Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2013
In 1987 Frank Miller rewrote the origin of the Batman in Batman: Year One.
In The Man Who Laughs – written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Doug Mahnke and David Baron – they re-wrote the origin of The Joker and the Joker’s first encounter with Batman.
Brubacker’s Joker is violent and sadistic from the first page forward. Captain James Gordon and other officers are investigating a building filled with mutilated corpses. The Joker follows that with a trip to the Williams Medical Center. After killing the security guards, he arms the inmates and releases them on the streets. Batman must stop them. Stop him, and bring the sociopathic Joker to justice.
The Joker is Batman’s greatest foe. If you’re interested in a nice journey through the Joker’s chaos I recommend this reading list:
– Batman: Year One
– Batman: The Man Who Laughs
– Batman: The Killing Joke
Others would recommend reading Batman: The Long Halloween, followed by its sequel, Batman: Dark Victory. I love Jeph Loeb‘s writing, but I’m not a fan of Tim Sale’s artwork.
I’m glad I read The Man Who Laughs. It’s an excellent story with very good artwork. The only fault I found with the Man Who Laughs story was that compared to other stories in the Batman catalog, it’s too short. Not that it felt short, it’s just a shorter roller coaster ride.