I was handed this by a friend who had given it a high amount of praise. When I saw that Ed Brubaker had written it, I couldn't blame him! Of course it's going to be awesome, it has Brubaker's
name attached to it.
So, before I cracked open this graphic novel, I knew two things:
1) Ed Brubaker is the writer.
2) It's the first meeting between Batman & The Joker.
My expectations were through the roof on this one.
Given that Alan Moore has already completed the definitive story on the origin of The Joker as well as his first meeting with Batman, this had a lot to live up to. Could Brubaker create an instant classic? Could he introduce us to The Joker in a way that was fresh and memorable?
One of the main problems with this outing is that it felt misleading. Only half of the total content is the cover story while DC had thrown in another completely unconnected story.
Surprisingly, I preferred the second tale over The Man Who Laughs. I thought Gordon's dialogue and inner monologue were fantastic. I think I enjoyed the story on a much higher level overall.
Not every writer is perfect but Brubaker is as close as they come. For some of his better Batman work, check out the Gotham Central