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The Batman Who Laughs is Scott Snyder's great deconstruction of Batman, a fitting sequel to the "Black Mirror" story in Detective Comics #871-881. In this companion series, Batman is confronted with other versions of himself and must come to the grips that the Bruce Wayne/Batman that we have come to know these past 80 years may actually be the worst Batman of them all, the nightmare version of wasted opportunity. Enacting a master plan that included the introduction of the Grim Knight and bringing back sociopath James Gordon Jr., son of Comissioner Gordon as a major element, the Batman Who Laughs has pushed Batman to his limits, always two steps ahead and is nearly complete in turning the Dark Knight into the a living nightmare.
Originally slated to be six issues with the final issue being oversized, Snyder admits to miscalculating the length of the final oversized issue. But instead of trying to cram 40 pages of material into 30-32 pages of art, Snyder asked DC Comics to split up the finale into a seventh issue instead. "I love it a lot more that we got the pages to let it breathe and end it with enough real estate," Snyder exclusively told SYFY WIRE.
SYFY WIRE has the exclusive look at the first six pages of The Batman Who Laughs finale. It once again features the stunning art of Jock, the explosive colors of David Baron and the ingenious lettering of Sal Cipriano, who not only gave a chilling treatment to the Batman Who Laughs, but also had to convey the transformation that Bruce Wayne underwent, inching towards becoming the Batman Who Laughs.
"To me there’s no one better in the business when it comes to that kind of intimate, nightmarish, twisted reality than Jock," Snyder said of his collaborator. "His stuff is so grounded, so inky, so carved, and urban. When we do horror in Wytches, it’s so anchored and twisted, just a little bit to make it unsettling."
"Here, instead, I wanted Jock to twist it entirely, so it felt completely nightmarish. He blew it out of the water, I am so proud of him, as well as the colors that David added to it as well, and Sal's twisted lettering. We all felt the importance of this book and in total honesty, none of us expected it to be the hit that it became."
The final issue lands with great impact, and provides a stunning study into who Batman is and how he views what he does, given the experience of meeting all of these other Bruce Waynes. But given that this and The Last Knight on Earth are the final solo Batman stories that Snyder is writing, is this the last we'll see of the Batman Who Laughs? Snyder says that because he's writing Justice League, he'll still be writing Batman in some capacity, and there are definite plans for the Batman Who Laughs.
"Everything that we’ve been building since 2017 matters," Snyder teased. "Every story is part of one architecture that we started planning back then that will culminate in this year, into 2020 and go through 2020. Even though The Batman Who Laughs is over, you can see he tried to create a serum that would infect people into Dark Multiverse versions of themselves and that will go into Batman/Superman and Superman."
Snyder finishes with a sinister laugh, but not before explaining, "You start to see heroes infected, you don’t know who’s infected and who’s not, meanwhile, Lex Luthor is in Justice League, powering up the villains with the resources of Lexcorp. If you are seeing what Year of Villain is shaping up to be, as it ramps up to its biggest moments in November and December, maybe Apex Lex and his suped-up villains, and the Batman Who Laughs and his infected army might clash."
Check out our entire exclusive preview of the first six pages of The Batman Who Laughs #7 along with a cover gallery with Jock and David Finch, then track down the entire issue in print (and in digital format) at a local comic shop near you on July 31.