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Batman: The Man Who Laughs

(Batman: One-Shots)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  22,229 ratings  ·  568 reviews
Written by Ed Brubaker Art by Doug Mahnke, Patrick Zircher, Aaron Sowd and Steve Bird Cover by Mahnke Witness Batman's first encounter with The Joker in this hardcover volume collecting the graphic novel BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, by Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke! This collection also includes DETECTIVE COMICS #784-786, a murder-mystery tale guest-starring Green Lantern Ala ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 30th 2008 by DC Comics (first published January 30th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,229 ratings  ·  568 reviews

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May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The Man who laughs (2005)
Modern Batman #5

Ready for your first joke?

It all started with Gordon's famous lines.

Joker, that's what happening to your city. On one fine evening, he appears out of nowhere and unleashes his unique brand of madness in Gotham. Batman and Gordon are trying their best to stop him, but somehow, they just can't predict his moves!

Ed Brubaker mimics Frank Miller's Year One by utilizing Bruce and Gordon's POV to tell the story and to engage the readers effectively. Their narra
Ahmed  Ejaz
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, graphic-books
One by one, they'll hear my call. Then this wicked town, will follow my fall.--Joker
This comic starts from where Batman: Year One ends. It's about the Joker story mostly. I loved it.

Joker is trying to kill everyone in the Gotham city. Batman has to stop him.

Joker is very clever. I really liked him. His way of killing is mind-blowing. His encounters with Batman are also very great. I loved them.
(view spoiler)
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
Ed Brubaker, the King of Comic Book Noir.

The Joker.


It sounds like a match made in comic book heaven, doesn’t it?

Brubaker offers up two Bats tales, both centering more on Batman’s abilities as a detective than anything else. The first story is a way back look at Batman when he first got into the crime stoppers business, when things were easier, when all he did was beat up a bunch of gangsters and hoodlums.

Then…the Joker.

You have a knack for the obvious, Batman. Very helpful. Thanks fo
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

It has recently come to my attention (through a reread) that Kat's review sounds NOTHING like my classy & informative reviewing style.
Anne = Classy + Informative
Rambling + Whatever the opposite of informative is...?

Ok. So in response to Kat's Review, I'm going to try to write this review in Ms. Stark's style. Go easy on me, guys. I'm a little nervous here.
*clears throat, taps on mike*
Um, hey. Is this thing even on?
*feedback squeals*

Review a la Kat:

Guys, t

The Man Who Laughs

Ed Brubaker gets the Joker. And the funny thing is, this isn't even the modern Joker. He's not dark, gritty, or suicidal. This Joker reaches back to his roots of merry prankster, with gags, a purple suit, and wanting to make people "laugh."

This is an origin story. Like Alan Moore's The Killing Joke explained how Joker came to be, The Man Who Laughs explains what he came to be. And it's truly amazing.

The story takes place somewhere around Batman Year One and The Killing Joke.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When you buy a comic-book with the name "Ed Brubaker" on it, it tells you that you're in for a ride.

In a nutshell, the story is basically a reimagining of Batman's first encounter with the Joker.
It is also a direct follow-up from Batman Year One.
The premise is very simple, the Joker threatens to kill any rich man in Gotham, but the only thing that stands between his goal is Batman.
This could have been very generic and boring, but Ed Brubaker's wiring is what makes this book superb.
He nails the
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Set shortly after "Year One", this is Batman's first encounter with the Joker. Joker starts taking out the wealthy Gotham elite one by one with his Joker toxin, hi-jacking the Gotham airwaves with his messages of death and terror, finally threatening the destruction of the city itself. But with Bruce Wayne as a target, how will Batman stop the Joker...

Ed Brubaker pens a masterful 3-shot storyline introducing the best villain DC have, the greatest foe Batman ever faced, and one of the best bad gu
Jesse A
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Fun story, apparently not canon, but good story all the same.
I don't even know why I like the Joker anymore. Now that first statement is probably the most heinous blasphemous remark I will ever type (and will never type again) as an avid Bat-fan. But I felt the need to confess it because I've been keeping it bottled up inside since...well, since Heath Ledger's outstanding performance in The Dark Knight film. It was only during and after Death of the Family crossover event that I think I became one of those fans who contracted the "Joker fatigue" wherein I ...more
Anna Kay
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I was about as averagely-impressed/underwhelmed with this as I was with Year One. Okay, so this is my introduction to the Joker? I think half the problem I've had with all these Batman comics I've been reading is that they never seem to live up to my culturally enhanced expectations...

(Not actually my "cultural expectation," it just makes me L-O-L as the kids say...)

I don't why, but I expected something darker, or scarier, or just SOMETHING-ER than what this was. Maybe I should just stop reading
Aldo Haegemans
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A 4 For the joker story.
A 3 For the lantern story.
Evan Leach
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Man Who Laughs actually contains two separate Batman stories. The first is a direct sequel to Batman: Year One. At the end of Year One, Gordon mentions that an unknown character called the Joker has been making threats against the city.

img: Joker

This story picks up right where Year One left off, with Batman and Gordon confronting the Joker for the first time. Unlike the thugs Batman was taking on before, the Joker has no obvious motive for his crimes other than to spread terror and destruction. The Jo
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019, comics, dc
This was really really good!
Mar 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good! So Who doesn't like Joker? No one! Does Ed Brubaker write a bad comic? NEVER!!! Add these two together and you get a pretty good comic. Granted this isn't the best joker story, but its enjoyable. So this is basically Batman's first encounter with The Joker shortly after Year One! Like is said not the best joker story but still worth a read! ...more
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
It's not bad but I expected lot more from first confrontation of Batman and Joker. ...more
Ill D
Oct 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Industry upstart Ed Brubaker tries his hand at the Batman mythos in his own take, “The Man Who Laughs.” However far more cookie-cutter work than that of an original artisan, the result is yet another stale retelling with merely a deeply saturated and starchily applied veneer to district from the lack of innovation. Fully capable of sifting through the veil of puerilely applied maya, you too will find a callow and unsatisfying offering of commercial filth.

While sampling of the digital (most notab
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This is 2 completely different stories by Ed Brubaker, who is awesome. The first is a story of the Joker's first appearance in Gotham and his first run in with Batman/Gordon. A good solid story that makes sense and is enjoyable. Great artwork too. The second story is just as good, and I may even have enjoyed it more. 'Made of Wood' is a Batman story with Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott. It is fascinating to see the current protector of Gotham interact with the past protector (Green Lantern w ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
The first meeting of Batman and Joker should be much bigger than this story. And the book is very misleading because only the first half is a Joker story.
Love of Hopeless Causes
Wordy, nice boot heels on Batman.
Mohamed Shoaib
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Batman teams up with green lantern .. it’s interesting but I didn’t care much for the story. Plus I never read any of Ed Brubaker’s work before and he seems like a good writer but writes a lot for marvel and I’m not a big fan of them so no thank you.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction, comix
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 Jo
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not really a fan of superhero comics but something about Batman has always drawn me in. Maybe it was the Read A Long book and 7 inch my folks got me as a kid. Maybe it was the corny TV show reruns. But most likely it was Tim Burton's dark yet comical depiction from the late 80s. And that's what this one shot attempts to recreate: the key moments from that, to me, Iconic movie. From what I understand, a lot of people really dig the Nolan movies. I'm not a fan. Can't get over that horrendous deliv ...more
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Brubaker is one of my fave writers, and joker is just one of my faves! So i thought this would be amazing, however it's just okay it starts off quite slow and takes a while picking up any speed but it has a good ending which makes up for the lacklustre beginning. Obviously i like me some gordon, and gordon did not fail, 90% shouting, 10% not sleeping, it had sassy alfred which was on point. It did however need more deadpan jokes from joker however this is sort of an origin tale as it's jokers fi ...more
James DeSantis
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
So this was a pretty good graphic novel. Well, the first half anyway.

So this is after year one, Batman is still getting use to fixing up his city. Who comes along? The JOKER! Oh Snap. He claims he'll kill people and sure enough no matter what Gordon and Batman try to do he kills them. Goddamn tricky son of a bitch huh?

The second half of this book is a boring ass filler story that I nearly fell asleep reading. So less said about it the better. The man who laughs is the only reason to read this
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well the action of "just reading a few pages" didn't go well. It was great, such a good comic and love how twisted the Joker is. In the films he is played in such a way that you can't help but like him but, in this comic, you simply see him for the psycho he is. Adored the art work as per usual and I enjoyed the Green lantern and Batty story too. Really liked this comic. ...more
Gianfranco Mancini
A more than good noir remake Brubaker-style of Batman's first encounter with the Joker with great references to "Year One" and "The killing joke". Not as good as them, but still a great read. ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Vintage Brubaker style with great artwork. The story is one we've all read before so not alof of originality there, but still alot of fun. New readers to Batman will maybe like this more ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Good story for people that have not read batman obsessively. Short and could have been a bit more comedy, but the art was fun and expressive and nicely coloured.
Nessie McInness
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc-comics
I'm on a book ban. I have too many books and maybe a little bit of a problem: every month I will read about 5 books and buy 20. Seriously. So I'm banning myself until the end of the year.
This ban doesn't include comics or sequels of series I'm following.
So today I went to the bookshop and spent a lot on comics. Including this one.
This is definitely something that was waaaaaay down on my to read list, but it was the thinnest one and I had to entertain myself on the train.

Basically this book is s
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central and Uncanny X-Men. In more recent years, he has focused solely on creator-owned titles

Other books in the series

Batman: One-Shots (1 - 10 of 164 books)
  • Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk
  • Batman Special #1
  • Batman: Son of the Demon
  • Batman: The Killing Joke
  • Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth
  • Batman Movie Adaptation
  • Batman: Bride of the Demon
  • Batman: Digital Justice
  • Batman: Full Circle

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