REVIEW: DARK NIGHTS: THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 Author: Peter Verra (Follow @PETEILLUSTRATED)
Date: November 15, 2017
SYNOPSIS: As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures?
Since Dark Nights: Metal began this is the issue we all have been waiting for.
Only I didn’t think that it would be James Tynion, who would be the one giving it to us. The Batman Who Laughs, who is he? What is he? What is his deal with the Multiverse and who are those Roblins? (Thanks Justin!) All questions, secrets and more are answered in the most twisted tale you will read this year.
The origin of the Batman Who Laughs is without a doubt one of the more fascinating one shots published in a long time. Tynion has been on fire when it comes to the Batman; Batman/TMNT and Detective Comics stand out while the ambitious Tim Drake love letter “A Lonely Place of Living” has just concluded. This one however takes the cake with ease, no contest. We start off almost as if it were “Tales from the Crypt” with the Batman Who Laughs, already unsettling and perfectly establishing the tone for this story. This book brings me back to the first time I watched James Wan’s “Saw”. It’s so disturbing at times I can’t take my eyes off it. Yet the story is so perfectly creepy and eerie that you want more.
Tynion has yet to get his Joker story in his Detective run; getting the chance here he hits a grand slam. This is Batman and Joker at their best; reminiscent of The Killing Joke only Joker is taunting Batman instead of Gordon and it is even more deranged, this is the next level. It was the creation of the Roblins that really made my jaw drop to the floor. Just when I think Tynion pulled out all the crazy Batman scenarios in Detective he delivers this! I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. Dark Nights: The Batman Who Laughs will give the Batman from Mark Waid’s Tower of Babel a run for his money.
I flipped through the pages in shock and awe at what Tynion was writing but artist Riley Rossmo had a huge part in that as well. The Batman Who Laughs is one of the creepiest characters I have ever laid my eyes on. Wearing all back, dripping blood from his grin while taunting his prey, it’s almost like he is the Joker evolved. Rossmo’s Joker is the Joker I always picture in my head. Slick back hair, beady little eyes, and the pointy nose and chin. Literally everything you wanted Jared Leto to be minus the tattoos. There is an Eli Roth vibe I get while looking through the book; sometimes it’s just downright brutal. The splash page reveal of the Batman Who Laughs might put you into cardiac arrest because you won’t believe what you are seeing, absolutely mind blowing.
Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson provide us a cover to die for. The spotlight is shinning down on The Batman Who Laughs center stage with his chain gang of wild Roblins running right for you. This cover is simply perfect for the story and total poster quality. I know what I am getting BOF creative director Justin Kowalski for his birthday.
This issue to date is the highlight of Metal with The Dawnbreaker and The Drowned not far behind at all. Talk about exceeding expectations, I did not think I would enjoy this one shot as much. Usually I’m of the mind (to make some mookie, see what I did there?) that a villain should just be and does not need an origin, but hey even I can admit when I am wrong. Tynion really captured the essence that Batman and the Joker are destined to be intertwined forever. Rossmo nailed The Batman Who Laughs making him this creepy constantly slouched monster. This is by far the best tie into Metal yet and a must add to your pull list this week - Peter Verra
A lover of genre films from BATMAN
to FRIDAY THE 13th.
A producer of college sports at the world’s
most famous arena, MSG.
A fool for watching that SCOOBY DOO
teaser trailer from 2002 and preying Batman is
the one who turns around and every time.