Each issue so far has had me on tentahooks, this series so far is just so entertaining and so explosive. Usually I take my time whilst reading comics, to make sure that I catch every line and understand fully what’s going on. I cannot do this with this series, I need to know what’s happened and I need to now know!
This cover is absolutely chilling. Seeing such a menacing grin on the face of our hero is just terrifying, especially when you then glance to his chest where he’s smearing blood across his symbol of hope! This cover by David Marque is absolutely incredible, it’s just straight up menacing and perfectly reflects the issue, which is always an added bonus for me.
The variant cover is no exception. Paolo Pantalena showcases his Dceased variant cover, and I’ve said this before, but I love these. Both Superman and Batman look completely rabid on this cover, from the torn and dirtied capes, to their bulging veins, they both look terrifying. Pantalena has really paid attention to detail here, and has created something special.
This issue kicks off with Superman carrying out Batman’s plan from the last issue regarding the infiltration of The Batman Who Laughs’ mind in an attempt to decipher his latest scheme. The reward of the plan is great but the risk is even deadlier. To find out just what exactly this villain is up to next, Superman must go undercover and gain the his trust.
Straight off the bat, these opening scenes are phenomenal. Not only is the action scintillating, but we also receive incredible character development, subterfuge, plot twists and Superman really losing his cool in very epic fashion. Superman really is let off the leash in this issue and I love it. Normally Superman isn’t susceptible to baiting but seeing The Man of Steel lose his temper and lash out is just thrilling. It all adds to the theme highlighted in the aforementioned ‘Tower of Babel’ and what has been expertly touched upon in this issue.
This sequence reintroduced a theme featured prominently in the ‘Tower of Babel’ story arc which focused on a truly fascinating facet of The Batman’s personality. The further exploration of this theme really worked for me and increased The Batman who Laughs threat level tenfold especially if this is your first encounter with the character. Having an intimate knowledge of the ‘Tower of Babel’ story arc, Superman’s actions in this sequence even at the behest of Batman totally justify The Dark Knight’s ‘paranoia’ in my opinion. Batman is an extremely complex individual and this particular facet of his character is rather complicated to say the least.
The issue continues at breakneck pace as the true extent of The Batman Who Laughs’ scheme slowly begins to materialize as one of Batman’s closest allies is revealed to be infected. Batman’s facial expression completely sells this harrowing turn of events. You really do feel for the character. The shock and pain radiates off of him in waves. Artist David Marquez must truly be credited for this, as he only uses one panel to convey these emotions.
Like with the first half of the issue, this sequence has it all. The action once again takes centre stage and is utterly breathtaking. Both Superman and Batman shine in this sequence as the duos full repertoire of powers and fighting prowess is respectively on display. You really do feel the impact of every offensive move especially Superman’s arctic breath.
The issue closes out with The Batman who Laughs plan gaining further traction as another hero succumbs to this twisted villains vile infection. It’s not entirely clear how this fallen hero makes his way into the narrative but his emergence is straight up tense and horrifying all the same. An incredible splash page really details the ramifications of this heroes fall to darkness.
The artwork created by interior artist David Marquez is breathtaking and has a real cinematic quality to it. The series feels like a big budget summer blockbuster and this issue is no exception. The inclusion of high impact splash pages that are full of explosive action only adds to that feeling. This issue along with its predecessors radiate prestige format series. This is firmly down to the status of the creative team and their cinematic vision.
Batman/Superman #3 is another wonderful issue that packs a punch, well several actually as the action never lets up for long. Writer Joshua Williamson seems to really understands The Batman Who Laughs as he consistently writes cohesive dialogue for him that marries up to that of Scott Snyder who co-created the character.