All Star Batman #8 Review

Posted March 15, 2017 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by: Giuseppi Camuncoli, Mark Morales, Dean White, & Francesco Francavilla

Publisher: DC

Honestly, I should just stop reading All Star Batman. I keep getting these review copies tossed my way and I really don’t have anything better to do with my time. I mean, that isn’t the reason I keep reading. Deep down, I know that not only is Scott Snyder an excellent writer, but I know he can write a really good Batman.

Unfortunately, you wouldn’t really know either of those things were true if you were reading All Star Batman.

Honestly, a lot of my problems with this issue stem from it fundamentally failing at being at comic book. At some point, this should have just been a novel. Snyder is really just writing prose at this point, and it doesn’t work. It’s incredibly dense, and makes Batman come across as even more of a twat than he does otherwise.

Snyder also seems to have gotten into the nasty habit of writing one shots that really need time to be fleshed out. There are multiple elements of the narrative that felt like they could have used another few issues to really develop and mature. As it is, I really don’t feel like I’m being given a legitimate reason to care about the events I’m watching unfold.

I mean, I guess Snyder is trying to explain that to me in Batman’s internal monologue. Which, for this issue, is annoyingly in the second person, to the point I had to re-read it to make sure it was, in fact, internal monologue.

Here’s the thing: having Batman explain the aspect of his character that Snyder is trying to break down and analyze isn’t a good way of achieving that goal. It comes across as kind of messy. I hate saying that, because at its core, this series was a great idea.

I really got the sense that this was supposed to be a treatise on Batman’s relationship with his rogue’s gallery. I get that Snyder is trying to do that, but this isn’t a particularly good Mad Hatter story. It doesn’t take the character to new places, or give us a look into what makes him tick. It doesn’t even do the thing where we get insight into the villain because of how the hero interacts with them.

Fortunately, the backup is quite a bit better. It’s far lighter fare, but Snyder’s dialogue is solid. Also, Francesco Francavilla interiors! Those are always an absolute delight, and he definitely does not disappoint here.

But the backup is a small portion of this issue, and everything else about it is far from great. Its written into oblivion, and for all the words I digested, I don’t think I took anything out of it. It wasn’t even particularly fun – I came away feeling like my time had been utterly wasted.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.