Writer: Scott Snyder
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
The Batman Who Laughs #6 is the penultimate chapter of what has so far been a gripping story that is dripping in elements of horror, suspense, a good old-fashioned super heroics. Over the course of this mini-series the Batman Who Laughs (a dark multiverse version of Bruce Wayne who has all the brilliance and skill of Batman mixed with the demented cruelty of the Joker) has been collecting Bruce Wayne’s to show the Prime version of Batman that he is the only one not happy. The Batman Who Laughs has also been working with the Grim Knight (a Dark Multiverse version of Batman who picked up the gun Joe Chill dropped on the night he killed the Wayne’s and young Bruce used it to kill Joe Chill that night) to pollute the Gotham Water supply with a Joker toxin that will change the entire population of Gotham into the ‘Best Versions of Themselves’. Standing in their way is Jim Gordon, his homicidal son James, and a Batman who is on the verge of succumbing to the Joker Toxin that infected him all the way back in issue #1. What could possibly go wrong?
The Batman Who Laughs #6 is another fantastic issue in what has been a stellar mini-series. Scott Snyder’s history in horror is on full display in this issue as this book is both creepy and scary. This is especially apparent as Snyder build toward a final confrontation between Batman and the Batman Who Laughs, as the latter just has a sickening ability to torment our protagonist. This horror element is rendered beautifully by the incredible artwork of Jock and his collaboration with David Baron on colors. Jock’s sketchy and dynamic artwork beautifully fits this story. Jock’s work has a horror element when he depicts the Batman vs. the Batman Who Laughs fight, and amplified this element when he shows how the Joker Toxin is impacting Batman’s vison of the world and how he is teetering on the brink of losing his sanity. His work then takes on a more tradition, urban warfare vibe when he depicts the Grim Knight taking on Jim and James Gordon (who happen to find a couple of suits very similar to Batman Beyond). Baron’s colors shift throughout as well. He uses bright reds to increase the intensity of Batman’s new vision of the world while using a darker pallet that almost makes the book feel grimy for the Grim Knights scenes. Rounding out the creative team is Sal Cipriano’s letters who are an integral part of the story. Over the course of the series it is the lettering, from Batman’s first-person narration, that lets us know how far along the toxin is in Batman as his white letters have morphed into red, matching the Batman Who Laughs dialogue. What began as subtle, with one letter here or there, has slowly morphed to red being the primary color of Batman’s words with only a few white letters here and there. It is a great visual gimmick and a perfect cap to this incredible collection of creative talent who have all brought out the best in one another.
Verdict: Buy! The Batman Who Laughs #6 is a comic reading experience. The book is dripping in horror, suspense, and super heroics. It is an example of creators bringing out the best in each other as Snyder, Jock, Baron, and Cipriano have created another incredible issue of what has been a magnificent mini-series.