I still cannot imagine for the life of me why DC Comics published these two Batman stories together in one volume, let alone why the volume was name The Man Who Laughs (other than the title story sharing the same name). I can only wager a guess that when it was published The Dark Knight (the movie) was looming on the horizon and DC Comics wanted to get as much Joker/Batman as they could on the shelves. The two stories contained in this graphic novel include Batman: The Man Who Laughs and Batman: Made of Wood.
Batman: The Man Who Laughs introduces (again) the Joker, Batman's number one villain and a fan favorite from the beginning. While the story is familiar to most (especially those outside the comic world who have seen the original Batman movie), it is portrayed in an excellent, very straightforward fashion. There is not a lot of depth to the story; but the visuals and characterizations are what make this story strong.
Batman: Made of Wood was originally a three part story in Detective Comics, revolving around an unsolved mystery. Not only does the Joker not appear in this arc, but the Green Lantern makes an appearance. The story itself is a typical murder mystery with a retired Jim Gordon playing a major role as well. The depiction of Jim Gordon is perfect, in my opinion. In a collection titled The Man Who Laughs, one would expect the Joker to be a central figure in both stories; however, no mention of the Joker is made in Made of Wood.
Both stories are well told and wonderfully illustrated, making the stories real and full of life; but the seemingly polar opposites of the stories make this an awkward collection. With so many great Joker stories out there, and trying to capitalize on the Batman/Joker mania with the upcoming (at the time of publication) The Dark Knight film, could there not have been a better collection? Especially considering that Batman: Made of Wood was longer than Batman: The Man Who Laughs.
Fans of Batman will be sure to enjoy this one; but fans of the Joker will surely be disappointed.
Captain Jim Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department enters a murder scene unlike anything he has ever encountered. Likewise, for some of his veteran officers as well as a paramedic who begins to vomit, while carrying out one of the dead bodies. The victims appeared to have gone under some type of experiment, which has left them all dead with very large smiles on their faces. Batman joins Gordon, and both of them are unaware of what to make of this. Later, a psychotic clown ambushes a TV news … more
Here goes another follow up to Batman Year One, in fact, this could be considered the direct sequel. This story chronicles the first meeting with the Joker, and the opening to the story will give a very good idea to the reader on what kind of monster Batman is up against. Some people don't prefer the second story Made of Wood, which features the Golden age Green Lantern and Batman trying to solve a murder mystery. I thought it was a fun story. This will fit nicely in your comic collection also. … more
I still cannot imagine for the life of me why DC Comics published these two Batman stories together in one volume, let alone why the volume was name The Man Who Laughs (other than the title story sharing the same name). I can only wager a guess that when it was published The Dark Knight (the movie) was looming on the horizon and DC Comics wanted to get as much Joker/Batman as they could on the shelves. The two stories contained in this graphic novel include Batman: The Man Who Laughs and Batman: … more
Thanks for viewing my profile! I am a college administrator that currently works in housing a private university. The main purpose of my job (other than providing a safe and comfortable living environment … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Witness Batman's historic first encounters with his deadliest foe, The Joker, in this hardcover volume featuring two tales written by Ed Brubaker (GOTHAM CENTRAL, Captain America), winner of 2007 Eisner Award for Best Writer.
A mysterious homicidal maniac is murdering prominent citizens of Gotham City, each time leaving a ghastly grin on the victims' lifeless faces. Batman soon tracks down the killer: The Joker!
This volume gives readers new insight into the early encounters between Batman and The Joker that led the Clown Prince of Crime down the path to insanity. Guest-starring original Green Lantern Alan Scott.