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All-Star Batman #1

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by John Romita, Jr.
Published by DC Comics

Scott Snyder’s run writing Batman was arguably the best part of DC’s New 52, and fans were crushed to learn that part of the Rebirth relaunch meant that this writer was leaving the book. He was handing the reins over to Tom King, and they collaborated on a transition book that I reviewed for Ultimate Comics, but the sense of loss was still there.

Surprise! Scott Snyder is still here, and he still loves Batman, and he’s still great at it. But now he is writing All-Star Batman, a series that will rotate him through a series of high-profile artists, including some friends of Ultimate Comics.

This first issue teams the writer with industry legend John Romita, Jr. for a story about Batman’s attempt to cure Two-Face. After the lawyer-turned-kingpin unleashes a mutilating attack on Gotham City, Batman resolves to activate an old plan the pair had made when Harvey Dent was still a mostly good guy. But this involves leaving the city Batman knows so well, and Two-Face has some big ideas about how to make sure the hero never comes home.

This is a wonderful issue, with an engaging structure that hops around in time but never to the point of losing the reader. Romita is loving the fight scenes against mech-suited baddies, and the change of location allows a brighter color palette than the cityscape usually does. This is easily as good as his work on the Batman title has been in the New 52. Rest easy, Bat-fans. It’s going to be okay.

Best part of the issue, of course, is the huge one-page ad for this November’s NC Comicon! Yes, everyone reading this book is going to hear about our little show that could! Get this book, get excited, and make sure to come to Durham November 11-13 for the convention!

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics