To begin with, I am a huge fan of Jock’s artwork. I love his almost incomplete lines mired with his take on shadows and darkness, and I think it’s the perfect fit for Batman stories. Which brings me to this issue of All Star Batman, and how gorgeous it looks. You will flip through the pages over and over again just to see the lines in the snow and how absolutely claustrophobically cold it feels. Its fuckin dope is all I am saying.
I personally prefer Scott Snyder’s run on ASB than I did his Batman run, revered as it maybe. I think he has finally nailed down the essence of his Batman. A deeply flawed individual that is trying to overcome his shortcomings. While nothing new about that in traditional Batman characterization, I do feel Scott Snyder has bought a new dimension to it. In the middle of the over the top violence, Bruce’s humanity shines through front and center. He still has a plan thats ten steps ahead, but he tries to talk to his foes first. Its a thing I have quite enjoyed in ASB.
The other amazing thing about this issue is Steve Wands’ lettering. I fell in love with his work on Scott Snyder’s other work, After Death. There is nary a word balloon in sight, and it looks wonderful. The letters look like oldschool typewriter font and it gives it a sort of read in and weary feel. Add on to the fact that it gives it a prose feel, that almost feels like a voyeuristic experience – it just works.
And thats the best compliment I can give this issue. Everything just works. And does so seamlessly. I honestly think it’s one of the better ASB issues in terms of production value and incidentally a great jumping on point in what has been so far a pretty solid line.
Without bias towards Jock a goddamn 5 Thwips! out of 5.