Wednesday, November 9, 2016

All-Star Batman #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Beast From The East

Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Dean White, Steve Wands, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 9, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Batman has had himself a hell of a road trip with Two-Face and while I'd like to say that the journey has become easier now that Duke has called "Shotgun", it certainly hasn't.  In case you haven't been reading All-Star Batman up to this point, our hero has been taking Harvey Dent to a house where the two spent time during their childhood for separate psychiatric reasons and where the two as adults planned on reopening this children's home before Harvey got all acid-y.  It's at this house where a cure for Harvey might be, but from what we've seen so far, it all seems like a big ruse.  As our previous issue closed, it seemed like a bunch of ninjas tried to stop the Dark Knight as a part of Two-Face's agreement with Gotham that if someone stopped Batman from his task, Harvey would pay them handsomely and also not send out all the secrets he's collected on the populace over the years.  If that wasn't enough, we also saw Two-Face pour a vile of acid on our hero's eyes and since Batman is already beat to holy hell, I don't know if he'll be able to keep trekking.  Let's jump into this issue and see if Batman wins the day or if KGBeast catches up to him and shows him just how dangerous he really is.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins and I realize that these ninjas as I called them previously are actually weird ass looking Talons, who are being lent out to Two-Face since apparently the Court of the Owls aren't all about letting their secrets out either and we see our hero getting the acid poured on his eyes again.......... but Batman's not entirely helpless though because........... well, because he's Batman and our hero launches pieces of his suit out at Two-Face and then proceeds to turn on his echo-location system within it so that he and Duke can fight off the Talon threat.  This would have worked fine, but to secure his escape, Two-Face turned on a water main and started flooding the sewer, which allowed the Talons to stand at the bottom and tie our heroes' feet down.  Luckily, Batman has those wonderful toys of his and activates his sound system to play Duke's favorite band, blasting the Talons away and allowing our heroes to escape and subdue Two-Face once again.

As crazy as Batman is, I never really thought that he'd be crazy enough to fly a plane while blind, but I guess you learn something new everyday.  It's not really clear about how Batman's eyes will be better by the time he lands as he claims, but I'm guessing it had something to do with the protective coating on his cowl and also the fact that he got one hell of an eye flush going on once the sewer filled up with water.  Too bad we never get to see if Batman's eyes heal up before they land because KGBeast drops down onto their bi-plane from one he was flying himself and somehow knocks our heroes out and lands the plane and ties them up at an abandoned casino for the Black and White gang.  

In the end, Penguin shows Two-Face a video that Harvey Dent left for his other half and we find out that if Two-Face doesn't give the Black and White gang the codes to the database of secrets, he's okay with them killing him, but it doesn't look like they'll have the chance because we find out the tracker that Harvey put into himself so that the Black and White gang could find him actually had its signal widened out so that anyone could find it when Two-Face escaped from Batman earlier in the issue so now this building is surrounded by people in masks just shooting the place up, looking for blood.  As for our Cursed Wheel backup....... well, we find out that Ms. Boone, who was a previous victim of Zsasz, who got away, knew that Zsasz was back out and made a deal with Two-Face to get word to him so that she could lead him to her partners to take them out and also make it look like Zsasz finally got his victim.  All that and Bruce is allowing Duke's parents to stay on the grounds because Duke can take their terrible slurs at him because joker venom makes you lash out at the things you love....... and also because Duke wants to take the next step in his Cursed Wheel training.

That's it for this issue of All-Star Batman and while I still enjoyed this issue........ the main issue more than the backup, I still would have liked more of an explanation or even just to be shown how exactly Batman was able to overcome the acid that was poured on his eyes and maybe even a transition to where KGBeast landed the plane he boarded to take our heroes down.  Everything just moved too fast without much of a transition, but even with that there were a lot of things to enjoy here.  Hell, I even found myself enjoying the art more here, but I'm still not a fan overall.  As for the backup, the way it's been broken up throughout the issues, I find it hard to really get into the story or to even understand how all of it really worked out in the end, but I think the art in this section of the book is probably the best it's been so far.  Overall, there wasn't a lot to this issue, even with some more flashbacks showing Bruce and Harvey as kids and maybe it's because I'm actually enjoying this series, I find myself just wanting more here.

Bits and Pieces:

While this issue doesn't have the punch that the previous issues have had on me, there's still a lot to enjoy about it and a hell of a lot of action that just shows how prepared Batman really is for any situation.  Yeah, the backup still feels off, but the art there was probably the best I've seen so far.  All in all, this is still an interesting series, but by the end of the issue I just wanted more.


1 comment:

  1. I'm very intrigued about how Snyder is trying to add some depth to Two-Face's origin. I wish they would just do a stand alone Duke Thomas mini series and get rid of this backup. It's very jarring and it always reminds me how much I hate JRJr's art. Still, this wasn't a bad issue at all and I think it will read a lot better in trade.