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Graphic Novel Review: "Batman: Cacophony" by Kevin Smith

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Batman: Cacophony" graphic novel cover.

"Batman: Cacophony" graphic novel cover.

Quick Info

  • Author: Kevin Smith
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Published: Hardcover: September 2, 2009; softcover: September 7, 2010
  • Page Count: 144
  • Availability: Hardcover or in trade paperback on Amazon or your local bookstore, read on DCUniverseInfinite streaming service

Story Summary

In the middle of the night, the assassin Deadshot breaks into Arkham Asylum and finds the Joker, and tells him that he’s been paid to kill him. Joker wonders why, but he doesn’t really care. He discovers that his trademark lethal laughing gas has been re-engineered to become the hot new drug, known as Chuckles, and that a boy overdosed on it and that the father wanted Joker killed. Joker is furious that his laughing gas isn’t taken seriously anymore and when Deadshot is about to kill him, a man shows up and shoots Deadshot in the head. The Joker escapes and Batman must discover who the mysterious figure is and who is behind the new drug based on Joker’s lethal laughing gas.

Batman: Cacophony is a mixed bag when it comes to this graphic novel. The plot is interesting, and it’s a good read. The plot has Maxie Zeus in it, and he does not appear in many of Batman's collected comics. The idea that Joker’s lethal laughing gas has been turned into a recreational drug is interesting and the newcomer that talks heroic vigilantes is a new element in the story. I find it to be an interesting idea. The plot has good pacing and it’s entertaining to read.

This art is hideous.

This art is hideous.

This Is an Ugly-Looking Comic!

Unfortunately, as entertaining as it is to read, it has some of the ugliest artwork ever seen in a graphic novel. The designs in this graphic novel were terrible and inconsistent. Some characters looked hideously ugly, and not in a way that made them look “cool”. The quality of the artwork varies from chapter to chapter. Sometimes it’s really nice and looks good, and other times it just looks completely awful.

This is a graphic novel by a famous director Kevin Smith, but his good writing can’t save Batman: Cacophony from the fact that good storytelling is overshadowed by the hideous artwork and illustrations. The illustrations could have been so much better than they were. The fight scenes were decent though, despite the horrific artwork. They were the saving grace of this graphic novel.

Behold the ugliness!

Behold the ugliness!

I Borrowed It for Free From the Library and That's How It Should Be

Overall, Batman Cacophony is worth a read but is not at all a must-buy graphic novel for your collection. It’s best to just borrow a copy from your library system if they have it because a decent story is brought down by really horrific artwork. It might entertain you but you might be disappointed if you bought this graphic novel, it’s worth reading once, but if you bought it and end up feeling disappointed you can’t get your money back. It’s recommended to borrow this and read it before you decide if it’s a graphic novel you want to own. It was disappointing in the artwork but the story was okay. It was decent, but don’t get it for your bookshelf.

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It’s not worth the money unless you really enjoyed it. I found the artwork to be too ugly to pay for.

If the artwork wasn’t so off-putting, I would recommend buying this comic, but since I don’t find it really worth paying for I’ll say that if your local library has it on the shelf, you should borrow it.

It’s not worth the money when there are better comics to read with better artwork.

It was an interesting idea that would almost have a perfect execution if the art didn’t hold it back.

I find that disappointing because I would have recommended buying this graphic novel for your collection. Unfortunately, I can’t do that as a critic. It was still fun but a forgettable read.

A one off villain, and he could have been interesting, but he wasn't.

A one off villain, and he could have been interesting, but he wasn't.

My Grade: D

The fact that this comic is so forgettable is part of this comic’s problem. Even though Kevin Smith is a famous director, this is not one of his outstanding works; in fact, no one talks about this comic when they talk about his work at all.

He may be a good writer, but that doesn’t mean his comic is particularly memorable. If the artwork had been as good as the writ thing was then maybe people would remember this comic more, but it faded and will stay in obscurity, because the artwork ruined the story by not matching the good writing, and it didn’t help that the villain was a throwaway villain either. I have never seen Cacophony appear in another comic book story arc for Batman. This is not worth the money; just don’t bother to buy it.

If you want to read Batman: Cacaphony, read it on the DCUniverse streaming service because it's available there. It's much easier to pay for the streaming service instead of buying the book if you can't borrow it from your local library.

My Rating

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