All-Star Batman #1 started the series off with a major bang, throwing readers into Scott Snyder’s road trip of chaos and high-stakes gambling. The introductory issue delivered everything comic book fans could possibly want in a Batman comic, while also more than living up to the promise of carrying the “All-Star” title. That might be a tough act to follow for some creative teams, but not this collection of comic book kings.
The second installment of All-Star Batman picks up with the caped crusader and his two-faced colleague facing a continuous onslaught of enemies en route to their destination. With everyone in Gotham looking to cash in on Two-Face’s offer, Batman has his hands more full than usual. Good thing he is indeed Batman and prepared for literally everything his rogues gallery – from heavy hitters to deep cuts – can throw at him.
Away from the cross-country chase, Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White enlist The Beast to kill The Bat and protect their empires of crime. In the Batcave, Duke and Alfred investigate the situation at hand, leading Duke to join the race after uncovering a new threat. Everyone in Gotham has something to hide, including Commissioner Gordan who drags Bullock along to Wayne Manor to protect his secrets; only to find that Bruce has in some ways been one step ahead as always.
Scott Snyder’s script continues to raise the bar set by issue #1 with each turn of the page. This comic is an adrenaline rush as readers follow their beloved Batman through waves of peril and begin to uncover mysteries along with the supporting cast. I read this book in complete solitary and found myself reacting out loud (as if someone was going to respond to my, “Aw, hell yeah Bats!“). There are so many moments that transpire in this issue that will be go-to examples as to why Batman is undoubtedly the best hero that ever was. Revealing the cowl ears to be concealed weapons, the brilliant nod to Adam West’s Batman’s shark-repellent, the Die Hard-style batarang – Snyder exhibits that he has as many tricks up his sleeve as the Dark Knight himself.
Writing an All-Star title gives writers the liberty to be as bold as they want to be with the title character. Scott Snyder has taken that and ran with it, giving readers a Batman they’re never going to forget. Every time a new character throws their hat into the ring, Snyder does more with them in one page than other writers have done in entire arcs. Behind all the Bat-glory and explosive treachery, there is a subtle character study of Harvey Dent that has only just begun. The evolution of Two-Face by the end of this story will without a doubt be another major highlight to this brilliant comic book. Snyder’s witty dialogue also stands out every time it plants a smile on your face, simply oozing in its comic book glory.
This book is absolutely brutal; you can almost hear every punch thrown as if they carry a Batman equivalent of the Indiana Jones signature punch sound effect. All the action moves from page to page so quickly and fluidly that readers will most likely burn through this book faster than usual and find themselves reading it again. Romita, Miki, and White combine their efforts to deliver the best looking Batman book currently hitting shelves – which is impressive because all the Batman titles right now are gorgeous. This is also the ultimate portrayal of Batman’s current costume, which can be quite tricky to draw from scene to scene. I really appreciate every unique take on the villains in this book, especially Danzig Cobblepot and the deteriorating state of Two-Face’s darker half.
The crazy train keeps rolling and All-Star Batman #2 doesn’t even come close to taking a step back. Instead, readers are strapped to Batman’s side (along with Two-Face) as he treks along the perilous route laid out for him. I’m also really pleased that Snyder revisited the current state of Duke and his parents, being that he’s the one that put them there in “Endgame”. All-Star Batman #2 is another tour de force for this unrivaled collection of creators. If you aren’t reading and collecting this series right now, you are going to regret it.