REVIEW: ALL-STAR BATMAN #10
Author: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
Date: May 9, 2017

SYNOPSIS: ďThe First AllyĒ part one! When The Dark Knight is taken down by a new enemy whose attacks he cannot counter, he uncovers a plot spanning generationsÖwhose mastermind might be one of his closest allies! But who is the First Ally?

Scott Snyder kicks off a new arc in this monthís ALL-STAR BATMAN #10. He hits the road yet again (itís a trend for ASB) and this time heís in Miami. It seems his nemesis Hush has returned and has used his Bruce Wayne looks to cause a little mischief. This leads the real Bruce and Alfred off the coast to chase down a new weapon, where they now become borderline pirates (donít worry, not Grant Morrison pirates). In classic Bruce fashion, he walks into a scenario where his chances of making it out alive are slim, but he finds a way. Unfortunately, his lead to track down this new weapon is killed in a horrific way, and makes a connection to one of Bruceís closest allies.

Fantastic. Not sure if my summary can do this issue justice. What a great 30-page read! I even left out the other story, following a criminal (?) on the run who gets unmasked at the end, and isnít who we thought it was. Another great touch was Alfred narrating the entire issue, spewing father-like emotions on every page. I canít remember a time where the butler expressed so much love for Bruce in such a way, and it worked. The key for the issue (and arc?) is Bruce and Alfredís relationship, which is important in the Batman mythos, and I love seeing it.

Actually, the whole story worked, including the back-up, which found Bruce traveling to Russia (of all places). The pacing throughout the issue was great. The jumping between stories made complete sense by the end. Bringing in Hush was a nice addition. The cliffhanger has me excited for issue #11. Bruce was 100% Batman and Bruce Wayne in this, and his scene with Alfred and Tommy Elliot was fantastic, not to mention a little sadistic.

Snyderís long-time collaborator Rafael Albuquerque handles the art this month, and crushes it. His skill for horror is one of the best in comics today (if you havenít read their American Vampire work, I canít recommend it enough). Here, he creates a distinct mood on every page that just works for this story. Itís not all dark either. Once we travel to the Caribbean, itís colorful, bright and a good looking panel. Of course, it all changes just a few pages later, and that works too.

I donít want to ramble, so Iíll just get to the point. ALL-STAR BATMAN has me just as excited as the first story arc in the title. This issue was fun, had attitude, wasnít trying to be too complex, and surprised me a few times. Iím curious how many parts this story will have, but Iíll buy a ticket for the ride. - Ryan Lower

GRADE: A

A lifelong Batman fan, Ryan Lower grew up in the midwest
reading, watching, dreaming of The Dark Knight.
His favorite Batman stories are
THE LONG HALLOWEEN, THE DARK KNIGHT
and anything from
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.
He currently resides in his own Batcave in Chicago.
Follow him on Twitter @LOWER_RYAN.


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