Comic Review: The Batman Who Laughs #4 (DC Comics)

Jim Gordon is held captive by the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight as the rest of Gotham is in danger. Batman infected by the Joker virus is becoming […]

Jim Gordon is held captive by the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight as the rest of Gotham is in danger.

Batman infected by the Joker virus is becoming progressively worse with each second, struggling to hold onto what is left of his sanity, Batman must enter the madness by seeing through the eyes of his distorted reflection. Batman must become what he fears in order to find the Batman Who Laughs true motives and stop him! But at what cost? With his sanity hanging by a string, can Batman maintain stability as the infection spreads through his system long enough to solve the case? Or will he succumb to the dark desires that will make him into the nightmare that he is desperately trying to prevent?

Man, it is twists and turns galore in this issue! The set up of this issue was written brilliantly as Snyder writes about how Batman looks through the lenses/ideas of Robin, of being able to see things through the eyes of a child in order to remain grounded and to remember why he fights the good fight. Snyder writes some strong parallels between Batman and the situations that he maneuvers through to give the story a well rounded and dense experience, where every possible tangent means something much more to the whole.

The writing delivers strong twists and new details that justify aesthetic choices and character motivations. One example such as the spike lense that Batman uses and how it works. Snyder adds details that actually makes the aesthetic of the Batman Who Laughs have an actual function rather than just a visual appeal to “look cool”. This for me makes The Batman Who Laughs even more awesome as a concept and character. The subplot with Jim Gordon is pretty cool despite very little that happens other than the Grim Knight constantly barking at Jim about the world that he once belonged to. Despite that, there isn’t much that Snyder is putting in, most likely to save for the following two issues of course. The overall flow of the story and the unexpected twists that lead to the descent of Batman’s madness makes an enjoyable experience, despite the terrifying circumstances.

Jock’s artwork continues to impress, as he is able to mesh the fine line of simplicity and detail with such ease. His heavy inks and his scratchy lines reinforce the overall aesthetic and visual narrative with as much gravity as the story requires it to be, making the spiraling madness of Batman’s sanity all the more enjoyable to witness. Jock’s line and inks are fantastic by itself, but with the help of David Baron’s colors, and Sal Cipriano’s lettering, it cements that gothic nature of this story perfectly. Definitely add this book to your pull list!

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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