Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Jock
Published by DC Comics
This is one of my favorite comic books that is coming out right now!
This story of a dark Batman from an alternate universe is positively stunning. It’s a horror version of a traditional Batman comic. It really is on another level completely. You really can’t ask for better than that.
This issue starts with a moment we have seen a few times in the Batman mythos. Bruce is a young boy in the scene he falls down a hole.
Except this time his father is reaching out to him.
Snyder puts this scene in as a counterpoint to the rest of the issue. It is a rather ominous and haunting.
And then everything just goes out of control.
Commissioner Gordon has a confrontation with his son, the killer, James. Gordon is trying to obtain help from his son to stop The Batman Who Laughs. James doesn’t seem interested in lending a hand. He finds every excuse in the world and Gordon keeps at him. He doesn’t budge.
And that’s when this world’s Batman appears.
And Batman is still feeling the effects of the Joker’s toxin. He looks like a horror show and acts like one too. James won’t relent. But then he doesn’t have to. The other Batman that is working with The Joker Who Laughs shows up. And he is gunning for young James!
This is where the issue just gets crazy.
The two Batmen face off and it’s gloriously drawn by Jock. They have a huge confrontation. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Things get wacky from there. The Penguin faces off against The Joker Who Laughs! The original Joker has a scene! And then it leads to one of the scariest images I’ve seen in a long time on the last page. It’s great.
Snyder paces his story perfectly and this is a shining moment for him writing this series. He knows his story well and writes the hell out of it. And Jock gives this book some of the best art of his career. We are now halfway through and I have no idea where the hell it might go.
And that’s just the way I like it.