Ripped from the pages of DARK NIGHTS: METAL comes the Batman Who Laughs, a striking version of the Caped Crusader who makes nightmares shudder.

The BATMAN BLACK & WHITE line brings to life interpretations of the World’s Greatest Detective and select Gotham City characters from the comics industry’s brightest stars.

Limited Edition of 5,000

Measures approximately 7″ tall

$80 US • On Sale August 2019 from DC Collectibles

In Dark Nights: Metal, our heroes learn that everything they’ve ever dreaded split off into its own dark universe where nightmare became reality. And when Bruce Wayne mulled over the most terrifying consequences of killing the Joker, The Batman Who Laughs was breathed into existence. This grim take on the Caped Crusader is a Batman that was poisoned by a toxin that floated on the Clown Prince’s dying breath. Joker’s literal last laugh transformed Batman into a twisted amalgamation of our hero and his greatest enemy.

First Impression

“Well, that’s terrifying and a totally perfect representation of Greg Capullo’s original artwork,” was my first thought, and it’ll likely cross your mind initially as well. For guests to your home or office that are just casual fans or totally uneducated in modern Bat-lore, they’ll ask “Is that Joker dressed as Batman?” or “Is that one of the guys from Hellraiser?” Either way, it’s not something that’s going to go unnoticed. Oh. Hell. No. It will grab everyone’s attention.

The original release was also sculpted by Jonathan Matthews and based on art by Greg Capullo, so what’s the difference between the two? Well, there’s one key difference, and it’s pretty obvious if you’ve seen what the 1st edition was like: this statue has a glossy finish and the original had a matte finish. Which one is better is quite subjective. I mean, The Batman Who Laughs does have a BDSM/Cenobite-esque appearance that lends itself to the shiny latex look we have here. But on the other hand, some collectors who want to display him with the rest of their Batman: Black & White statues might not want to add a glistening figure that stands out from the crowd. Also, the shiny coat is not soiled with blood/mud splatter like the 1st edition had, making this interpretation sleeker, but also a little less sinister.

Scrutinized

I really like the menacing pose of The Batman Who Laughs. He’s mid-swing here, whipping a length of chain that you can adjust however you see fit. The outstretched left hand with its fingers curled like Saruman playing with a palantir also does wonders to up the sculpture’s dread factor. And his base has a little something extra that other Batman Black & White figures don’t! Rather than sport the same ol’ same ol’ black and white bat symbol, the foundation sports a unique polyresin sculpt of a collared cape belonging to one of TBWL’s many slave Jason Todds (yeah, this character is pretty damn disturbing).

Browsing Amazon reviews and YouTube unboxing videos, I saw that the reception for the original run of this collectible was incredibly positive except for a few pieces that were not painted quite as carefully as their brethren. In the case of this sample of the 2nd edition, I think that the paint application is mostly fine. My copy has some white/gray tone that bled out from the mouth and onto the corner of the cowl, but that’s rather minor. The outline of his lipstick is also a little faint in spaces as well, but only noticeable from about 6-12 inches away. And while I’ve harped on about the glossiness of this piece, he does still have a matte finish to his skin and a metallic texture on the spiked visor. His hands even have dingy highlights on the raised surfaces to further delineate the character from his spandex-like wardrobe. And I haven’t really praised the costume well enough. There are a variety of subtle hues used here to make the various straps and buckles stand out from the rest of the uniform. And I love how the scallops/tails of the jacket flow out to still create that batwing motif and really sell the perverse union of Joker and Caped Crusader. However, I have to note that there are a couple of small bubbles in the gray paint of the shoulder pads that can be seen on close inspection.

Overall

If you missed out on the initial run of 5,000 matte-finished Batman Who Laughs statues and you are cool with the glistening, glossy finish of this new model, I believe you will be totally satisfied with your purchase. This is a really creepy, eye-catching piece that perfectly captures one of the most horrifying, nightmarish depictions of Batman.


DISCLAIMER: Batman News received this collectible from the manufacturer for the purpose of review.


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