Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who Laughs

by Matt Tuck

Dark-Nights-Metal-2-interior-300x150 Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who LaughsThe Robin King may be stealing the Death Metal spotlight, but the Batman Who Laughs is still DC’s crown jewel, and his early appearances are only getting hotter.

The Batman Who Laughs

Sooner or later, we’ll see a Dark Nights: Metal adaptation. After the epic violence that was Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Dark Nights would be a worthy animated successor. When the Batman Who Laughs graces a screen for the first time, be it live-action or animated, his keys will take off.

In the pages of Dark Nights: Death Metal, Wonder Woman defeated him in Hell, and he is taking a dirt nap. To fill the void, Death Metal is introducing the Robin King, but fans are still clinging to the BWL.

As far as the market, the four primary BWL keys are all on the move. Here’s your breakdown.

teen_titans_metal_12-195x300 Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who LaughsTEEN TITANS #12

Nearly three years since the Batman Who Laughs appeared on his first comic cover, this book’s value keeps climbing. It will have its ups and downs, but this has been a dependable investment. Back in 2018, the 9.8 was a $266 comic and peaked at $441. Last year, the average surged to $367 and set a record high with a $781 sale.

Halfway into 2020, that same 9.8 has eclipsed the $400 average. Since June 28, there have been four sales, none of which were below $500.




735473_dark-nights-metal-2-195x300 Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who LaughsDARK NIGHTS: METAL #2

If the Batman Who Laughs had been on the cover of Dark Nights: Metal #2, this would be a $500 comic. Sure, it’s a last-page cliff hanger moment, but readers see him and his evil cohorts in all their glory. Since he is on the cover art for Teen Titans #12, the first full/second overall appearance draws the bigger figures.

On the plus side, this is a much more affordable comic. At a 9.8 for the standard cover, the values are on the move. For the past 12 months, it has averaged $75, which is respectable considering it was a $50 book in 2018. The last sale was on June 15 for a record-high $110.


Batman-Who-Laughs-1-195x300 Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who LaughsDARK NIGHTS: BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1

There was plenty of fanfare when this issue hit comic shelves. In case you have forgotten, as part of the Dark Nights: Metal promotion, all of the Dark Multiverse Batman mashups had their own one-shot origin stories. When the BWL’s went to print, it was on pull lists across the country.

As is customary, the origin story doesn’t compete with the first appearance, and rightfully so. However, it is a BWL first since its his first solo comic.

Like everything else BWL, this issue is heating up. For the past 12 months, it has averaged $74, but more telling is the 90 day FMV, which stands at $81. The last sale of a 9.8 was for $100 on July 3.

Batman-Who-Laughs-1-2019-197x300 Revisiting the Keys: The Batman Who LaughsTHE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1

To finish the quartet, let’s examine the BWL limited solo series. The first issue introduced another alternate Batman, the Grim Knight. Reminiscent of the Flashpoint Batman, he was a Batman who had no qualms about killing and imposing his will on the masses. Basically, he’s a Batman/Punisher/Deathstroke mashup.

The Grim Knight is an example of how much the writers and editors fuel the market. Since this series, we haven’t seen too much of the Grim Knight, and it has capped the values for this issue. Although it isn’t in the Teen Titans #12 FMV range, it still pulls in decent prices. For the past 12 months, it has averaged $63, but the 90-day FMV has pushed to $85. Back in May, the 9.8 set a new record high of $100, and the last sale was for $70 on July 5.


To steal from Douglas MacArthur, good villains never die, they just take a vacation. That’s exactly what’s going on with the BWL, and he will return because…why not? I expect he’ll get a makeover, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back by the end of Death Metal.


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AJ July 10, 2020 - 8:19 am

Of course I didn’t purchase TT12 when I had the chance at a lower price… my question is do you think it would be smarter to wait until Death Metal ends and the hype dies down? Or do you think this series will only make prices go up?

superultraboy July 10, 2020 - 9:02 am

Thank you, I ate this up like a donut topped with cheese fries!

Matt Tuck July 10, 2020 - 12:05 pm

A doughnut topped with cheese fries doesn’t sound too good, so I’ll take that with a grain of salt. LOL

Andrew July 10, 2020 - 9:48 am

Would you recommend waiting to buy TT12 until after Death Metal since the series is just starting to pick up? Or would would recommend just biting the bullet and buying now?

Matt Tuck July 10, 2020 - 12:04 pm

That’s a tough call. I can’t predict the future, but I don’t imagine TT #12 will be getting any cheaper in the near future.

spidertim July 12, 2020 - 3:23 pm

What about the store variant for dark nights 3 by Mattina? Don’t think that one is worth adding as an essential BWL book?

Matt Tuck July 12, 2020 - 11:52 pm

I’ll have to look into it, Spider-Tim.

Kal-El July 22, 2020 - 8:48 pm

Catching up on all your articles. Excellent work sir.

Matt Tuck July 23, 2020 - 2:15 pm

Thank you, Kal. Let Jor-El know I said hello.


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