In Josh Williamson and David Marquez’s epic takeover of the Batman Who Laughs storyline, we’ve seen battles in the sky and battles of the mind. Taking on the Batman Who Laughs is basically taking on the very worst Batman ever and as we all know nobody beats Batman. In this epic 3rd issue a new infected joins the fray, Superman loses control, and Jim Gordon’s role as the Batman Who Laughs’ stooge is revealed!
This third issue continues the trend of blockbuster-style art mixed in with good Superman and Batman writing. Josh Williamson is taking the series to the nth degree by playing around with the thoughts of our characters while they attempt to fight a villain who is always playing 4D chess. In the opening, we’re caught up to speed on what is going on via Batman’s captions who details why contingency plans to defeat all his friends and family were necessary but also dangerous. If he knows how to defeat the greatest heroes so does the Batman Who Laughs. This cuts to Superman fully infected and Batman explaining this is part of the plan even though it’s a dangerous plan indeed.
Scene stealing moments include the Batman Who Laughs hitting Superman hard in the feels by talking about his mother as well as detailing what his plans truly are. There’s also a shocking twist at the end that reveals the title heroes aren’t even his main concern in pulling off his plan to kill everything in the multiverse. One might argue The Batman Who Laughs is the worst threat in the universe after reading this issue and Williamson writes him wonderfully.
There is also a key scene between Batman and Jim Gordon taking place over an intense car chase. Leave it to Marquez to pull off a conversation like this whilst holding on to dear life on the hood of a speeding car. The facial expressions on Batman are harrowing too as you feel for him watching one of his closest friends speak from the dark side. This scene is also complete with some epic superhero shots complete with Batman grinning (he never does that) that’ll have you hoping they put these panels into poster form.
It’s also worth noting this book feels very organic to what Scott Snyder has done over the years. There are callbacks to elements that’ll have you giddy while also excited that everything that came before mattered. The lush tapestry of Snyder’s take on Batman is being held up and honored well here.
This is an exciting third issue that continues to ramp up the stakes while giving both the title characters heroic moments as well as moments to reveal their humanity. It’s good character drama mixed with great action in one of the prettiest superhero books on the stands today.