All Star Batman #1 (DC)

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CREDIT: DC Comics

Rating: 4.5/5 – Batman’s CannonBall Run!
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

After an extremely brief break, Scott Snyder is back to writing Batman. The writer of DC’s most popular book of the past five years returns to Batman, but in an all new title. All Star Batman pairs Scott Snyder with long time comic book artist John Romita Jr. in a story that’s different than most of the recent Batman stories, but heavily influenced by both Snyder’s traveling across America and movies like Midnight Run or even, to a degree, Cannonball Run. Snyder’s dark take on the character in his previous Batman series is still here, but there’s also a hint of adventure and violent fun as well. Batman is attempting to get Two Face from “Point A” to “Point B” while a whole slew of villains and everyday people try to stop him.

The premise of this first issue and this first storyline is simple, Batman is trying to save Harvey Dent by getting him to an as of yet unrevealed safe house that’s five-hundred miles away. Meanwhile, Two Face’s split personality isn’t making it easy. While the Harvey Dent side wants to be saved, the scarred side has put a bounty on Batman’s head. The reward offered up is huge amounts of cash that Two Face has stolen from Gotham’s largest crime families. As the story opens, the first two villains we see attacking Batman are Killer Moth and Firefly, but the potential in this type of story promises that there will be so many more.

I love the premise of this story, and I love seeing Batman outside of Gotham City or a major city for a change. He’s in the country without all the tools normally at his disposal and plenty of obstacles in his way. Romita’s art is really strong in this first issue and although there are a couple of panels that get too messy, for the most part I don’t think his pencils have looked better in quite some time. His rendition of Batman is fantastic and it’s cool to see Romita Jr. draw him without a cape for a large part of this first issue. Dean White’s colors though are stunning and he beautifully captures all the shades of color in the sky and the backgrounds. His colors, as much as Romita’s pencils if not more so are the star of this first issue and may be the reason why I enjoyed Romita’s art so much!

There’s also a back up story starring the new “Robin” Duke Thomas who was introduced in We Are Robin. Although I loved the art by Declan Shalvey, the story didn’t grab me as of yet, but you can tell that this is just a set up for what’s to come. All Star Batman looks as though it will be DC’s flagship title and you can see that not only by the creators involved, but also by the quality of the package. This is an oversized issue with a cardstock cover and carries a $4.99 price point so be aware, but I feel it’s worth the price after reading this first issue. If you like Snyder & Romita as much as I do, I believe you will too!

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
(shawn@comicspectrum.com
)
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