Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: John Romita Jr.
Scott Snyder concludes his first arc as the All-Star Batman scribe with one hell of a finale. As I approached the end of the issue, I reflected on how remarkable it was that it felt like so much had occurred in just one issue a month since August. Surely I miscounted, right? Nope. He’s just that compelling. In five issues, Batman traveled 500 miles, battled countless enemies, and it was all told within an intimate and refreshing storyline.
You can’t exactly call All-Star Batman #5 fast to the end, because the entire series has felt like a runaway train. With that breakneck pace has come an avoidance of the quieter Bruce Wayne moments, as the whole story takes place in just a few days, it seems. Batman never leaves the cape and cowl, never pauses to play pretend as a playboy. He is the Dark Knight from page one all the way to the end of the arc seen in this issue. It’s new ground for Snyder, who spent the last half-decade-plus delivering some of the finest and especially introspective Batman work in the modern era.
This arc took great risks, like leaving Gotham behind almost completely and having only Duke, a polarizing pet project of the author, tagging along with the titular hero. But they worked. The pulpy feel is punctuated to great effect in issue #5. The action feels epic like any finale should and the character drama has the sort of grand reveal we should’ve always expected. All-Star Batman was promised as a series of smaller arcs wherein Batman focuses on one enemy at a time. Snyder really delivered a worthwhile Two-Face story in just 110 pages or so and now he’s looking ahead to my personal favorite villain, Mr. Freeze, and I can’t wait to see what he and Romita Jr. can come up with next.