Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: John Romita Jr. and Danny Miki
At this point, with more than half a decade of Batman credits to his name, it’s abundantly clear to me, as a lifelong Batman fan, that Scott Snyder is the best modern storyteller the character has. All-Star Batman continues its excellent pacing and pulpy, off-the-beaten-path atmosphere with its fourth issue, and it’s a must-read.
Right away this issue felt rewarding when the cliffhanger from last month wasn’t undone by some copout, the way cliffhangers are known to do, especially in comics. Batman’s apparent blindness isn’t written off with a cheap undoing. Instead he is forced to deal with it in a very Batman-like way. It made for one of the coolest action sequences of the year for the Dark Knight. Snyder keeps finding ways to breath life into a character that by no means is lacking the air, but it’s so damn refreshing anyways.
The story’s backwoodsy atmosphere, with its golden hues and deranged and grimey characters, is such a departure from the shadows of Gotham. Like I said in an earlier review, it was something I thought I’d need getting used to, since I simply love Gotham and somehow never grow weary of its alleys and train cars. But this road trip is working, issue after issue. The villains are memorable and expansive, the drama is genuine and real, and whether or not you’ve enjoyed Duke so far, Snyder clearly remains committed and has found ways to make him interesting in the present story and the prequel story we’re getting at the back of each issue.
There are a few slip-ups where villains do stupid villain things — stop leaving Batman “to die” if you want him dead — but overwhelmingly, I’d be surprised if this isn’t shaping up to be one of 2016’s best comics. I read Batman almost exclusively when it comes to comics, so while I understand his character greatly, I’m not privy to the status of the rest of the comicsphere. If there are many comics out there right now better than All-Star Batman, I’d love to hear about them, because reading something as well done as A-SB is simply awesome.