The Batman Who Laughs #2 // Review
Long time collaborators, Scott Snyder and artist Jock deliver yet another title to spin out from last summer's blockbuster event, Dark Knights Metal. With the titular villain narrowly escaping his doom within the crossover event, leaves him to continue Batman’s never ending nightmare whenever Synder goes. His evil creation is now accompanied by a new adversary, The Grim Knight. They leave behind a long line of mysterious deaths in their wake. Batman must face his ultimate fear, and take on the worst versions of himself yet again.
A string of murdered Bruce Wayne’s from the Dark Multiverse begin to show up on Earth 0. The Dark Knight knows only one that could be behind all of these deaths, The Batman Who Laughs. After being exposed to the Joker toxin in the previous issue, Bruce must keep control over his psyche as it slips into madness. Coming face to face yet again, Batman is thwarted by his cosmic adversaries, leaving to them to escape in hopes of saving another’s life. With both a shocking reveal and a callback to the creative duo’s previous work together on Detective Comics, the Caped Crusader’s new nightmare has only begun.
The stylized artistry from Jock, delivers a visceral feeling his sequential artwork, highlighting the endless massacre left by this monster. Fitting with this mini series perfectly, Jock expertly displays his artistic sensibilities creating a universe in and of itself within this series. Setting itself apart from its contemporaries on store shelves, plays more towards a monster movie angle, sparingly using the titular villain until the most opportune moments. David Baron brings Jock’s artwork to life with his colors highlighting the horrific beautiful of Jock’s pencil work. Benjamin Oliver even makes an appearance with his absolutely stunning variant cover for this issue, continuing the trend of gorgeous horror.
Snyder continues to draw from his own past works, albeit entertaining at the very least, still having yet to find the overall purpose of this series. The never ending works spinning out of Dark Knights Metal keep coming with yet another one shot slatted to highlight Snyder’s new creation, The Grim Knight, as popularity already begins to grow. With Batman on the brink of insanity, the ball lies in the adversaries court while Bruce faces down his own worst fears surrounding him and from within.
As the mysteries and tension only grow larger, Bruce must find a way to enter this black mirror and return unscathed. Snyder and Jock prove to continually work tremendously well even after all these years. With the answers still remaining unclear as towards his motive, The Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight prove to be quite the match against the Dark Knight is this magnificent horror story.