Dark Nights: Metal may be over, but that does not mean fans will not be getting even more badass Dark Knights, as writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock work on The Batman Who Laughs, a miniseries featuring the most memorable baddie from Snyder and Greg Capullo's big DC event series.
Some new design work by Jock has been revealed on social media, first by Jock and later by Snyder, featuring a new Dark Knight, teased at Comic Con, who is "all lethal force," as Snyder describes it. The all-black, gun-toting Batman feels a bit like his origin will be twisted around the idea of The Punisher, where prior Dark Knights each represented a Batman-mangled member of the Justice League.
"What we're doing with The Batman Who Laughs is really central to what we're doing with Justice League and the stuff that we're building out of Justice League," Snyder told ComicBook.com. "It's easily the darkest Batman story I've ever done. I wanted to get back to my horror roots. Especially working with Jock, who worked with me on Wytches and Black Mirror, it was a perfect fit. It's a story I've been wanting to do since I did Metal, where he comes to Gotham and he brings a new Dark Knight with him — a Dark Knight I've been waiting to do for a while, too; it's kind of a Punisher Batman, because all of these are Bruce's worst nightmares about himself. So this is one that imagines that in the alley when Thomas and Martha are killed by Joe Chill, Joe Chill drops the gun and Bruce picks it up and does in Joe Chill — and from that point forward becomes a complete agent of lethal force, and becomes the deadliest version of Batman — the deadliest person, almost, on Earth, because not only is he this incredible weapon master but — I love Punisher and I have an idea for a Punisher story someday, but he's usually broke. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire. He has Wayne Enterprises stuff that just happens to be in the pipes and the electrical — everywhere. So he can get you no matter where you are; he can make your car drive off the bridge."
From BATMAN WHO LAUGHS coming from @Jock4twenty and me in Nov.
Designs for our new Dark Knight. Bruce's 2nd worst fear after the BMWL. All lethal force Bruce. pic.twitter.com/tBxhTyqMyR— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) August 17, 2018
Some fans have already objected to the notion of a gun-toting Batman, given the Dark Knights' well-established antipathy toward firearms. Snyder says that it wasn't a decision made lightly, and that the guns play into the high concept of the Dark Knights as entities.
"I gave this a lot of thought because it's a scary version of Bruce, but it's one that I got asked about a lot when I was on Batman. 'Why doesn't he kill The Joker?' 'What if he just killed this one person?'" Snyder explained. "This is sort of the nightmare of letting that go and saying this is who he'd be if he began killing and got worse and worse and worse. It really is the Batman Who Laughs coming here with a really tremendous force of disruption and having a very particular plan. You start seeing these dead Bruce Waynes popping up around Gotham, and Bruce has to autopsy them himself. I'm really proud of it; it brings in everybody: Joker, Arkham, and all that stuff, and it just gets darker and darker."
The Batman Who Laughs #1 will be available in stores and online November 15.