Dark Nights: Metal may be over, but the effects are still being massively felt all over the DC Universe. In this case, the fact that the Batman Who Laughs, the smiling demon Batman introduced from the Dark Multiverse who was the breakout villain in a sea of evil Bats, is on the loose in Gotham with a plan that even our Batman cannot fully comprehend.
The last issue ended with a bang, and the story picks right up with Alfred operating to save the Joker’s life. That by itself is worth picking this issue up but truly, the hits just keep on coming because the major scenes from this isn’t saving Batman’s greatest foe’s life, but the face-off between Batman and the Batman Who Laughs, with a special guest appearance by the Grim Knight. That ending reveal though is another gripping moment that really speaks volumes for why Scott Snyder may be the best Batman writer in the recent history of the character.
The best Batman stories have rarely been the big blockbusters. Despite Scott Snyder perpetually writing massive epics with Batman, the root of his writing has always been about Batman facing warped aspects of himself, be it the Court of Owls or even an immortal Joker. This takes it to the literal point where the Batman Who Laughs is Bruce Wayne except there’s a point where he had what Joker famously called “one bad day”. Even the Grim Knight, decked out with more guns than Marvel's Frank Castle, is about the militant side of Batman’s war on crime. What makes this truly unique is that Batman is facing his own greatest enemy - himself after a mental snap.
The artwork by Jock and colors by David Baron truly exemplifies how off the rails Batman is in this story with jagged edges and a near-visceral coloring method. It’s top notch.
As a second issue, it really hits home to the soul of the Dark Knight, and marks this as one of the best Batman miniseries in a while. Five stars.
Learning to read from his parents' old comic book collection, ink has flowed through his blood since he was born! And now, the self-proclaimed Comic Archivist (at least on Youtube) brings his talents for comic book history and obscurity to WhatCulture! Be warned: he's a Cyclops fanboy and a Nightwing groupie!