The Batman Who Laughs

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The Batman Who Laughs
The Batman Who Laughs and his Rabid Robins as depicted in The Batman Who Laughs #1 (January 2018)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceDark Days: The Casting #1 (September 2017)
Created byScott Snyder
Greg Capullo
In-story information
Alter egoBruce Wayne
Place of originEarth -22
Team affiliationsDark Knights of the Dark Multiverse
Legion of Doom
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Peak human physical condition
  • Skilled martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant
  • Utilizes high-tech equipment and weapons

The Batman Who Laughs is a fictional character in DC Comics. He is a supervillain, and the evil counterpart and alternate version of Batman within the multiverse. He is depicted as a hybrid of both Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Batman’s arch enemy Joker and is a member of the Dark Knights. His first appearance was in the crossover storyline Dark Nights: Metal, before later receiving his own series. He was created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

Publication history[edit]

The Batman Who Laughs was created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo first appearing in the comic book Dark Days: The Casting. The character was depicted as an alternate universe Batman who doesn't have a code against killing. Snyder explained his intent on the character in an interview by the Hollywood Reporter. "He's basically Batman's worst nightmare come to life: Batman, if he was infected by the Joker toxin and lost all sense of ethics. What he wants to do in Gotham is bring Bruce’s worst nightmares to life."[1]

The character would then get his own solo comic book series drawn by Jock. Snyder's intention was to hope that he would be popular enough to get his own comic book series and that Jock "would be the perfect person to do it".[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Batman Who Laughs is a version of Batman from Earth-22. In that reality, the Earth-22 Joker learns of Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne and kills most of Batman's other rogues, along with Commissioner Gordon. He then subjects thousands of Gotham City’s citizens to the chemicals that transformed him, subsequently killing several parents in front of their children with the goal of turning them into a combination of himself and Batman. When Batman grapples with the Joker, it results in the latter's death as Batman is exposed to a purified form of the chemicals that gradually turn him into a new fusion of Batman and the Joker, one with Bruce Wayne's intelligence and physical strength and the Joker's psychopathy and warped, sadistic sense of humor. The process proves irreversible by the time Batman discovers what is happening to him. The Batman Who Laughs proceeds to take over Earth-22, killing off most of his allies and turning his son Damian Wayne into a mini-Joker and recruiting the children infected by the Joker Toxin as his "Rabid Robins". The Batman Who Laughs seems to be the leader or second-in-command of Barbatos' Dark Knights and recruits the other members.[2]

After arriving on Prime-Earth, the Batman Who Laughs takes control of Gotham and oversees events at the Challenger's mountain. He distributes joker cards to the Batman's Rogues, giving them the ability to alter reality and take over sections of the city.[3] Accompanying him are Dark Damian and three Rabid Robins, having intended to destroy all of reality by linking the Over-Monitor to Anti-Monitor's astral brain. The Batman Who Laughs is defeated when the Prime Universe Batman is aided by the Joker, who notes the alternate Batman's failure to perceive this scenario due to still being a version of Batman.[4]

While assumed dead, the Batman who Laughs is revealed to be in the custody of Lex Luthor, who offers him a place in the Legion of Doom.[5] At some point during the formation of the Legion of Doom, Joker met with Lex Luthor and advised him not to bring the Batman Who Laughs into the group. The Batman Who Laughs talks to Lex Luthor where they talk about the worlds beyond the Source Wall as Joker listens in.[6]

In the Watchmen sequel, Doomsday Clock, the Batman Who Laughs is among the villains who are analyzed by Doctor Manhattan when Guy Gardner uses his power ring to show the constructs of villains that they have faced.[7]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Batman Who Laughs is depicted as having the same abilities as Batman. Like the inhabitants of the Dark Multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs has a weakness to Nth Metal.


The Batman Who Laughs has been commonly described as "horrifying" by website authors.[8][9][10] Comic Book Resources describes The Batman Who Laughs as comprising all the "best" parts of Batman and the "worst" parts of the Joker.[11]

The character has been compared to Judge Death in design.[12] Scott Snyder, the creator of The Batman Who Laughs, noted that the two characters have a similar aesthetic.[13][14]


Funko has released action figures of the character.[15] Various figures from companies such as Diamond Select Toys and Prime 1 Studios have produced figures as well.[14]


  1. ^ a b McMillan, Graeme (December 3, 2018). "'Batman Who Laughs' Reveals Dark Knight's Worst Fears (Exclusive Preview)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  2. ^ The Batman Who Laughs #1. DC Comics.
  3. ^ Teen Titans Vol. 6 #12. DC Comics.
  4. ^ Dark Knights: Metal #6. DC Comics.
  5. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #7. DC Comics.
  6. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #13. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Doomsday Clock #9. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Polo, Susana (11 December 2018). "The Batman Who Laughs is back, and he brought a new Nightmare Batman". Polygon. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ Pulliam-Moore, Charles (8 October 2017). "The Nightmarish, Joker-esque Batman From Metal Has an Amazing, Horrifying Origin Story". io9. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  10. ^ "There's a New Batman Who Laughs, and He Just Might Be a Good Guy". CBR. 17 February 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  11. ^ LaPointe, Sarah (7 December 2018). "Dark Knight's Mettle: 15 Things That Make The Batman Who Laughs the Best (and Worst) Batman". Comic Book Resources. Quebec, Ontario, Canada: Valnet, Inc. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  12. ^ Brown, Dan (15 March 2019). "Brown: The Batman Who Laughs seems inspired by Judge Death". The London Free Press. London, Ontario, Canada: Postmedia. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  13. ^ Burlingame, Ross (July 12, 2018). "Scott Snyder and Jock On Their "Terrifyingly Expansive" Series, 'The Batman Who Laughs'". Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Konrad, Jeremy (August 2, 2018). "Batman Who Laughs Gets a Ridiculously Awesome Statue From Prime 1 Studio". Bleeding Cool.
  15. ^ Fallon, Sean (January 15, 2019). "The Batman Who Laughs Previews Exclusive Funko Pop is Almost Here". Retrieved March 27, 2019.

External links[edit]