Review: The Batman Who Laughs #7

"The Batman Who Laughs" - Part Seven
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Review by Steve J. Ray
The Batman Who Laughs #7 delivers a fitting finale to an amazing arc, and does what all great comics should do… it proves that nothing ever really ends. Originally due to run for six issues DC, and the book’s creators, decided to add a seventh, to tie-into the forthcoming Batman/Superman series.

Now I have something else to look forward to!
Before reading this finale I went back and re-read issues #1-#6, and it was a seriously great move. Over the years, Scott Snyder has proven that he’s great at writing short stories and one-shots, but he’s inarguably a master at playing the long-game too. Once his sister series Batman: Last Knight On Earth wraps up, I’m tempted to embark on the massive undertaking of re-reading his entire Batman arc: All of the New 52 Batman run, Dark Nights: MetalAll-Star BatmanThe Batman Who Laughs and Last Knight On Earth. I haven’t done anything like this since the legendary run by Grant Morrison. They all contain tales that stand up as individual stories, but form part of a larger tapestry, giving us Scott Snyder’s complete ode to the Dark Knight.

Laugh? I Nearly Died

The Scott Snyder/Jock team is up there with the World’s Finest. This duo blew my mind back when they were on Detective Comics (check out #871 - #881, to see another brilliant James Gordon Jr. story). The art by Jock and the colors by Dave Baron in this seven issue series have been nothing short of perfection. Reading this story has felt like being exposed to a horror masterclass, mixed with a crime thriller, combined with a superhero story. Despicable villains, unexpected alliances and true heroism. There was dark humor, gore, violence and action aplenty, and I was entertained from start to finish. Oh… and more than a little disturbed too.
Speaking of disturbing, letterer Sal Cipriano needs a medal, or a knighthood… or something. His work on this series has been some of the finest I’ve seen from any letterer. Scott Snyder’s scripts must have driven him bananas! I went through every issue, deciphering all the coded messages in Batman’s text. Writing and creating all that must’ve been a nightmare! Kudos, Mr. C. I salute you.
Like any great Batman tale our hero was pushed to his limits; but his heart, his humanity and his “never say die” attitude got him through. I’m not going to say how, because you seriously, SERIOUSLY need to read this series. I did NOT see that resolution, and I really wasn’t prepared for that cliffhanger ending. Remember what I said about how “nothing ever ends?” Check these out:

Conclusion

The Batman Who Laughs #7 delivered on every front. The story was engaging, the characters heroic and/or terrifying and the dialogue was on point. The line-art and color were resplendent and the series both read and looked amazing. Joshua Williamson and David Marquez have a tough act to follow, but they’ve been left with some incredible toys and a great sandpit to play in. If their Batman/Superman series is even half as good as this one was, then fans are in for a treat.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment

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