– by Emmanuel Gomez

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artwork: John Romita Jr.

Inks: Danny Miki

Colors: Dean White 

One of the best things to come out of the NEW 52 was Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman. At the end of the arc “End Game,” we knew that there was a change in the creative team coming. We soon found out it was none other than Tom King and David Finch who have been doing a great job so far. Now armed with John Romita Jr. and Jock on art, Scott Snyder is back on ALL-STAR BATMAN to give us those stories he wants to tell using specific characters in mind. Looks like we are starting with Batman and Harvey Dent, Two-Face.

This issue kicks off with a bang. Given the distance traveled (mentioned at the top of the page) I am going to guess that the Diner that this issue takes place in is on the outskirts of Gotham. As everyone is having breakfast, Batman is thrown into the building by Firefly and Killer Moth, who are looking for Two-Face. A bit later another hired gun called Black Spider also joins the action.

Through the issue we learn that Two-Face has been wreaking havoc, not only to the general public, but to the crime bosses as well. Using mechanisms that were put into place when he was district attorney, he is able to monitor the crime in all of Gotham and thus use it as an information network. The difference now is that instead of stopping crime he is now promoting it. It is because of advantages like this that Two-Face has the entire Gotham underworld nervous, because he has privileged information on everyone, and that can be very bad if it got out into the public.

Now supposedly Harvey’s side of Two-Face has contacted Batman and told him that he knew of a way to get rid of his evil side, as he feels that he has very dangerous plans that would be realized soon. The only way he can do this is by going to some house that will require a road trip. Harvey agreed, but Two-Face didn’t. In fact, Two-Face makes a threat to the world and an offer.

The threat is that if he reaches his destination, he will expose all of the secrets of everyone he knows. The offer is that if someone frees him from this trip, he will give them the fortunes of three crime bosses in Gotham.

As we have seen in this book so far, many are ready to take this offer. Even the folks from the diner come together to try and stop Batman for the money. But the surprise comes in the form of Alfred, who brings down the Bat Plane and forces the Batman and Two-Face on the ground. By the end of the issue Batman has figured out that he is on his own and even cuts off communication with Alfred. With that he borrows a big rig and heads down the road with not only Two-Face, but a stowaway in the form of Gentlemen Ghost. Only 497 more miles to go.

ALL-STAR BATMAN is easily my book of the week. I love the action-packed star that we are treated to this week. The interesting aspect of this book for me is that I want to know what character’s secrets will be revealed throughout their journey. For example what does Two-Face have on Alfred to motivate him enough to bring down the Bat Plane? Also, what kind of internal battles are Harvey and Two-Face going to have as one wants this madness to end and the other doesn’t.

I also like how the degree of difficulty in taking Two-Face to this mysterious house is shown at the end, because even though they had just gone through all that action with hired hands, and even common folks, they still had 497 miles to go. You know that with Scott Snyder things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. I cannot wait to see what else he has up his sleeves.

I am not a fan of John Romita’s artwork since he has come to DC Comics, I thought his work on Superman looked terrible. As far as this book it’s a lot better but I still don’t care for it at all. But overall it is still a solid book, and I cannot wait to get the next issue. What a great time to be reading Batman comics we have Tom King on one title and Scott Snyder on another, not to mention James Tynion IV on DETECTIVE. DC Comics is definitely putting a lot of quality books out right now and ALL-STAR BATMAN is no exception.