In the latest instalment of All-Star Batman, Scott Snyder put the pedal to the metal in a big way. Whereas the previous issue possessed a lot more action than plot movement, All-Star Batman #3 has all the right moves in all the right places. Duke’s finally proved his worth and must help Batman hide out with Two-Face before the cops and bounty hunters catch them. With so much at stake, there’s a thrill and excitement in the third part of ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ that takes the series up a notch.
What Snyder and his team have done beautifully is introduce more humour into the mix, establishing All-Star Batman as much more than another grim caped crusader affair. It’s not quite as campy as Batman ’66, but it possesses the tongue-in-cheek bravado of Burton’s Batman. The Bat Knuckles, in particular, were a hoot, as were the over-the-top violent action sequences à laThe Dark Knight Returns. Stylishly executed and witty, the light-hearted bits should shut up the naysayers who are afraid of the dark, i.e. every whiny Batman v Superman critic.
Considering the popular villains, such as Penguin and Black Mask, introduced in All-Star Batman so far, I’m rather surprised to say I’ve enjoyed Snyder’s portrayal of KGBeast (or Beast) in #3 the most. There’s a genuine menace to this incarnation of Anatoli Knyazev that evokes memories of Batman’s knockdown drag outs with Deathstroke and turns an ordinarily bland character into a legitimate adversary. Also, Beast’s quick interaction with the Royal Flush Gang was another moment of Snyder brilliance.
The one part of the story I wasn’t a big fan of was the tightening of the history between Bruce and Harvey. While I understand it was done to show how Bruce could’ve turned into Two-Face and Harvey into Batman in another world, I’m oversaturated with the whole notion of every character either being in love, related to, or a childhood friend of another. It’s a soap opera trope that annoys the bejesus out of me; just look at the Gotham TV show for examples of how it doesn’t work.
All things considered, All-Star Batman #3 is another fantastic issue from a dream team. With Tom King’s Batman moving from strength to strength along with Snyder’s – and both seemingly pushing the other to be better – it’s fair to say it’s a great time to be a Batman fan.