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The Batman Who Laughs #1 (of 7)

Comicscore Index
Universal acclaim

Based on 22 critic ratings.

“A Batman who laughs is a Batman who always wins.” Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse—something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain—the Batman Who Laughs!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Length
30 pages
Amazon ASIN

22 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    The Batman Who Laughs #1 is thematically of a piece with a lot of what Scott Snyder has been doing with Batman in the last few years. The idea of exploring Batman’s inner demons, his darkest corners and worst fears while still not giving up hope or the occasional moment for quiet character introspection or even — gasp! — a joke illustrates that Snyder, who seemingly came on board fully-formed with “The Black Mirror” all that time ago, is in fact still evolving as a writer of Batman comics.

  • 100

    Comic Crusaders

    There is a nuanced beauty to the violence that only Jock could capture. His version of the Joker is straight out of the nightmare realm where evil creatures populate a city of shadows and woe. What he and Snyder have created is an operatic work of epic sadness and fear. One man’s journey to truly meet his inner demons and somehow defeat them. This issue leaves you wanting more, but afraid of what is to come.

  • 100

    Lyles Movie Files

    The Batman Who Laughs #1 hardly plays out like you’d expect as Snyder throws a massive detour in the next confrontation. This is looking like it will be a can’t miss mini-series and yet another home run for the Batman team.

  • 100

    DC Comics News

    This character. The Batman Who Laughs, had me from the beginning. The artwork of Capullo and Jock and imagination of Scott Snyder is well worth the investment into this series. Plan now to visit all your local comic store to invest in this issue and the five more planned. Move over Joker….. you have just been demoted to second string in the Rogues Gallery!

  • 100

    Black Nerd Problems

    Snyder and Jock convey a quiet intensity that leaves you unsettled well after you’ve finished reading. Few times do I have audible reactions while reading a comic book, but while reading this first issue, I gasped or winced more than once. That’s how you know you’ve got something special on your hands. Something you know they’re gonna be talking about for years to come. Who knows, when it’s all said and done, it might be up there as one of the best Batman stories of all time” but we’ve still got five issues until we get to the punchline.

  • 100


    Now this is a solid Batman mini-series! Snyder writes an action-packed page-turning thriller with The Batman Who Laughs. I haven’t read any of the Dark Nights Metal run, but you don’t need to in order to appreciate this comic. Jock renders the Joker perfectly and gives us cinematic sequences, including an epic car chase through Gotham.

  • 100


    Scott Snyder’s nightmarish creation is one of the best characters to come to the DC Universe is a long time. From the moment I met The Batman Who Laughs I knew I wanted more of him and man was the wait worth it. If the first issue is any indication of where this series is headed, fans are in for one of the best mini-series out of DC in years.

  • 100

    The Super Powered Fancast

    A Batman who laughs is a Batman who wins and a possible victory over this Batman STARTS with a shock.

    Bruce has a memory of his life as a child that he holds onto. One that helps him remember the life he had with the people who loved him.

    In the present, Batman is on the trail of a group of smugglers taking bodies out of Gotham. When he takes down the group, he discovers that the body he saved is Bruce Wayne.

    This isn’t a copy or clone of Bruce Wayne, it’s the real Bruce Wayne. An older Bruce that has the same experiences but changed direction at a point in his life that is significant in the comic book history of the character. The reveal confirms that Batman is about to face off against the Batman Who Laughs and Bruce has no idea what his Dark Multiverse doppelganger. The mystery gets even darker when another Batman (carrying a small arsenal) infiltrates Arkham in order to allow BWL to murder The Joker.

    What happens next is something shocking that I don’t want to spoil because I am absolutely recommending reading this book. Snyder created an insanely interesting character in Batman Who Laughs. You only got to see a glimmer of his menace in Dark Knights Metal, but that was enough to cement him as a truly dangerous threat. His continued presence in the DC universe after the events of Metal has kept a palpable and building fear at Bruce’s back and the fact that you don’t know what he wants or what his plans are make him even more dangerous to Bruce and everyone that he loves.

    Jock’s art in this issue is amazing. It is both dark and deliberate with moments of kinetic energy mixed in with quiet, horrifying menace.

  • 100

    Impulse Gamer

    This is a really interesting start to what feels like a Batman horror story. The Batman Who Laughs is one of the scarier villains in the Batman universe, despite being new to the scene. The book is well written and looks to be exploring some new ground. The art as well does a fantastic job of enhancing and complementing the story. This is going to be a really interesting series!

    This is a very interesting story with one hell of a twist at the end. The ending takes it over the top and will leave you hanging until next month!

  • 100

    Big Comic Page

    This was a real gem of an issue. The dynamic duo of Snyder and Jock is a match made in comic book heaven, a fact which has been proven since their work together on the pre-New 52 epic Black Mirror. Jock has a jagged edge to his art, blending shapes and shadows together to deliver realistic looking characters with a somewhat nightmarish edge that practically jump out of the page. As we’ve seen before his style works perfectly with the character of Batman and even more so with the horrifying Batman Who Laughs. Snyder has once again returned to the formula of Batman doing what he does best, being a detective. And when you add to that a terrifying foe who knows everything he does and has absolutely no boundaries and we’re in for an absolute treat with this story. I’m so hyped for the next issue, especially after the huge bombshell dropped on the last page!

  • 96

    Comic Watch

    Snyder takes us back to what he does best: a Batman book. Its a thoroughly amazing horror story that makes you root for the bad guy. Snyder, Jock, and Baron have crafted a masterpiece.

  • 96

    Forces Of Geek

    So then, there are a few more twists and turns. By the end of the issue, there is so much happening that it’s almost overwhelming. But it all makes sense and it’s visceral and wonderful. This is a VERY different take on the Batman mythos. But it’s a very well thought out one and is completely excellent from cover to cover. It’s an early Christmas treat indeed.

  • 95

    Geek Dad

    No one in the recent years before or after Snyder’s run has done a Joker story half as effective as Endgame, but in this miniseries, it seems clear that he still has one spectacular act to go for comics’ most iconic arch-enemies.

  • 90

    Comics: The Gathering

    Scott Snyder and Jock are a creative team that can do no wrong. Their work on DETECTIVE COMICS and WYTCHES remains as some of the best comics I’ve ever read, and them returning to the world of Batman with this six-issue miniseries is news I like to hear. And they impress yet again.

    Snyder has been the father of the recent JUSTICE LEAGUE titles this year and they certainly have a big goal in mind, and their stories are huge and epic in scale and scope. Here, Snyder wisely tones that down and shows us that his story is epic enough that it can focus in on a relatively smaller event while keeping it gritty. While there are clearly cosmic shenanigans afoot, Snyder walks the line beautifully and treats the Multiverse as a sort of terrifying playground of possibilities rather than the biggest thing a writer can throw at the reader.

    The Batman Who Laughs is back and with him is the Grim Knight, another Multiversal Batman. It’s not clear if he hails from the Dark Multiverse or if he’s just another Earth’s Batman, though. Another confusing aspect of the character, who says a grand total of four words in this issue, is that he reminds me a lot of the Dick Grayson Batman from Tom King and Tony S. Daniel’s THE GIFT arc in BATMAN earlier this year. That character was remarkably sparse of words too, but I may just be reaching. The combination of the Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight is deadly and I really can’t wait to see what the team does with them in the next few issues. There’s a tension here that Snyder and Jock portray wonderfully, matching their work in their BLACK MIRROR story.

    Jock is one of the definitive Batman artists of our generation, and his work here proves it. It’s as moody and edged as a Batman book should be, and David Baron’s stark colouring work is a joy to behold. Jock’s take on the titular villain feels more terrifying and weighty that any version of the character I’ve ever seen.

    If you’re picking anything up from DC this week, this should be at the top of your pile. It’s dark, moody, and tense, and beautifully rendered by Jock and David Baron.

  • 90


    This is a great opening to a Batman story. It has heart, it has action, it has horror both psychological and physical. It sets up a few intriguing themes that will likely be further developed as the series goes on. I think this story works best when you try to imagine what it’s like to experience what Bruce is experiencing. And while you’re at it, be sure to check out that Capullo variant. Enthusiastically recommended!

  • 87

    Weird Science DC Comics

    I went into this book hoping to like it and it exceeded my expectations big time. This start is more of a Batman story so if you are not the biggest Batman Who Laughs fan, I can still recommend this to you. It may not be a great introduction to the character (yet?), but the art is great and the ending will certainly have you pumped for more.

  • 86

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    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!

  • 80

    Sequential Planet

    This story really feels like a spiritual successor to Batman: The Black Mirror. Snyder and Jock are bringing their A game to this one. Although I had a few problems with this issue, it really was a great way to kick off the series. If you loved Dark Knights: Metal or The Black Mirror, I highly recommend that you pick this up. I’d also recommend it if you’re looking for a Batman story that is a little more grounded (despite the alternate-universe Batman and whatnot). I’m really looking forward to what Snyder and Jock have in store for this series.

  • 80

    Multiversity Comics

    “The Batman Who Laughs” #1 is great continuation of Scott Snyder’s Batman, and an engaging, moody story in its own right.

  • 80

    Dark Knight News

    The series is off to a strong start. Batman is given a mystery to solve from the get-go, the villains arrive early in the issue and the book just flies by.

    That last page is a killer! No Joke!

    Five more issues? Oh, go on then… why not?

  • 70

    Horror DNA

    The Batman Who Laughs shakes the Dark Knight to his core in a way that only Scott Snyder can. Yes, the path through this story is a little convoluted, but there’s more than enough to capture your attention. Now that we got to this point, I expect smooth sailings since we’re getting into the meat of the story. I love how Batman has been dealing with some solid horror elements in recent years and this comic is right in that wheelhouse.

  • 60


    However harsh I may sound, let me say this at least: Jock’s version of The Batman Who Laughs is gross and chilling enough to be worth the issue, should you be a Jock fan in particular. He brings a tangible sharpness to the character that oozes dread and agony, so it is a pity the character really isn’t in this issue at all.

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