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Batman: Man Who Laughs Paperback – 27 Mar 2009
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About the Author
Ed Brubaker is an award-winning writer whose work includes Batman, Captain America, Criminal, Daredevil, The Dead Boy Detectives, Deadenders, Gotham Central, The Immortal Iron Fist, Lowlife, Scene of the Crime, Sleeper and Uncanny X-Men. Doug Mahnke has pencilled Aliens, Batman, Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein and Superman: The Man of Steel. He is now the artist on Stormwatch: Post-Human Division. Patrick Zircher's work includes Iron Man, New Warriors and Thunderbolts.
Top customer reviews
The four stars is based on the collection as a whole. while it was disappointing to only get half a book starring the Joker both stories are enjoyable.
The first half which is Batman the Man who Laughs is set after Batman: Year One, Shaman, The Monster Men and The Mad Monk and details the first confrontation between Batman and Joker. The storyline although its no Killing Joke is still highly enjoyable and amusing. With mentions in other novels of the joker attempting to poison Gothams water supply here we finally see the plan in fruition. While its hardly a master plan i take into account that this is Jokers first go round with Gotham so i cut him some slack. Overall its relatively well written with a few good joker lines but it does feel a little rushed. it would have been good to explore Batman and Jokers first encounter in more detail and see the relationship develop between them.
The art is ok i much prefer the clear crisp solid art of books such as Killing Joke but the art in this story is still better than certain other novels.
The second story Made of Wood consists of Detective comics Issues: #784 - #786 and is set years away from the Man Who Laughs story set after the No Mans Land, Officer Down, Murderer and Fugitive story lines with Jim Gordon well into retirement. it mainly revolves around a Batman and Vintage Green Lantern team up (Not the cool Green Lantern). Involving alot of detective work and not too much action some may find this story boring. The story has no particular wow factors and is overall pretty mediocre but still enjoyable. I doubt this would have sold well as its own Graphic Novel. I myself, who try (note the try) to be a bit of a chronology buff just enjoyed seeing Jim Gordon actually in action again after his long ongoing absense and occasional cameo in the bat stories set around the time of these issues publication. but obviously you wont have those same views as we just saw Jim Gordon a couple of pages ago in the previous years ago storyline.
The art is actually better than Man Who Laughs being detailed, defined and solid with good use of shadows and character details. If modern Batman novels where drawn like this i would be alot happier whilst reading them.
Combined the stories just scrape four stars this is a point of interest story if anything, just remember you are only buying half a Joker book. and the second half may confuse you if your not familiar with Batman lore.
"The Man Who Laughs" is a `Batman: Year One' story, (re)telling the Joker's first appearance and encounter with Batman and Captain Jim Gordon. A crime scene is discovered where someone has been conducting chemical experiments on people - with what we recognises as Joker Venom. The Joker then makes a TV broadcast, stealing an outside-broadcast van, and threatening to kill a number of prominent Gotham businessmen, including Bruce Wayne. Batman slowly works his way through the clues to the chemical company where he fought the Red Hood, where he spots some clues that might indicate the Joker was the man in the mask... Meanwhile, the Joker intends to poison the inhabitants of Gotham in revenge for what has happened to him...
This is an excellent story, with superb artwork.
"Made of Wood" is a three-part story guest starring the Golden Age Green Lantern, and now-retired Commissioner Gordon. Gordon discovers a body dumped in front of the statue to the Green Lantern erected in the 1940s. Back in the day, there were a number of similar killings, with the bodies, then and now, marked with the message "made of wood". Gordon starts investigating the original murders while Batman and the Green Lantern investigate the current, and the stories eventually converge, which is good news for Gordon, as he has discovered the killer, the hard way...
This is a good story, with excellent artwork, but I couldn't help thinking "was that it" at the end, but that might have been just me, and should not be taken as a reflection on the quality of the storytelling.