Writer: Tynion IV / Artist: Janín / DC Comics
It’s Legion of Doom #2 y’all, which means we get to see what the big bads have been up to without those pesky heroes getting in the way. This issue delivered on answering a lot of questions, while giving us time with everyone’s new favorite villain: The Batman Who Laughs. We find out that Lex has seemingly had him locked up since the end of Dark Nights: Metal, and he’s an integral part of the Legion of Doom’s plans.
The major theme of this issue was trust, which made the dynamics really tense. When we’re kickin’ it with the League, everyone is generally trying to work together for the greater good of the world. Their trust for each other isn’t in question. But the LOD all have singular motivations, and they’re really only working together because it helps them inch toward their own goals. Because of that, you get the sense that something could pop off at any second.
No such scene was tenser than the one between Lex Luthor and The Batman Who Laughs. Let’s call him “Laughs” because it’s easier to type, and it’s funny. Like I mentioned earlier, Laughs is imprisoned and only Lex has the key. You’d think that Luthor holds all the power in this scenario. And with anyone else, he would. But Laughs is cut from a different cloth. His presence is so powerful that the Joker, Grodd, and Sinestro are worried—I repeat, worried about Laughs coming into the fold.
This issue also gave us some insight into some of those lingering questions we’ve had. I wouldn’t say it outright answered everything. But if you’ve been paying attention, you can draw some conclusions about where things are headed. I prefer this way of seeping out information. It keeps the audience on its toes and prolongs the mystery.
Speaking of mystery, I really like Laughs’ design. Everything about that character is mysterious. But the most ominous aspect, to me, is the fact that we can’t see his eyes. The eyes are the gateway to the soul, and the fact that we have to use our imagination to think about what his eyes look like is creepier than actually seeing them. Mikel Janín was on art duties for this issue, and I really like how he handled the mystery of it all. He manages to draw Laughs in a way that makes it feels like at any second that spiked collar that covers his eyes could slip, and the horror of what lies beneath would be revealed.
Justice League #8 used the evilest villains of the DC Multiverse to conduct a case study on trust. I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t much of it to go around. And with The Batman Who Laughs rearing his creepy ass head, the Justice League & the Legion of Doom are both in for some trouble.
9 out of 10 doors to reach the Batman Who Laughs
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.
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