Wednesday, October 4, 2017

All-Star Batman #14 Review

Broken Mirror

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque, Jordie Bellaire and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 4, 2017

I have enjoyed this arc of All-Star Batman so this issue is a bit bittersweet.  We get to see the mystery of the First Ally, but then it's all over.  Yep, this is the final issue of the series and while Scott Snyder is hinting it may come back in some other way, I'm going to miss it.  So, is this a great sendoff?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Briar and the Knight taking the wounded Batman away in a plane and the dialogue continues the father/son angle, but here we see that Briar considers his mentoring of Alfred a failure and Alfred's of Bruce an utter disgrace.  However, he has fixed all that with a Dark Knight who was trained with no weaknesses of attachment.  Yea, that always works out peachy keen!

It's all interrupted by Alfred (who does use guns!) and it's a back and forth in time to show how much things have changed but still remain the same.  The lesson here?  Alfred always did and always will kick total ass!

We get to see Alfred reject the Crown of Thorns in the past and try to shoot down Briar's new plan in the shooting down his plane!  That leads to the inevitable confrontation between Alfred and the new Dark Knight.

There is a fight, but it's full more of posturing and insults than body blows and ends with Batman stepping in, but also with the reader finding out the identity of the Knight.  It's a bit of a shocker (except to my man, Hussein), but makes total sense.  The twists keep coming as the Knight ends up forging his won path and becoming his own First Ally as he was meant to be. 

We continue with Alfred wrapping up his "pirate narration" that ran throughout the arc and it ends in a very touching way that actually allowed him to have some peace with his father and to begin taking over the task of winding clocks.  There is a cute little touch with a young Bruce that is also a bit heartbreaking knowing what is to come later, but I still had a smile on my face here.  Then it ends and maybe I got something in my eye.  Yea, I think my wife was cutting onions or something.

We then get the finale of Rafael Albuquerque's backup and he saved his best for last.  It continues the chase between Batman and his Russian enemies, but ends with Batman saving Gotham for now and Lady Vik showing the reader there is more than meets the eye with her and this entire story by the end.  Kudos to Albuquerque, I didn't see that coming!

This was a really good finale to this arc and series and I recommend it to any Batman fan, but especially to every Alfred fan out there.  I know you're out there, I can't be the only one.  Scott Snyder shows us a bit of Alfred's dark past and it makes him an even better character for it.  Rafael Albuquerque kicks total ass here with this being the best looking issue of the arc, in my opinion.

Bits and Pieces:

Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque end All-Star Batman on a high note that was action packed, but also full of the feels.  While I wish this series was continuing, but at least it went off into the sunset with a kick ass Alfred leading the way and a story that looked great and also tugged at the heartstrings as well.  Recommended.


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