REVIEW: ALL-STAR BATMAN #5
AUTHOR: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
DATE: December 27, 2016

SYNOPSIS: “MY OWN WORST ENEMY” conclusion! Batman, Duke and Two-Face square off in a fight for Harvey Dent’s soul. With assassins flooding in from across the countryside, Batman learns that even his most trusted allies might choose evil over good.

Whew!

What a balls-to-the-wall ride this has been!

I was lucky enough to get an early look at Scott Snyder’s ALL-STAR BATMAN #5 – which concludes a heck of a story arc featuring Harvey Dent/Two-Face titled, “My Own Worst Enemy.”

To catch you up to speed (See what I did there?), Batman -- along with Harvey Dent, Two Face (Yes, I separated them for a reason), and Duke Thomas – goes on a balls-to-the-wall, pedal-to-the-metal, 498 mile journey from hell to save Harvey Dent from Two Face.

The goal of this journey: A very important house – at least to Bruce and Harvey – in which there just might be a “cure” to rid Gotham’s former D.A. from his evil alter ego one and for all.

To make things even more "interesting," Two-Face has put a bounty on Batman’s head to prevent him from getting Harvey Dent to “The House.” Thus, a multitude of Batman villains – The Penguin, Firefly, Killer Moth, Great White Shark, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, the KGBeast, and others – are chasing The Dark Knight to collect the prize. Oh yeah, it seems that Two-Face has something on just about everyone in Gotham, so taking out Dent is yet another goal of the chasers.

So just why is Batman doing this? Well, Harvey asked – and despite being begged by Alfred and Jim Gordon not to do it – The Dark Knight does it anyway.

I won’t spoil the reason behind Batman’s mission here, OK? But I will say that Mr. Snyder has given us a new – and rather interesting addition – to the Harvey/Bruce friendship/partnership. I’ll let you find out on your own what it is, but let’s just say that a young Batman partnering-up with D.A. Harvey Dent wasn’t the beginning of their relationship.

As far as the end results in this issue, it was everything you could’ve wanted. And if you’ve on this ride with Batman since issue #1, you won’t be disappointed on how it ends. There were two BIG story threads yet unresolved at the end of issue #5:

Would Batman get Harvey to the aforementioned house and what would Gordon and the GCPD find behind the grandfather clock at Wayne Manor? Issue #6 provides the answers to both though questions in a very awesome – and, ahem, “Batmanish” – way.

*wink*

(That wink above has doulbe meaning, FYI.)

It took me a while to get used to John Romita, Jr.’s artwork when I started reading, but that was probably because I was so used to Greg Capullo’s work with Snyder on BATMAN. However, I adjusted quickly and ended up loving JRJ’s work on this story arc. In fact, it fit the super-fast action that was the core of all five parts of this story.

To me, “My Own Worst Enemy” played out like a movie. It reminded me of THE DEFINANT ONES, MIDNIGHT RUN, MAD MAX, THE FRENCH CONNECTION and, hell, even SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT (the action, not the comedy). I don’t know if that is what Scott Snyder was going for, but if it was, he succeeded brilliantly.

Man, this was a fun story to read! I can’t wait until it’s released as a collection to re-read it, start to finish, at one sitting (many times). In fact, if you didn’t read “My Own Worst Enemy,” wait and pick up the collected trade this coming Spring. However, you gotta start reading ALL-STAR BATMAN! A new story featuring Mr. Freeze with artwork by Jock makes up issue #6 – so time to jump on board! - Bill "Jett" Ramey

GRADE: A+


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