ALL-STAR BATMAN #3 [Review]

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ALL-STAR BATMAN #3/ Written by SCOTT SNYDER/ Art by JOHN ROMITA JR./ Colors by DEAN WHITE/ Inks by DANNY MIKI/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

All-Star Batman is a true culmination of the best possible talent collaborating on the best suited book. Their goal to deliver a story worthy of such a title was achieved in the premise alone. What has transpired in these three issues has been nothing short of a Batman masterpiece. When this series is over, Scott Snyder will have yet another entry in the list of most essential Batman reading. This series and all of its issues will be a most treasured asset in every collector’s comic book trophy case.

In All-Star Batman #3, Batman and Two-Face find themselves at the mercy of the murderous KGBeast (the strikethrough was a nice touch). Batman, still tethered to Harvey at the hand despite his best effort, has no answer for the maniac mountain of a man standing over him. New Bat-Family member, Duke Thomas comes to his mentor’s aid, barreling through the machete wielding lunatic with a jeep. They collect themselves and push forward, still en route to the mysterious house destination with the whole world of villainy on their tail.

Harvey sustained some devastating injuries and needed fixing while stopped at a Batcave operated by longtime Batman ally, Harold Allnut. Bruce and Duke reveal some interesting plot points to set up the approaching drama before they continue on in an underground water tunnel. Harvey is again one step ahead of them and Batman’s progress is halted by an ambush of Owls.

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Snyder introduced a formula of sorts for these All-Star Batman issues and he keeps twisting it a little more every time. It’s a sign of truly brilliant story building to be able to pull that off without it getting even a little tiresome. And the dialogue which has hinted at Bruce and Harvey’s history all pays off in the end when it comes full circle.

The tour of Batman’s rogues throughout this series has been an absolute delight. Every time somebody shows up, they’re given exactly the right amount of time to properly service the ride without derailing anything. All-Star Batman keeps compiling new favorite moments for fans of classic characters. The Penguin scene at the gas station is the best Cobblepot moment I can remember happening in a long time. The opening assault by KGBeast is so brutal and beautiful; as the scene unfolds and it’s broken down like an infomercial for murder armor, with everything readers love about comic books coming to the forefront in that moment. The brief appearance of the Royal Flush Gang was magnificent and had my Bat-heart jumping in excitement.

[I also really want more of this metal band that Duke listens to, composed of ex-Arkham inmates. I want it to be real and I want my band, Space Drugs, to cover all their songs. That idea as a whole was very Grant Morrison like, which is the highest compliment for a Batman book as far as I’m concerned.]

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Visually, All-Star Batman #3 is as stunning and detail oriented as the story it’s illustrating. There isn’t a single panel wasted, readers will get lost in examining the finer features of each image. The texture of Batman’s suit alone could occupy my attention longer than it generally takes to read an entire comic book. Romita’s version of every character should instantly become the favorite version of every Bat-fan. Dean White’s color palette immerses readers in a sea of blood, bruises, and action that more than satisfies the eye.

Every issue of All-Star Batman has been impossible to put down, and leaves readers with an undying need to know what’s going to happen next.  This truly is a combination of talent that perfectly delivers what every Batman fan could want in a tale for the ages. This is a perfect comic book in a perfect comic book series.

Rating 5

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