Batman The Smile Killer #1
DC Comics/ DC Black Label
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Colors by Jordia Bellaire
Letters by Steve Wands
The Rundown: Batman’s hunt for the Joker will reveal the biggest joke of all.
A young boy begins to receive dark and disturbing messages from a children’s show and its mysterious host. Messages that tell him to do dark and disturbing things. When the identity of the boy is revealed, things become a lot darker.
Batman is on the hunt for Joker. After contacting Gordon, he follows the killer’s trail and makes a gruesome discovery. A discovery with a personal connection. After confronting the killer, he finds himself somewhere he didn’t expect, Arkham Asylum. Unfortunately, he’s not there as the Dark Knight Detective. He’s there as an inmate and his whole world is shattered by a shocking truth.
The Story: Jeff Lemire’s story is very atmospheric. It has all the trappings of a well done noir thriller. There are some great psychological thriller moments throughout as well, but the biggest problem with the story is it is predictable. I went into this first issue with the anticipation that I would be reading something new and exciting and the first few pages with the young boy in front of the television led me to believe that, but as soon as the story shifted to Arkham, it lost any sense of originality. I knew where the story was going and what was going to happen within it. The end of the first issue shows some slight promise, but my expectations have been lowered.
The Art: Andrea Sorrentino delivers some beautiful, noir-style art throughout the issue. The use of shadow is brilliant and the composition of the panels is fantastic.