It’s safe to say that “Ends of the Earth” has exceeded “My Own Worst Enemy” in every way possible. That’s quite a feat considering how good All-Star Batman‘s first arc was. There’s an uncanny symmetry to Scott Snyder’s latest master class, and it comes full circle in All-Star Batman #9 as it dots all the Is and crosses the Ts.
After battling his way through foes around the Earth, Batman finally discovers who’s behind the chaos sweeping the globe. Right off the bat (pardon the pun), I must say there was no surprise to the villain’s identity since Detective Comics spoilt the secret before this issue’s release. It’s disappointing because I do think the big reveal would’ve had a far bigger impact had it been kept as quiet as possible. The comic book world has a bad spoiler culture at the moment, and nothing’s sacred.
The lack of suspense aside, the battle between the Dark Knight and Ra’s al Ghul is everything you expect it to be: brains, brawns, and a lot of smoke and mirrors. As Batman uncovers the Demon Head’s diabolical plan, he’s forced to tap into everything he’s learnt over the past few issues to defeat his deadliest opponent. It’s like watching a chess game between two masters and marvelling at the final outcome. There are so many twists and turns in one issue that you’ll be carsick by the end of it all (kidding).
As expected, Jock’s art blows your mind just like every other time you see his name on a book’s cover. I’d hate to be another artist in DC’s roster having to follow his work on a title. There’s something equally classic and classy about his unique style. Every panel comes to life in an exquisite way and you can’t take your eyes off his illustrations. It’s simply phenomenal to behold.
In “The Cursed Wheel” finale, Duke Thomas’s arc also heats up as he believes he’s solved the Riddler’s puzzle. However, all is not what it seems and Duke’s arc will inevitably fall over into Dark Days, the upcoming collaboration between Snyder and his partner in crime Greg Capullo.
Overall, Snyder closes off “Ends of the Earth” in style here. All-Star Batman #9 takes you to the edge of madness and brings you back to sanity with grace and poise. It’s a wild rollercoaster of a ride and I can’t wait to see what new menace Snyder conjures up for the Caped Crusader next.