The Batman Who Laughs #7 is published by DC Comics, written by Scott Snyder, with art by Jock, colors by David Baron, and letters by Sal Cipriano. Previously, Bruce Wayne pushed everyone away after ingesting Joker toxin. As he leaves his loved ones behind, he hopes to call upon the deranged psyche he needs to stop the Batman Who Laughs before all of Gotham become as deranged as him.
The issue picks up as a now deranged Bruce Wayne faces off with The Batman Who Laughs. At Wayne Manor, in hopes of stopping the Batman Who Laughs, Bruce Wayne turns into his darkest self. It is there he realizes the freedom of being the worst version of yourself. As Batman fights The Batman Who Laughs, James Gordon and his son, James Gordon Jr., continue to take on the Grim Knight who has a vendetta against the Gordons.
Most of the pages in The Batman Who Laughs #7 are bathed in red, from the background, to Bruce’s injuries, to the Batman Who Laughs’ lips that are stained with either blood, or Mac’s classic orange-red matte lipstick, Lady Danger. The color palate from Baron adds to the overall dark and horrific aesthetic created by the narrative and Jock’s art. Following that theme, the lettering consists mostly of the scratched up red font previously associated with The Batman That Laughs. Now, coinciding with Bruce’s complete descent into madness, the lettering for his speech also reflects The Batman Who Laughs. As the issue goes on, the lettering begins to change showing just how much Bruce is -or is not- affected by the toxin.
Additionally, at the start of The Batman Who Laughs #7, the hidden messages continue, with clues being hidden in the white letters that are scattered amongst the red. This is different from previous issues where the hidden words were formed from the red letters. This is another fantastic visual cue showing just how mad Bruce has become.
Outside of Cipriano’s excellent lettering, Jock’s art perfectly blends whimsy and mystery with horror. The initial confrontation between Bruce and the Batman Who Laughs contains a lot of incredible creature design. At times, the Batman Who Laughs looked like some type of ethereal demon.
My only qualm with the book is that the pacing slows down so drastically in the last third of the book. It makes it feel like it is dragging on compared to the beginning altercation. While I love the concept of starting with high-octane action and spending the rest of the issue closing the story, it moved slower than I would have liked. That being said, this is still an incredible issue with a compelling story and conclusion.
Overall, The Batman Who Laughs #7 has the elements that make any great Batman story; high stakes, a compelling villain, and a Bruce Wayne on the brink of insanity. Bruce’s descent into madness is haunting and as the book concludes, readers are left questioning their own psyche, their own worth, and their own demons. As one of the final Batman stories from Snyder, it is bittersweet to see this epic mini-series end.
The Batman Who Laughs #7 is available now everywhere comic books are sold.
The Batman Who Laughs #7
My only qualm with the book is that the pacing slows down so drastically in the last third of the book. Overall, The Batman Who Laughs #7 has the elements that make any great Batman story; high stakes, a compelling villain, and a Bruce Wayne on the brink of insanity.