Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: John Romita Jr.
Scott Snyder’s return to the cape and cowl started off with plenty of promise in last month’s debut of All-Star Batman, and the second issue of his first arc continues to build an intriguing pulp atmosphere for Batman and Two-Face on their road trip from hell.
At times, All-Star Batman #2 was a bit hard to follow. What is clearly here to stay as a storytelling technique is the non-linear timeline of events. It’s giving the whole story an awesomely dramatic pace. We start at the end, jump back to the beginning, cut away in the middle sometimes, all before stepping aside completely to concurrently tell a Duke story as a sort of issue within the issue. I didn’t spoil the existence of that in my last review, but you should know by now that Snyder’s Duke focus isn’t ever going away. Fans haven’t always been very open to yet another Bat-Family adoption, but this second issue offers some really interesting threads for that B plot.
On the A plot side, also known as Harvey and Bruce Do America, the cast of characters grows immensely. It’s a bit of a disappointment, because I was really looking forward to the advertised premise of smaller, more focused stories between the Dark Knight and some of his greatest villains, one by one. The premiere issue already betrayed that idea, but not to the extent this second issue does. Two-Face is still far and away the obvious main enemy in the story, but so many familiar faces, some of them from Batman’s uppermost tier themselves, show up here in this second issue, and I’m hoping it’s only setting up for future arcs and we won’t see them much more for now.
There are some truly great lingering threads set up in this issue that overall do make up for the slight confusion in what’s going on, and one major mystery I can’t wait to see unmasked. On top of that, the art, both pencils and the color palette, are somehow even better than the last issue. This series is in great hands, and if the focus can be maintained I don’t worry at all that it’ll be well worth the time month after month.