In the last issue of All-Star Batman, Batman and Two-Face’s road trip through hell was dealt a violent interruption courtesy of KG Beast. This week, we get to watch the messy fallout.
Is it good?
All-Star Batman #3 (DC Comics)
- This pair has come a long way (down) from lying in the soft grass together while they daydreamed about the future.
- Dang. KG Beast is even cooler/more terrifying than I thought.
- BAT KNUCKLES!!!!
- Duke is seriously wearing down my distaste for Batman sidekicks. The kid is all types of awesome.
- Sometimes it’s easy to forget how ruthless and violent Oswald Cobblepot can be. On a related note, I’m suddenly hungry for duck.
- Another reason Duke rules: He’s willing and able to question Batman—and he does it without sounding like a whiny brat.
- He’s also hilarious.
- “Batman’s @^$&@.”
- Good lord!
Is It Good?
It isn’t just good—it’s everything I’ve wanted from this title.
The first two issues of All-Star Batman were highly enjoyable, but this one was on a whole different level. For starters, the book’s pithy humor (which had occasionally felt like an intrusion on the narrative) was on point every time. There were multiple laugh out loud moments, which also managed to coexist perfectly within the story’s relentless, high stakes tone. Tonal shifts like that don’t often work, but Snyder absolutely nails it.
The issue moves along at a breakneck pace. This is partly because of the lack of time hops (which were driving me nuts), but it’s also due to Snyder’s knack for hooking the reader from one scene to the next. Each turn of the page is a rush to the next revelation, never bogging us down with pointless filler or repeated actions/dialogue.
Synder also manages to successfully pull off a deep continuity insertion (which sounds a lot grosser than it actually is). I normally hate when authors try to inject a major backstory element into long-established canon, but if anyone can do it, it’s the guy who created the Court of Owls.
As far as the art goes, John Romita Jr continues to impress. That’s to be expected, of course, but he really goes all out here, providing a brutal action sequence that rivals his most violent work on Kick Ass.
I can’t end the review without once praising the Duke back up story, which is (once again) beautifully drawn by Declan Shalvey. When you combined that with Duke’s part in the main narrative, it feels like Scott Snyder is on a personal mission to get me to like Bat sidekicks.
I know I’m probably in the minority on this, but I have NEVER liked the idea of Bruce Wayne having a Robin. I want my Batman to be alone, brooding, and violent. But Duke continues to win me over for two reasons:
1. He’s a great character in his own right.
2. He brings out a side of Batman that makes him feel like more of a peer-level mentor instead of a paternal jerk.
Add all that to a gut wrenching cliffhanger—and the most hilarious appearance of a criminal organization you could ask for—and All-Star Batman #3 is a perfect example of just how great this book can be.