordon Jr is going to turn his back on his dad, even despite their checkered past.



The issue begins its conclusion with a couple surprise twists that I wont entirely spoil here.  However, aside from the conclusion which I otherwise enjoyed, I do have an issue with the timeline of events at play here throughout the series.  The conclusion of this mini-series seems to coincide with the beginning of the Justice League, also by Scott Snyder, because the Batman Who Laughs is taken into custody by the Justice League to the Hall of Justice.  My main problem is that we saw the BWL freed months ago in the pages of Justice League, which although placing this nicely in continuity, takes away a bit of the impact the events of this series have had events of late in DC Comics. It then seems to want to have it cake and eat it too with NEW lasting implications for Jim Gordon, who otherwise has been fine as of late, leading this book also directly into the coming Batman/Superman title, recently now delayed. 

The positives at play to start here throughout the issue definitely outweigh the drawbacks, especially since we get resolutions to both stories at play. One big draw back to me, aside from my timeline hiccups, I definitely notice the art taking a step back this issue. It's either because of the additional issue or looming deadlines, admittedly I'm not sure, but there are a few moments and jumps throughout the issue that definitely obstruct my understanding of a few scenes and dialouge exchanges.

Overall, the Batman Who Laughs wraps up this month in pretty satisfying fashion, with Scott Synder syncing up this title to his other current works occurring at DC at the moment.  The issue isn't without it's flaws, mainly a few transitional art hiccups, and where this title falls within the timeline of the more current DC 'events'. Yet the good far outweighed the bad throughout the mini, as it became one of the more solid and recommendable Batman titles, to come out on a consistent basis for a few years.

7.8/10 

2 comments:

Guy Montgomery said...

A bit disappointed in the wrap up but hugely disappointed in the art. Pretty below standard.

Jim Werner said...

I think this added issue may have been rushed a bit