Batman, our Batman, has been injected with the Joker toxin and slowly transforming in to the Batman Who Laughs, the deadly version of himself from the Dark Multiverse. In this issue we get the bigger idea and plan as Batman desperately attempts to stop two deadly adversaries.
Writer Scott Snyder delivers an issue of desperation and heartbreak as Alfred confronts Batman resulting in a battle between the two of them and some revelations. It’s hard to see the two fight and Alfred being both angry and scared at what his “son” is becoming. To also hear Batman/Bruce slowly succumb to the toxin is a tragedy all its own as we get a better idea of the negative thoughts of his mind.
It’s an interesting issue as it really draws that line and makes it clear as to what the difference in worldview and vision is between Batman and the Batman Who Laughs. We also finally find out how the Batman Who Laughs Can see through that visor.
There’s also the Grim Knight who has a vendetta against Gordon which feels like will be his undoing in the end.
The art by Jock is amazing with solid coloring by David Baron. The style fits the breakdown of Bruce/Batman as he slowly loses it and fights to keep his focus. There’s just a level of emotion and raw ugliness there that works well as we see the duality of how he sees the world now.
Letterer Sal Cipriano deserves recognition as the dialogue is a little special jumping between Bruce/Batman’s personalities with key words emphasized to show his emotional state. Then there’s the style of the Batman Who Laughs which helps make the demented feel of the character.
The issue is a solid one with just a few more to go before things wrap up. This absolutely is that key issue that gets the ball rolling to the end and delivers a lot of reveals as well as emotional and exciting moments. This series has been fantastic and there’s not only excitement in how it’ll wrap up but where things go from here.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Jock
Color: David Baron Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review