SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Batman Who Laughs #2, by Scott Snyder, Jock, David Baron and Sal Cipriano, on sale now.
Ever since he debuted during Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal event, the Batman/Joker hybrid known as The Batman Who Laughs has been a force to be reckoned with. In fact, to take him down in Metal, we even saw an unprecedented team-up between the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince of Crime.
Unfortunately, his “defeat” proved to be short-lived, and with The Batman Who Laughs now more dangerous than ever, Batman, Commissioner Gordon and company are going to have to fight fire with fire once more.
After a confrontation with The Batman Who Laughs and his equally deadly sidekick, the Grim Knight, turns into a massacre, Bruce is left with no choice but to wake The Joker up from his medically induced coma.
“Wake up!” he shouts. “Now!”
“What is he going to do?” Batman continues. “Tell me!”
When The Joker finally comes to, he shares some surprising information with the Dark Knight about The Batman Who Laughs’ master plan.
“I don’t know it,” he says casually. “Only one person does… Your friend… his great weakness. The one that gets him right… here.”
As he’s saying this, we watch as Commissioner Gordon enters a corner store and approaches an employee who’s scanning merchandise.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” the man says.
“I know,” Gordon responds. “But this… this is important. There’s a monster on the loose, and… and I need your help.”
The man asks why him, to which Gordon replies, “… You’re my son, James. And you may be the only one who can help us stop him.”
James Gordon Jr. first appeared in Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One, though it wasn’t until the New 52 Batgirl series that pieces of his backstory began to be filled in.
Perhaps his most notable appearance, though, was in Batman: The Black Mirror, which – coincidentally – is also by Scott Snyder and Jock. Here, he’s reintroduced to the DC Universe as a ruthless and psychopathic killer. After kidnapping Barbara and attempting to poison a nutrition facility, James Jr. is finally stopped when his father shoots him in the legs.
Nevertheless, while it certainly makes sense for Snyder and Jock to return to the James Gordon Jr. well, it remains to be seen how he’s capable of stopping The Batman Who Laughs. Given his history, though, one can’t help but wonder if he’d even want to.