The Batman Who Laughs #4 // Review
As the nightmare continues, Scott Snyder and Jock force Bruce to finally see through the eyes of the titular villain. On the whole, this series feels more like a marketing ploy rather than a truly inspired story that Snyder needed to tell. With the over saturation of this Dark Knight and his toadies, the overall importance of the series still seems completely lost. The hyperbole behind the Dark Batmen is surface level at best.
With Batman infected by the Joker toxin in the previous issue, he is slowly going mad as it begins to take hold. The Batman Who Laughs has set up a bridge between the dark Multiverse and Earth-0 within Arkham while Bruce is left with his fleeting sanity in attempts to end this black mirror once and for all. The crux of the issue just seems more like an opportunity to sell toys rather than answer any actual questions. With floating plot threads, the last two chapters have quite a bit of slack to take on.
Jock’s scribblings are a disservice to the title and his legacy as a whole. The signature stylized works now just seem rushed and half-hearted. A far cry from his previous time with Snyder on The Black Mirror, Jock seems to underperform with the interior art while his cover work still remains solid. David Baron continues to paint the grimdark but fitting motif for the series, realizing this horror into reality.
A complete 180 degree turn from his current Justice League run, Snyder just can’t let go of his first event as he continues to beat on the dead dark multiversal horse. It’s hard to imagine books with such varying level in quality could be written by the same person concurrently. Still the title lacks any importance within the DCU, and with only two issues left, chances are looking slim. As Snyder hits one home run after another with the League, he is left to completely spin his wheels with this mini-series.
As the series creeps towards its finale, Snyder and Jock will need to pick up the pace to deliver any kind of good pay off for yet another title to spin out of Dark Knights Metal. Albeit a mini-series, any heart seems to be lost on the title while it appears more as an option to cash in on variant covers and merchandise.