The Batman Who Laughs #1 hits your local comic book store on December 12, and Scott Synder along with Jock are going to kick you in the nuts and laugh at you as you roll around on the floor crying. The first issue of the six-issue mini-series takes no prisoners, and with one panel becomes the most powerful book of 2018! Okay, that might be a little much, but the final page of the book is a ‘Top 5 Moments From DC Comics In 2018.’
SIDEBAR – Writing reviews in December is so much fun because it’s “sooo what have you done for me lately?”
What Snyder does in the first issue is hit the ground running like a Michael Bay film, introduces a new bad-ass character, gives the reader several OMG moments, and then gives you a cliffhanger that will make you sell your soul for issue two. Snyder puts on a storytelling clinic as the pacing in this comic book is absurd. You never get a chance to catch a breath, because the action and dialogue never stop. Snyder puts you in the head of Batman, and you are emotionally tied together for the rollercoaster ride.
When you analyze comics, somethings make you laugh when they shouldn’t. There is a moment in The Batman Who Laughs #1 that made me laugh. First because of the action sequence, and second because Snyder creates his version of Boba Fett in three pages. I hope we never see the Grim Knight ever again, because he will go down as the coolest character ever with the least amount of lines.
Synder sets up Jock to be spectacular in the first issue. The OMG moments only work because Snyder has an artist like Jock working on the book. On the sixth page, Jock does his best Wolverine / Batman mash-up, and you’re just waiting for the bat-a-rangs to fly. Jock also blackens out Batman’s face which makes the Dark Knight look more menacing and on edge. This also draws attention to when Jock draws the lower half of Batman’s face and makes the panel more critical. Then there’s Jock’s version of the Joker which embodies the chaos. There is a twitch to his still image Joker, and that is some next level art if you can make a still image move. When the Joker is on a page, his artwork will put you on edge.
SIDEBAR – Batman in the rain with bats around him is probably the most Batman thing ever.
David Baron’s colors are straightforward and in your face. Later in the issue, the blue and red rooftop panels are simply colored but burn an image into your head. The color palette for the first issue is all over the place, but it works because Baron draws as much emotion out of a panel as possible. The way the panels are layered and the use of alternating colors for panels, turns the volume up on dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, Sal Cipriano gets unleashed on the issue with lettering Batman, the Joker, and a hybrid Batman / Joker. Batman and Alfred are going back and forth through the entire issue, the dialogue never stops, but Cipriano takes it all and organizes the book, so the reader never gets lost among the chaos.
Overall, Synder wows with an over-the-top first issue that will leave you guessing till issue two hits the stands. What did you think of the first issue? Comment below with your thoughts!