The Batman Who Laughs #5
It’s interesting in both Justice League and The Batman Who Laughs that writer Scott Snyder has Batman evaluating his mission and whether it’s been successful. In both titles, Batman seems to make an uncharacteristic decision that’s going to have some major repercussions.
But first Batman has to escape the trap set for him by The Batman Who Laughs as his toxin is overtaking Gotham citizens and forcing them to act on their worst impulses. Ironically, this has forced Batman to rely more heavily on the psychotic serial killer, James Gordon, the son of the commissioner who seems to be on a redemption trail. James is a unique character in the Batman mythos and I’m not sure if I like him more as an unhinged black sheep for Gordon and Batgirl, but this incarnation is pretty engaging. It seems like anything could set him over the edge and back to his former ways.
TBWL is still carrying out his agenda and this issue finds him encountering some familiar faces with Snyder’s earlier Batman run. It’s a shocking sequence in a series that’s become known for them. I always enjoy the little character beat Snyder uses in fleshing out some random tale from Bruce’s youth. These are the moments that connect his purpose and they’ve been a strong staple of his run.
Artist Jock clearly seems motivated with this series as he’s doing some stellar work with his layouts, character expressions and dramatic storytelling. I’m really getting the cinematic vibe in going from panel to panel. Jock’s art is so intense and effective in setting a mood, I’d love for DC to come up with a soundtrack for The Batman Who Laughs filled with creepy and terrifying scores to accompany it. David Baron’s color work is key to this presentation as he stages the colors like they’re coming through the darkness. Baron’s contribution gives a splash of color feel and Sal Cipriano’s lettering adds to that eerie tone.
TBWL #5 delivers another dose of pulse-pounding and unpredictable Batman action. I’ve got no clue where Snyder is taking this story, which is a big part of the fun and the rest of the creative team is matching him on every level for another tremendous installment.
Rating: 10 out of 10