Thursday, 30 June, 2022

Comicsphere: Batman – The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker & Doug Mahnke

batman the man who laughs I’m not sure if the release of a new Batman film will have a knock on effect as far as comic books goes — it may bring Batman to the forefront of people’s minds as they are in their local comic shop whereas it wouldn’t have been there before. All this to say that if it were to make you consider spending your hard-earned cash on a pictographical representation of the dark knight you would be doing yourself a massive favour if you picked up this book. This book’s whole setting seems designed to be a realistic backdrop against which the insanity of the joker sparkles and glitters and it does. It is a deceptively simple technique, one that it takes real skill to pull off. I love Brubaker’s writing. I came to him through Deadenders, which I have written about here and he is one of those writers who truly seems able to write to match the characteristics of his protagonists. In Deadenders Beezer was petulant, confused, angry and disillusioned and that really seeped into the fabric of the book. Here you have three players who shape the feel of the story: Gordon, Batman and The Joker and a certain amount of tension is derived just from the sense of difference that arises out of the shifting perspectives that these three very different personas allow. To make something your own, in the space of one book, with such robust archetypes as those Brubaker is writing with here is a real testament to a writer’s skills. It’s funny — I have read a few different threads on comic review sites now where writer-for-hire work is looked down on as somehow being lesser than creator owned work where in truth I think it is a hell of a lot harder to work within the confines that an established franchise comes with. To be creative whilst being faithful to the idea you are servicing is no easy task. If you are working on your own creation you have one hell of a lot more freedom to take liberties with them. Anyway — go buy this: it hits all the right notes.

One comment on “Comicsphere: Batman – The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker & Doug Mahnke

Yeah I love Batman movies…but I try to keep perspective…this Heath Ledger fetish drives me nuts…the idea that he may win a posthumous Academy award is just a sad reflection of our hero worship of people who fail to survive…the most basic of our skills…his joker will just go into the pantheon of Jokers….I think it poor of thought to discount Jack Nicholson and even Caesar Romero…yes I said it Caesar Romero gave a credible portrait of Joker…but this is how this sad individual allowed himself to be remembered…A psychotic clown who in seven years will be portrayed masterfully by one of those Zach and Cody kids…any ways thanks for the rant…please visit me….


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