Scott Snyder and John Romita Jr.’s story of Batman and Two Face taking the worst road trip of all time returns after its exceptional opening chapter.
Is it good?
All-Star Batman #2 (DC Comics)
- These time hops are making me dizzy, but I do love the way Scott Snyder segue ways between them.
- There’s something beautiful about a legit Batman fight scene that also manages to throw in a shark repellant reference.
- Still not sure how Batman’s villains continue to be surprised at him being as crazy as they are.
- That may be the best rationalization I’ve ever seen for explaining the way a Batman villain’s behavior varies from one comic era to the next.
- Ugh. Time hops, man…
Is It Good?
When I first got back into comics over a decade ago, John Romita Jr was one of the first artists who really struck me with his ability to tell a story. That hasn’t changed here. He continues to not only be one of the best fight scene choreographers in the business, but also helps move the narrative along fluidly…
…which is a good thing, because Scott Snyder is killing me with this story’s non-linear structure. All the other stuff that makes Snyder one of my favorite writers is there: great dialogue, brutal action sequences that can also be sources of poignant reflection and/or laugh out loud hilarity, characters playing to their archetypes in new/inventive ways, etc.
But the way ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ jumps around has gone from mildly intriguing to frustrating. In fact, it made the issue’s very linear back up story, ‘The Cursed Wheel’ (which is great on its own) feel like a break.
Quick side note: I’m one of those weird people who can’t stand Robin. Like, all of them. I know Duke isn’t technically a Robin himself, but this story has me thinking he might be the first Bat sidekick I’m actually interested in reading.
None of this is to say that the issue is bad. It’s still Snyder writing Batman throwing down against a host of A, B, C, and D-list villains—all against the backdrop of a truly chilling premise. I also appreciate his willingness to experiment with unconventional ideas and story-telling techniques. Maybe this one in particular will eventually grow on me. For now, however, it feels like an unwelcome distraction from an otherwise excellent tale.