Since his debut in 2017’s Dark Days: The Casting #1, The Batman Who Laughs — an alternate version of Bruce Wayne from the Dark Multiverse corrupted by a deadly Joker toxin — has been a breakout character for DC. In an exclusive interview with CBR, The Batman Who Laughs co-creator Scott Snyder explained what makes the villain so terrifying and fascinating.
The appeal for the character comes from Snyder’s love of writing the Joker. He views the Joker as being “the great demon of Batman’s psyche because he sort of becomes whatever fear Batman is most afraid of at that moment and brings that to Batman — in my version of the Joker — in the most terrifying way possible to make him either overcome it or die by fire facing it, and laughs at him the whole way… There’s nothing he won’t do but it all exists in relation to Batman.”
Though the Joker is Batman’s personal devil, Snyder feels The Batman Who Laughs allowed him to create a character who “could go darker and not be concerned with Batman and yet exist in Batman’s universe and be just as brilliant a strategist; like if Bruce Wayne was turned totally evil with no goodness in him whatsoever and just become an apex predator, like a great white shark of the DCU. He doesn’t care if Batman recognizes him, he doesn’t care if he gets a big name in the world, none of that matters to him. Any threat, he just plans to take down and, if he sees you, he’s already thought of a hundred ways to kill you and that’s it.”
For Snyder, The Batman Who Laughs flips what makes Bruce great: His ability to turn his tragedy into heroism. The Batman Who Laughs, however, only looks out for himself. Snyder says this mindset represents a vicious selfishness, as The Batman Who Laughs will always put himself first, rather than embrace the community as Bruce Wayne would.
Writer Scott Snyder explains what makes The Batman Who Laughs such a terrifying and fascinating predator.