Episode One: The Enigma
From San Diego Comic Con 2017.
“My Own Worst Enemy” Part One
The return of Scott Snyder to Batman is here. Though he never truly left for any substantial amount of time, it still feels like something new. During his previous run on the adjectiveless Batman book, Snyder largely explored the myth of Batman. Mostly marking his own way and largely staying away from many members of Batman’s gallery of rogues. It is apparent that with the first issue of All Star that he is trying something different.
“Trying something different” is a recurring phrase in the book as Batman interacts with his new partner, Duke Thomas. This also plays into the book as it mostly takes place out of Gotham. This is the biggest difference for Snyder as the city of Gotham was very much a character in his previous run. Instead it takes place in a rural area on the outskirts of the city.
Batman is “escorting” Harvey Dent aka Two Face to a place where he can be “cured” of his villainous half. Outside of visuals I am not the biggest fan of Two Face. There is something tragic about the character and his relationship with Batman. Both identities of Bruce Wayne were friends with the man before half of his face was burned away. It isn’t touched upon much in the first issue but it is there. I’m also a little confused if Two Face knows Bruce Wayne and Batman are one in the same. Within the book it seems he does.
With the absence of The Joker, Two Face has taken over as the top villain in the city. He is now armed with a system that has dirt on everyone and decides to use this new tool to place a bounty on Batman. In a moment of clarity, Harvey pleaded with Bruce to a place they know about that will stop the Two Face half once and for all. So it’s a cross country road trip with Batman and Two Face and people…not just villains after them. There is a twist at the end is intriguing but it’s obvious it’s not what we think.
The art is by the living legend John Romita Jr. He is still fairly new to DC Comics and he already has a polarizing art style. For the most part it works here. There are a few parts where Batman’s body has odd proportions but still works out nonetheless. He gets to draw Batman in a rare sight…broad daylight and farm area. He still managed to make it work.
The book is off to a strong start. The backup details the growing partnership between Batman and Duke. This will no doubt tie into what is going on in the main feature. It will be interesting to see how this arc explores the relationship between Batman and Two Face. Nothing like being in confined spaces to make people bond or not.
Bonus: it is a nice touch to see Two Face is color blind in the eye that is on his scarred half. I always wondered if that eye was damaged.