Published on January 18th, 2019 | by Mark McKechnie
The Batman Who Laughs #2 Review
Summary: This continues to be a strong series. The art and story blend very well together.
Tense and terrifying!
The Laughing House Part 2
The second issue begins in the hours following Issue #1. The Joker lies on the edge of death, and Batman is fighting to stave off the infection of Joker toxin that will eventually turn him into The Batman Who Laughs.
This issue features two covers, a standard and a variant. The standard cover is by Ben Oliver. It features The Batman Who Laughs prominently with one hand presented forward, presenting The Grim Knight in the palm of his hand. His rictus grin draws eyes towards his face, frozen in a terrifying smile. The Grim Knight however, stands stolid, cloaked in shadow, and armed to the teeth.
The variant cover is done by Dave Wielgosz. It features a close up of the face of The Batman Who Laughs. He has a terrifying grin on his face, wide, with yellowed teeth exposed. He has his hands on his collar, popping it up, an effect that provides a more horrifying profile. Finally, there is a wisp of red smoke or dust rising off the top of his head. The primary cover is a solid representation of the issue, the variant? The variant is just plain scary!
The interior art for this issue is done by Jock, with his work supported by David Baron on colours. The book looks good. It isn’t as creepy as the style presented in the variant cover, but still looks great. The artwork is very much in line with the style that is prevalent in many of the Bat themed books, and the combination of darker colours and gritty details serves the story well. Jock does a great job in providing detailed facial expressions, and showing Bruce as he is slowly changing is really subtle and well done.
In fact, most of the work in this regard is done by David Baron’s colours. The art also does a great job in highlighting the building tension in the book. We know the stakes are high, and we can tell that Batman knows as well, through his body language and the slow changes in how his eyes are coloured as the story goes on.
Scott Snyder continues this new tale of The Batman Who Laughs. The book begins shortly after the end of Issue #1. Joker is on the operating table in the Batcave, with Alfred working on him to ensure that he doesn’t die. This is especially important as he had infected Batman in the same way as The Batman Who Laughs had been infected with the Joker toxin in his home Dark Universe. Batman is pumping his system full of every anti-toxin they have developed for the various strains of Joker toxin they have discovered so far, and it is barely staving off the effects of the infection that will turn him into a new Batman Who Laughs.
In this issue The Batman Who Laughs targets a final defense that Batman has created in Gotham. Located in Wayne Tower, this defense system, called ‘Last Laugh’, is the catalyst for this issue’s finale. Though it appears that Batman may have the upper hand, the timely assistance of the Grim Knight halts that. The issue ends with Commissioner Gordon revealing an individual that may help them turn the tide in this battle.
This continues to be a strong series. The art and story blend very well together. The stakes for this story were set very high in the first issue, and this issue does a great job of amping up the tension. We know Batman only has a limited amount of time before the Joker Toxin overwhelms him and turns him into a new Batman Who Laughs.
This is a high stakes book that walks the line between tense and terrifying. 4 out of 5 stars!