Thursday, April 13, 2017
Review: ALL-STAR BATMAN #2
DC COMICS – @DCComics
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
STORY: Scott Snyder
PENCILS: John Romita, Jr.; Declan Shalvey
INKS: Danny Miki; Declan Shalvey
COLORS: Dean White; Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: Steve Wands
COVER: John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with Dean White
VARIANT COVER: John Romita, Jr. and Danny Miki with Dean White; Jock; Declan Shalvey with Jordie Bellaire
40pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (November 2016)
Rated “T” for Teen
Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger
“My Own Worst Enemy” Part 2
In my review of the first issue of All Star Batman, I wrote that I found Scott Snyder's run on Batman to be inconsistent, mostly because the story arcs were too long, with some issues within each arc reading like story padding. Still, Snyder was wildly inventive in his run on Batman; often it seemed as if he were finding ways to advance Batman, a character that was moribund. For 25 years, most writers of Batman comic books were merely wiping up the vestiges of Frank Miller's bomb, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
So here comes the new Batman comic book, All Star Batman. It is written by Scott Snyder and is currently drawn by John Romita, Jr. (pencils) and Danny Miki (inks); colored by Dean White; and lettered by Steve Wands. And it is looking like it could be Snyder's best Batman work.
All-Star Batman #2 (“My Own Worst Enemy” Part 2) opens with Jim Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock about to embark on the raid of a home, an event that will seemingly change their lives as much as it will the owner of the house. Two days before that raid, Batman and Two-Face/Harvey Dent continue their journey that Two-Face does not want to continue. A who's who of Gotham's worst criminals and the roster of Batman's rogue's gallery are trying to help Two-Face get his cessation. Back in Gotham, a trio is going to make a really dangerous decision to “help” Two-Face. They are going to call on the services of a killer who is an absolute beast.
After reading the first two issues of All Star Batman, I've started to do the dangerous thing and think too much. I'm thinking that Snyder seems in full bloom writing this series. It is as if All Star Batman frees him of the expectations, history, and continuity of the flagship Bat-title, Batman. With this new title, Snyder can do what he wants, and since this is a showcase for the superstars and the up-and-comers, perhaps, editorial will let Snyder run wild.
The result is a Batman comic book that is simply fun to read. It is action-packed and kick-ass. The villains are larger than their ordinary fictional lives. Batman is a Dark Knight, but rather than rehash Frank Miller's Clint Eastwood-Dirty Harry'ish Batman, Snyder offers a Batman with a sly wit that can cut to the bone quicker than his gauntlets and boots can break bones. This is the Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Steph Curry Batman – the All Star Batman. And, hey, we love to pay for all-stars, so this is the Batman comic book you should be reading.
Of course, it is good that there is an all-star art team to bring Snyder's writing to graphical story slash comic book life. In fact, John Romita, Jr. seems to have gained new life since he moved from Marvel Comics to DC Comics. Romita is doing his best work since Kick-Ass (with writer Mark Millar), and he is drawing with a lust for life and Miki is inking him with gusto. Then, White is coloring the fuck out of this comic book. With this art team, Snyder can't let up.
The back up story, “The Cursed Wheel” continues. Written by Snyder and drawn by Declan Shalvey. It is edgy where “My Own Worst Enemy” is big and spectacular, but this second story is holding its own and has a killer cliffhanger.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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