Comic Corner: All Star Batman (Review)

All Star Batman is one of the coolest comics that is currently out on DC’s lineup. Many feel that Rebirth has been one big apology for the mess that ended up being the New 52, however, All Star Batman is one of those gems that rise above the rest. Penciled by none other than John Romita Jr., beautiful art as well as an excellent story cascade resoundingly over top of this phenomenal series.

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For those who don’t know, the last time All Star was attached to a DC series, we got All Star Superman. All Star Superman found the Man of Steel dying of cancer due to exposure to too much sun radiation. All Star Batman finds our protagonist in an extremely similar light. Sick of Two Face’s antics Batman begins to transport him to a small house that holds significance to Harvey Dent. The theory behind this is that Harvey will be able to overcome Two Face and beat out the villain once and for all. Harvey, however, has other plans.

This isn’t the same Two Face that you remember from many of the other comics. This is a brutal, cunning, and exceedingly smart Two Face that uses his wits and the information he’s gathered on many hoods and civilians alike over the years to outsmart Batman. The Dark Knight finds himself pitted against hordes of Dent’s enemies and allies as they all seek to take his head and save Two Face to keep their secrets from getting out. What’s so remarkable is that the story manages to maintain an excellently introspective tone throughout. Remarking on Harvey Dent’s mental illness like never before, it’s pretty clear to see that this is a newer take on a classic Batman story.

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Beyond that, the art is absolutely splendid. JR Jr. is definitely an acquired taste, but when you get used to his gritty, and blocky penciling, it definitely grows on you. He’s penciled some of my favorite comics, such as the Kick Ass series. Every scene pops to life with brilliant colors, and the way Batman is drawn truly makes him seem like a force to be reckoned with, as he should be. Each cover is also a hard cover rather than a paperback, so collector’s can rejoice at their investments carrying long term value.

While the story can be a bit confusing at first, it definitely picks up the pace and quickly finds its footing within the first two issues. Things begin to make sense, and the start is definitely something to behold. We get to see awesome villains like Killer Croc, Penguin, Firefly, Zzazz, and so many more come to life in this epic tale. We also get reminded over and over again why Bats is the biggest bad ass in the DC Universe, as he uses his wits to outsmart each and every foe that he comes across in his quest to redeem Dent.

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In the end, All Star Batman is easily one of the brightest beacons in the DC Universe Rebirth lineup. If you haven’t picked it up already, absolutely go out and get it. Be warned, this isn’t a campy Bat tale, this is a gritty, gory, and ultimately stomach turning rendition of the Dark Knight’s crusade to save a former friend who has fallen to the dark side. All Star Batman is a gem for longtime fans and new readers alike.

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