Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All-Star Batman #5 Review and *SPOILERS*



Two Ways To Go


Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Tom Palmer, Sandra Hope, Richard Friend, Dean White Steve Wands
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 28, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We've traveled pretty hard with Batman on his way to find a cure for Two-Face and seen some disturbing things along the way...... as well as some bad ass things, but all in all it's the greed and secrets of people that this series seems to be all about because on one hand we have the good people of Gotham........ and pretty much everyone else really, who want to keep their secrets to themselves and because of this they want to stop Batman from getting Harvey to the place where this so called "cure" lies and we have villain after villain showing up to do the same because they were promised a fortune if they succeeded in stopping Batman.  This arc has all been about curing Two-Face of this second persona and Harvey's more dangerous side doing all that he can to stop our hero.  It's been a tough road so far, hopefully the final mile eases up a bit and gives Batman and Duke a break.  Let's jump into this issue and find out what all of this has been about.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins right where we left off previously, with the casino boat (where KGBeast brought Batman, Duke and Two-Face) being overrun with the people who want to make sure that they're secrets don't get out in the world.......... and also, judging by the bandages on their faces, people who just want a little pay back for Two-Face's acid rain fiasco that preceded this story.  With this distraction, Batman is able to get away from his captor and get back to his journey of taking Harvey to the boys home that Batman and him spent a summer in when they were kids.  The only problem is....... it's all been for not.

That's right, as we saw previously when Duke saw the compounds that were in the cure, it's not actually something that can just take away the Two-Face persona........ Yeah, I don't know how Duke knew that something was up, but this cure is more of a way for Harvey to give up his struggle of constantly going back and forth between his evil persona and hurting folks and what we end up with is something that more brings your loving nature or your selfish nature to the forefront of your personality.......... It all depends which side of you is stronger and seeing that Harvey is willing to give up, I'm guessing we all know which side is going to be brought to the surface permanently.  Now, obviously Batman isn't about to let this go down, but he's prodded into action when he finds out that Harvey set up the acid rain and not Two-Face and that the police are invading Wayne Manor because there's finally proof of Bruce Wayne being Batman........... which stems from Alfred using Batcave funds to try and help Bruce out years ago by trying to put a hit out on the Joker so that he could spare his adopted son and everyone else from the horrors of that monster and even though he ultimately stopped the hit before it could go down, the paper trail was still out there and Two-Face found it and used it against our hero to tip off the police and use the information for their current raid. 

In the end, Batman is called the villain of the story by Two-Face because he's willing to let everything he's worked for be turned upside down so that he could simply be selfish and cure his old friend of his affliction and just when you think that Batman's been beaten and gives into Harvey's demands for this so-called cure, we find out that Batman was ready for this ruse and had Harold create something new that would make it so Harvey would never be able to be injected with his compound and have it affect him.  That's right, Batman's "booster" as he puts it makes it so Harvey will always have to struggle with his evil nature and make it so Two-Face will never be the dominant personality.  Everything turns out fine for our hero when it comes to the police because for some reason there's a man-cave set up down the stairs behind the grandfather clock, which Jim Gordon alludes to it being a precaution in case someone ever found their way down there unauthorized, but that's all wrapped up and we're left with one final bout between Batman and KGBeast that sees the foe falling off a cliff and Duke saving Batman from the same fate.  It's funny too because after everything is said and done, we have an after credit sequence with the Black and White Gang, who have gone into hiding after hiring KGBeast and everything blowing up in their faces and we end this story with a ring at the doorbell of the house they're hiding in and when they answer it, they're confronted by KGBeast yelling "Mess" and them running for their lives.  It's funny because this was simply Batman in Beast's mask having a little fun and even though it seemed out of place for everything that we've dealt with in this story, it was a much appreciated piece of levity that allowed me to leave this story with a smile on my face.

That's it for this issue of All-Star Batman and while this story arc hasn't really "wowed" me throughout its run, it has been competent in keeping me intrigued with what's going on.  Yeah, the ending to this arc felt a little too forced in order to wrap everything up, with Harold Allnut making another compound in order to screw Two-Face over and the police just not finding anything with their raid on Wayne Manor, but everything with Two-Face felt great in the interactions with him and our hero and really, that's what I was invested in with this story.  The side stories really didn't mean much to me and I even found myself confused at times throughout this arc for when any of it was actually going down.  The art.......... well, I'm not a fan of Romita Jr's art and this issue doesn't change my feelings on that.  everything just came off muddy looking and felt kind of rushed at times.  I really hope that I can get into the art style with our next All-Star Batman story because the biggest problem I had with this story overall was the art that was depicting it.

Bits and Pieces:

We wrap up our "My Own Worst Enemy" story with this issue and while the interactions with Batman and Two-Face are pretty great, I feel like the conclusion was forced a bit, especially with our side stories.  Hopefully we'll have a bit of a continuation with our revelations of Alfred's part of this story in the further installments, but for this there just wasn't enough to really get excited over.  The biggest problem I have with this issue and really the whole story arc is the art, but even with that this was a decent arc that kept me entertained and intrigued along the way and I can't wait to see what we get next.

6.5/10
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