Buy this book to read Ed Brubaker and Doug mahnke excellent redux of the Joker's first encounter with batman. In a shocking turn, DC hires a great artist to do a high profile Batman tale. I only fault this story on being too short.
The Man Who Laughs was orignally published as a 48 page soft cover graphic novel, but deserves the hardcover format. Sadly, the cover graphics are not very well done. The white spine with the ugly blue at the bottom doesn't look good on the book shelf, particularly next to it's natural companion, the recently released Killing Joke hardcover.
As a filler, a Batman/Golden Age Green Lantern story is also randomely reprinted here. This story originally appeared in Detective Comics which Mr. Brubaker wrote for a little over a year. I remember his run as well written (as most of his work is), but laden with poor fill-in art unworthy of his scripts. The artwork by Mike Lilly is just OK, but I fail to see why it was included in this hardcover.
It would have been much better to reprint the Joker's first two appearances from Batman #1, as well as Dennis O'Neal's Legends of the Dark Knight #50, from 1993, which retold the same story of Batman's first encounter with the Joker. Dennis O'Neal wrote a spot on story with some great moments, but the particularly bad art from Brett Blevins is not something which should be seen again. At least the theme of the book would have been consistant.