All-Star Batman (2016-) Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of BATMAN, Scott Snyder, comes his newest Dark Knight project as a part of DC Universe Rebirth, ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY! 
Snyder is one of the most critically acclaimed authors in the comics world, with titles that include the genre-defining BATMAN VOL. 1: THE COURT OF OWLS, as well as BATMAN: BLACK MIRROR and AMERICAN VAMPIRE. But this time, he teams with Eisner Award-winning illustrator and comics legend John Romita Jr. (Avengers, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: THE LAST CRUSADE) and critically acclaimed artist Declan Shalvey (Moon Knight)!
In this new graphic novel, Batman finds himself trying to help old friend Harvey Dent…now known as the villainous Two-Face! The Dark Knight accompanies his foe on a cross-country trip to fix his scarred face and hopefully end the Two-Face identity forever. But when the former Gotham City D.A. sets a plan into motion to free himself, the road gets bumpy and every assassin, bounty hunter and ordinary citizen with something to hide comes out in force with one goal: kill Batman! Handcuffed together on the road to Bat-hell, this is Batman and Two-Face as you’ve never seen them before! 
Following the success of COURT OF OWLS, DEATH OF THE FAMILY and ENDGAME, ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY is the industry-shaking graphic novel for the Dark Knight, with one of the biggest creative pairings in DC Comics history sharing their take on one of the greatest heroes ever in ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1! Collects issues #1-5.

The story keeps moving quite quickly with the arch between Batman and Harvey creating the right amount of tension to keep you wondering where this was going. It’s better if you have background with these characters and previous story lines because it doesn’t lend itself well to those new to the comic world. At the same time it’s light on exposition and background while it focuses on action so you could read this just for an entertainment value so it’s the equivalent of an action movie. I’ve been reading a lot of Rebirth lately and this doesn’t completely mesh with the others so if you are expecting perfect continuity you need to change your headspace going in.

 The only big complaint I have is with the artwork. It’s not bad, in fact it’s incredibly detailed, gritty and conveys more information and action in one panel than you’d think possible. But it’s also doing all of this at the extreme end of the spectrum and doesn’t really fit with the story arch. Some of the characters don’t even look like themselves, they’re too dark and unflinching. Then there are panels so full of action it makes it difficult to understand everything without staring at until your eyes go cross because it was all crammed into a tiny space when it needed a bigger one. This is a huge conflict for me because I still can’t get over the talent it took to create this art, it’s just staggering. I think trying to coalesce it with the story is giving me problems because Romita is a genius.

 Thank you to Netgalley and DC Comics for allowing me to review this book.

 *synopsis and pic from

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