REVIEW: ALL-STAR BATMAN #6
AUTHOR: Ryan Lower (Follow @LOWER_RYAN)
DATE: January 12, 2017

SYNOPSIS:

ALL-STAR BATMAN #6 serves as a reunion issue. Batman reunites with Mr. Freeze. Scott Snyder reunites with artists Jock and Francesco Francavilla. Fans reunite with a story that may be smarter than it needs to be.

The Dark Knight travels to the top of the world (in a suit that would make an awesome action figure) to disrupt the plans of Mr. Freeze. It seems he’s found a virus in the Earth’s icy core that could create a frozen wasteland, perfect for his ruling. On top of that, he’s resurrected a few zombies in the process who, if nothing else, can help take down the Batman. Our hero has a plan of his own, but with this story arc named “The Ends of the Earth,” will he succeed?

ALL STAR BATMAN #6 is a good issue. What keeps it from being great is that it followed his near-perfect 5-issue arc that came before it. While that story was a road trip, and constantly kept moving, this issue gets a little bogged down with story setup and meandering text. I say that with all due respect, Mr. Snyder. I can appreciate a lot of story (especially on a single issue that costs $4.99), but there was enough description that took me out of the issue for a few moments (the “biology” talk, the copper Batarangs, the actual virus).

Now, on to the goods: Mr. Freeze is a viable threat. We’ve seen it before, and it lives on in this issue. Snyder knows how to make a villain terrifying, and that’s no different here. He effortlessly drafted up a story that helped readers know, right away, that these two characters have a long history, yet Batman isn’t giving up on saving one of his rogues. Good stuff here.

Also a plus, is the art. Jock perfectly penciled issues of Snyder’s acclaimed run in DETECIVE COMICS years ago (collected as the trade THE BLACK MIRROR), perfectly bringing a horror element to the world of The Dark Knight. It’s no different here. Each page is haunting and just plain creepy.

The backup story continues to be the “meh” of this series – however this may be the best chapter. A Riddler story is never bad, and while brief, we’re quickly thrown into a tense situation. Francavilla also returns to Batman for these pages, and it is remarkable. 6 issues in, and ALL STAR BATMANBatman remains the best looking Batbook at DC.

Overall, another valid entry into this still young title. It’s ambitious, true to character, and pretty eerie. Despite my minor quibbles about pacing, it’s still worth your money. - Ryan Lower

GRADE: B

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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