All-Star Batman #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Colors: Dean White
Letterer: Steve Wands
Reviewed by David Hildebrand
When I returned to reading comics a few years ago, one of the first series that I started with was Scott Snyder’s New 52 Batman. I was very impressed with his run. He wrote Batman for over fifty issues before turning the reigns over to Tom King. But now after only a few short months, he is back where he belongs, writing stories for the Dark Knight in the new series All-Star Batman. Things are a bit different this time around. Snyder will have a new artist to collaborate with on each arc and the focus of this new series will be on individual villains instead of focusing on major events. Should keep it interesting.
Our first story arc involves Two-Face, one of Batman’s most tragic villains. The story is pretty simple. Batman and Two-Face are going upstate in an attempt to fix Dent and help him regain his sanity. But Two-Face has a different plan and has guaranteed a very rich reward to anyone that can stop Batman. Right away, I got a Midnight Run feeling from this issue. Batman is trying to get Two-Face to his destination but has trouble along the way as hired guns, and even every day citizens, want to take a shot at stopping Batman.
The story is along the lines of a buddy/chase movie. It has action, a bit of humor, and Batman even gives a little wink. Two-Face wants to prove that everyone has a bad side to them. And right there on page one, Batman is attacked by the newly redesigned, menacing looking Killer Moth and Firefly. They crash their way through a local diner where Batman, of course, saves the day. But then things get confusing and we start flashing back to “22 minutes ago”, “two hours ago”, “two weeks ago”, finally ending at “back to twenty minutes ago”. This is the only gripe that I have with the issue. We start out at a fast pace, only to trace back to get the beginning of the story and what has lead us up to this point in the story. Aside from that, it is a very strong issue and you can’t go wrong with Batman wielding a chainsaw, looking like a total bad ass.
I like Snyder’s approach to this first part of the arc. The issue has a bit of a B-movie feel to it. Batman triumphs over one attacker, just to be faced with another, or multiple! He can’t get a break and as I mentioned above, seeing him wield the chainsaw is one of my favorite parts of the book. I also found the addition of how many miles Batman has travelled very amusing. He has to travel five hundred miles with Harvey and by the end of this issue, he has gone a total of one mile!
Romita Jr.’s art is some of the best I’ve seen from him. I like how he has designed the characters. Combined with White’s colors, they create some menacing and creepy looking guys! Batman’s costume also has a new look to it, which I like as well. Seeing Batman away from the city landscape in exchange for some nice grass and blowing leaves is refreshing too.
Buy it! Scott Snyder is back doing Batman! How can you not buy it? And this seems like it will be more of a fun book for him to write. His focus is more on characters instead of events and it has a brilliant start to it so far! There is plenty of action and good storytelling here that will keep any Dark Knight fan satisfied. I did have the one issue with the flashbacks, but it doesn’t deter me from wanting to continue on with future issues. All-Star Batman #1 is a little different, but that isn’t a bad thing. It is exciting to see Snyder take things in a different direction. And I am really loving the art by Romita Jr as well! The only sad thing is that this is the one Batman book that isn’t twice a month. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!