The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1 // Review
March 13, 2019, by Rick Lopez
Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV bring about yet another horrific chapter spiraling from Dark Knights Metal. This interlude one-shot acts as an origin story for this new dark version of the Caped Crusader. With Jock standing out for this issue, Eduardo Risso takes over pencil duty, helping to deliver the most substantial issue for the miniseries thus far. With calls to historical Batman moments, the sinister twists set a precedent for this new adversary from the Dark Multiverse.
In what is necessarily an amalgamation between Batman Year One and the Metal one-shots, this issue blends familiar aspects from the Dark Knight’s past but placed under a vengeful hate-filled lens. As the origin of this villain bleeds into the main story, Jim Gordon’s life is in jeopardy as the Dark Batmen hunt down a key player in their game. The primary focus of the issue remains on the origin of this new villain while the main events of the miniseries continue off in the background.
Jock’s highly stylized artwork has left much to be desired with the previous issues. Eduardo Risso brings a much needed simplified and streamlined aesthetic to the series. Risso adds an entirely cohesive viewpoint for this title, while Dave Stewart is the total unsung hero of this chapter. Risso’s use of watercolor, specifically for the flashback scenes, leaves a subtle distinction between the two timelines.
Snyder and Tynion prove yet again to blend into one voice seamlessly. Tynion’s horror sensibilities shine through while Snyder’s edge is dialed to eleven. Though the series as a whole has yet to prove why it needs to exist, the duo delivers nothing outside of sheer fun onto the pages. Never taking itself too seriously, this issue and series as a whole continue to bring the entertainment with every chapter.
Reaching the halfway point of the mini-series, but still lacking anything of any real importance or anything of actual significance has yet to happen. The second half of the title will have to pick up the slack and prove to readers why these villains deserved to survive past their initial debut last summer. The two Justice League writers take a break from their main titles to just have fun and let loose with a friend and bring some heavy fan service to store shelves.