“The Batman Who Laughs” – Part Six
Review by Steve J. Ray
The Batman Who Laughs #6 raises what has been a tense, scary ride from the start, to all-new levels. Our hero is edging ever closer to fully becoming a second Batman Who Laughs, and it seems that Alfred, Jim Gordon and James Jr. are powerless to stop the transformation. Is this finally the one, no-win scenario that Batman can’t get out of?
Scott Snyder continues to prove himself as one of the premiere Batman writers of the last decade. I can fully see his name appearing in years to come as a street, district, or park in Gotham City. “Robbery in progress at the corner of Snyder and Capullo.” Lovely.
The way that he’s crafting this tale; with breadcrumbs, clues, and coded messages in the text, is nothing short of inspirational. His Batman stories are Beyond just good. The ever evolving relationship between James Gordon Jr. and his father is a fascinating one, and one that I’ve enjoyed witnessing the development of since Snyder’s Detective Comics run, specifically in the brilliant “Black Mirror” storyline (issues #871-#881 – 2011). This tale was also illustrated by Jock.
Jock’s No Joke
I’ve followed Jock’s career for many years, and his work on the Batman Who Laughs is amongst the finest he’s ever produced. His covers leap off the shelf and grab you by the throat, as does every page he draws within the comic. The way that he and color artist David Baron translate the Batman Who Laugh’s skewed vision of reality to the page is simply brilliant.
Page three of this issue is fantastic. Look at the healthy flesh tones of the Gordons in the first panel, compared to the sickly grey face of the drooling and damaged Batman. The concern on Jim’s face, and the way that James Jr.’s glasses make his eyes seem cold and soulless, is brilliantly drawn and colored. Batman smiling hs always unnerved me, but the rictus grin depicted here is nightmare inducing.
Sal Cipriano is absolutely killing it on this book. The coded messages in Batman’s dialogue, now almost completely red as his dark transformation nears completion, must be really time consuming. I have to give credit where credit’s due and salute this consummate artist.
The Batman Who Laughs #6 left me with yet another cliffhanger that had me shouting at the comic like a loon. I’m usually good at guessing endings and finding solutions, but this series has me completely flummoxed. I love it.
The series ends next month, but will lead into a brand new Batman/Superman ongoing title. I’ll be reading the heck out of that book too.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment