Hello and welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club! This week, to celebrate the upcoming new on-going title starring The Joker (which you can read a preview of courtesy of DC HERE!), we’ll be covering the one-shot Batman: The Man Who Laughs, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Doug Mahnke!
And if you’re looking for more Bat-related stuff to read (this is a shorter story than I remember it being), I got you, boo. Here’s some more adjacent Bat book stuff to sink your teeth in!
Of course, we continue to cross-over with Renegade Robins in dealing with the preludes to and aftermath of the Robin War, as well as the weekly series Batman & Robin Eternal!
There’s also threads for Damian Wayne in the New 52 Batman & Robin, where he encounters the villain Terminal and faces off against The Joker in Death of The Family (pun intended!). They’re also following Jason Todd during the Rebirth run of Red Hood & The Outlaws, now Red Hood: Outlaw as he breaks off on his own!
Meanwhile, over at the Dick Grayson Fan Club, for the month of March they’ll be covering the Nightwing arc, The Untouchable! Please hold your MC Hammer jokes at the door – or don’t!
Meanwhile, over on Harley’s Crew, they’ll be covering the critically acclaimed mini-series Harleen, written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic!
And over at Clocktower, the Birds of Prey club is spotlighting the origins of Barbara Gordon in Batgirl: Year One! I think this one is almost over right now (which reminds me I need to finish reading it!), but I’ll probably link the latest one if it starts up when this reading is still current.
Over at the Justice League Book Club, they will be covering the recent mega event Dark Nights: Metal, featuring so many types of Batmen it’s almost hard to keep track!
I think that’s everything, but if I missed something, please let us know and shout it out. We’re all one big happy Bat-Family.
I really want to like this comic more than I do. This was the second major attempt to follow up on the tease at the end of Year One (the first one being Denny O’Neil’s 1993 story “Images” from LOTDK), and neither one of them quite deliver what I would have wanted. Perhaps the problem is that they want to have their cake (address the Joker’s threat to the water supply as indicated in Batman #407) and eat it too (adapt the plot of Batman #1 from 1940).
And maybe the other problem is that modern updates of the Joker’s original Golden Age debut will always be measured against the “Five-Way Revenge” and “Laughing Fish” stories from the 1970s, which pretty much beat them to the punch.
I quite enjoyed reading this book. It felt like the story moved pretty quickly and there’s not much extraneous stuff going on. The way the story was split between Gordon’s narration and Batman’s was a nice touch.
I’m not sure if I’ve read anything else by Brubaker, but if this is a good example of his narrative style then I might like more of his work. Just a quick edit: I saw that he did work on Gotham Central and Turning Points, two things this club has covered that I enjoyed. I could probably pay more attention to the writers
It had been a while since I read this story and I have to say I think it holds up. First off, the art here is great – Doug Mahnke draws a mean, creepy as heck version of Joker, and I liked the steps we see of Bruce doing some proper detective work and figuring out who The Joker could be.
I hadn’t heard of this one, but I’m gonna have to give it a read. I will say from the the description that the issue you link to doesn’t sound as…serious? Like, something about Joker’s cousin Melvin…
Understandable – those are very hard to beat!
You’re welcome! I could totally see Dick doing that – probably at Titans Tower with the rest of the group in various degrees of shaking their damn head.
Definitely agreed on the pacing – when given almost three times as many allotted pages, they do a good job of expanding the story without too much filler. The duel narrating also evokes the classic Batman: Year One.
Hah, it’s all good.
If you’re looking for more Batman from Brubaker, we also covered back in July an Elseworlds story he did called Batman: Gotham Noir.
It’s also drawn by the exquisite Sean Phillips who is a frequent collaborator with Brubaker, especially on his Criminal series.