Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Jock
Colored by David Baron
As the Batman Who Laughs gets closer to enacting his final joke, our world’s Batman tries a new approach and perspective to stop the grim laughter of his nightmarish counterparts evil plan. By seeing the world through the eyes of the one who laughs, our Batman will walk a thin line between revelation and corruption. The big question then becomes is it worth it to defeat your enemy if it then means you will become him in the process? Well in this review of The Batman Who Laughs #4 we’re about to find out.
This chapter is very rich in quality as well as deep, meaningful and emotional content. Some of my favorite examples of this both happen towards the beginning half of the issue. The first gives us insight into how our Batman tries to fight off the mental effects of the Joker toxin taking over his mind by trying to see the world through the eyes of his children, those who have been Robins, the joy and happiness Bruce gets when he sees the peace in his children’s eyes. Bruce hopes to focus on this feeling to prevent his mind from turning to the dark thoughts, and I thought it was awesome to learn Bruce’s plan to fight back, but as we see, every plan needs a backup.
Since it’s Batman we’re talking about here we know that one backup plan isn’t enough and we know that Batman is only as strong as Bruce’s will to protect his family. Sometimes the backup plan isn’t planned and sometimes it’s Bruce’s family that needs to protect him. In this issue it’s Alfred that shines in a big way by helping Batman showing that the way he has always won was by remaining true to himself and not by embracing the darkness. This scene was one of my favorites in the issue as we see Alfred doing whatever it takes to protect Bruce from himself. With tears flowing down his face, Alfred knocks some sense into Bruce and I loved every beautifully inked and colored panel of this interaction because artist Jock and colorist David Baron both did such an amazing job conveying so much raw rage and emotion you couldn’t help but feel the impact of the story being told.
This fourth issue is packed to the brim with so much action, emotion, high quality storytelling and beyond amazing artwork that it’s hard not to talk about everything, but some things are best felt when you experience them yourself so I will end this without spoiling the best moments, but I will tease you with this: The Batman Who Laughs #4 features three deadly birds of prey on a grim manhunt, a fail safe union between two eternal rivals and the death of Bruce Wayne.
Ultimately I thought Scott Snyder and the rest of The Batman Who Laughs creative team have knocked it out the park with another stellar chapter for the series as events start building up towards the endgame. We see all the pieces coming together although as we see that the deeper the Joker toxin flows into our Batman’s veins and the more he looks at the world the way the one who laughs does, we wonder if those pieces will form that of a bat or if it will spell out one big joke when things all come together.
I give The Batman Who Laughs #4 a 10 out of 10