The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1 review


Avert your eyes, readers, The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight is the polar opposite of your favorite childhood superhero!

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1

Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV

Artist: Eduardo Risso

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1 cover (Credit: DC Comics)

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1 is a one-shot spinning out of the Dark Nights: Metal and The Batman Who Laughs series. It takes off from the events of The Batman Who Laughs No. 3, where the Grim Knight had captured Jim Gordon. In this issue, we see the Grim Knight guiding Gordon to an unknown location, all the while recounting his own history in an effort to prove to Gordon just how far removed he is from the Caped Crusader that Gordon has grown to trust and rely on as a friend on Earth-1.

The Grim Knight’s origins began in a similar fashion to Earth-1’s Bruce Wayne – a night out with his parents turned to tragedy. But unlike Bruce, who vowed to use his grief for the betterment of mankind, the Grim Knight made a fateful decision that took him down a path of darkness.

At every turn, writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV subvert the iconic story that fans know and love to create a compelling, yet terrifying character in The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1. No stone is left unturned in an effort to build a world where the Batman is an extremist who cannot be controlled.

From Bruce’s well-intentioned need to study the art of fighting, his relationships with Gordon and his butler Alfred Pennyworth, and even Batman’s rogues gallery, there is little in the Dark Knight’s long-standing comic book history that isn’t put through the wringer in this issue.

More from Comics

Snyder has proved time and time again that he can get under the skin of Batman. This comes to light with how well he inverts Bruce Wayne’s origins in The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1. In conjunction with Tynion’s excellent grasp of the darker side of superhero life, this book is a disturbing and arresting read.

However, the Grim Knight isn’t pure evil. Unlike the Batman Who Laughs, he doesn’t intentionally go after innocents. In fact, the Grim Knight’s mission remains similar to Batman’s, it’s his methodology that is questionable. What would have been great to see in this issue is perhaps a little more on how the Grim Knight’s actions affect the average person. We get a glimpse of this near the end of the book, but it would have added more gravitas to the threat that the Grim Knight poses to Gotham had the writers included more instances of the same.

The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight No. 1 variant cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto (Credit: DC Comics)

What makes this installment come alive is Eduardo Risso’s art and Dave Stewart’s colors. Jock, the usual artist on The Batman Who Laughs series, takes a backseat to Risso’s work. While Risso reproduces Jock’s style in the contemporary storyline, it is the art for the Grim Knight’s flashbacks that truly stand out. Stylistically cleaner and crisper lines combined with Stewart’s noir-esque colors give the flashbacks an off-kilter and ethereal feel. The characters are also incredibly expressive, adding to the sense of foreboding that these panels intend.

Next. Shazam movie’s official runtime has been revealed. dark

The many versions of Batman that the Dark Nights: Metal storyline has conjured continues to be its greatest legacy. What makes the Grim Knight especially captivating is how similar he is to the superhero we all love, but with one little change right at the outset of his origin story. That decision makes him the creature he is today. Following this issue, One cannot wait to find out what the Grim Knight and the Batman Who Laughs have in store for Jim Gordon and Gotham City in the rest of the series.