Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Jock
Colored by David Baron
The overall theme of this issue seems to be about seeing things from new eyes, a fresh perspective as The Batman Who Laughs attempts to show our Batman what the original purpose of Gotham was supposed to be and what it should become. The Batman Who Laughs paints a picture of Gotham being an open mouth with sharp teeth, a fortress city fit to conquer, a beacon of darkness, a city of people who laugh last and as we near the end of this series we start to question whether our Batman will see things this way or if he’ll remember the words and message that his father taught him when he was just a boy: to follow the light and strive to be better.
This issue is packed with so many moments that made me stop, smile and thoroughly enjoy what was happening on nearly each and every page. We start off with a touching memory between Thomas and son Bruce over the purpose of Gotham City and their part in it. Then we see Batman embracing his madness by holding a severed head of a dead Bruce Wayne in his hands in what has to be one of my favorite pages in this issue.
During Jim Gordon’s side of this story we see good old Jim running for his life from a special pack of nightmare Robins that The Grim Knight had made just for him. This part of the book was short but very important as it served to connect together the several narratives that have been ongoing throughout this series. Plus after seeing The Grim Knight’s awesome knife, I love him even more now and as great as the Grim Knight is, I was also very excited to see the newest Bruce Wayne that enters our universe in this issue.
Halfway through this issue, I had another moment where I had to stop and put down the book and just smile ear to ear as we are treated to an encounter between two of Scott Snyder’s most beloved character creations: the first being the title character The Batman Who Laughs and the second being the secretive group of Gotham elites who hide in the shadows and control the fate of the city, The Court of Owls. As brief of an encounter as this was, it was truly an awesome moment that I know you’ll also enjoy.
Ultimately I think this is the strongest and most important chapter in The Batman Who Laughs series as the many separate story paths have begun to weave together and start revealing the final picture. With several strong moments in this issue, it’s hard to pick which amongst them is my favorite and I’m totally ok with that. As we head into the final two issues i can’t wait to see how the events will wrap up and what long term effects may ripple into the greater DC Universe, but as for now we’ll just have to wait to see who has the last laugh.
I give The Batman Who Laughs #5 a 9 out of 10