Batman delves deeper into his own darkness to battle twisted versions of himself from the Dark Multiverse.

The Batman Who Laughs 2
Written by Scott Snyder
Pencils and Inks by Jock
Colors by David Baron

While I really loved the FIRST ISSUE of this miniseries, which spins out of the DARK NIGHTS: METAL event that Scott Snyder wrote, the second issue really brought out the biggest issue I have with Snyder’s take on Batman. It’s the same issue I had when Grant Morrison was on the main BATMAN title. Cosmic-level Batman just doesn’t work for me.

I love the detective aspects of the character, the normal man who has built himself up to be the pinnacle of human achievement fighting bad guys in the streets of Gotham. Batman wasn’t the first “street-level” character in comic books, but Batman became the archetype for this over the decades. And I think his best stories are ones that feature him on the streets of Gotham, fighting the good fight.

Take him out of his element, make him a guy who can take down a group of Martians on his own or throw him into a cosmic battle against multiversal doppelgängers and something about Batman just feels less than. It’s probably why I’ve ditched Snyder’s Batman a couple of times now.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a bunch of fun moments in the second issue of THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS – especially between Jim Gordon and Batman – in disguise as Harvey Bullock – as Batman tries to figure out his counterpart’s plans in killing a bunch of other Bruce Waynes. But the story has lost a bit of the shine that made the first issue feel so special.

Maybe this will just be another story that works better in a collected edition – I thought METAL was great when I could read it all in one sitting instead of spread out over time – but as its own thing, the second issue is a bit of a letdown.