‘All-Star Batman’ #3 Review!

'All-Star Batman' #3 art by John Romita Jr., Danny Miki & Declan Shalvey
'All-Star Batman' #3 art by John Romita Jr., Danny Miki & Declan Shalvey
'All-Star Batman' #3 cover art by Danny Miki, John Romita Jr. & Dean White
‘All-Star Batman’ #3 cover art by Danny Miki, John Romita Jr. & Dean White
  • Written by Scott Snyder
  • Pencils John Romita Jr. & Declan Shalvey
  • Inks by Danny Miki & Declan Shalvey
  • Coloured by Jordie Bellaire, Dean White
  • Cover by Danny Miki, John Romita Jr. & Dean White

“MY OWN WORST ENEMY” part three! Now on the run from both bounty hunters and cops, Batman and Duke must find a safe place to hide out with Two-Face before they can continue their journey to the cure. Batman might soon realize his worst nightmare: that Two-Face is right…and nowhere is safe.

Pickup your copy of ‘All-Star Batman’ #3 at Comixology now!

Finally things are starting to come together with the story of ‘All-Star Batman’. In my reviews of previous issues (here and here) I’ve spent some time talking about how Scott Snyder is using this series to break out of the confines of a ‘normal’ Batman story. The first two issues have very much been a road movie between Batman and Two-Face. A road movie framed with this strange mix of black comedy and drama with a cadre of assassins chasing them down.

Leading up to this point I’ve been critical of just how many assassin characters have been shoehorned in to this story. This issue is no less packed, starting out with KGBeast and also featuring Owls, Penguin, Black Mask and Great White Shark. The difference here is that we are starting to see a structure to all the madness. KGBeast is our leader here, his battle with Batman takes up more than a simple couple of pages and instead pushes the story on much further than any further character appearance so far in the series.

Overall ‘All-Star Batman’ is a very convoluted plot for such a simple concept. The mix of various flashback moments mixed with the travelling drama and overblown cast and at times it can be very difficult to follow.  This issue also continues to throw Duke in to the mix. Fully in costume which I still find slightly confusing as we have yet to fully seem him take up a sidekick role in mainstream ‘Batman’ comics.

By mile 222 I’m not sure that I fully understand quite why Batman was taking Two-Face to their destination or why he agreed to go. When the double cross happens and Two-Face is joined by some souped up Owls (yes from the Court of Owls) it’s a bit of a head scratcher moment. Still there is something about this story which is starting to feel right, I’m invested enough that I need to know where its going.

It’s worth noting that the backup story – ‘The Cursed Wheel’ – is actually outshining the main story in some way. The character portrait of Duke is a fun read.

The sticking point is still the artwork. This issues features a huge amount of action yet it never looks anything other than stiff. Characters look like heavily posed mannequins. I’ve said it before but it is just too heavily stylised to fit with the story. I’m not going to say it’s bad artwork but it really isn’t. It just does not work in the context of ‘All-Star Batman’. At this point it feels like the series would look better if literally any other artist in mainstream comics were working on it.

Verdict

‘All-Star Batman’ #3 is beginning to show what this series is capable of doing. The artwork is still an issue for me but the story is really starting to grip me.

3 stars

About Neil Vagg 1445 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG