“Ends of the Earth”, Part 3
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Giuseppi Camuncoli
(Minor spoilers ahead)
All Star Batman is back on track. After a few issues that I enjoyed, but still felt a little mixed on, we get a wonderful issue here. “Ends of the Earth” part 3 takes Batman to the Mississippi Delta, to a house connected to what’s been happening in the past two issues. Inside is one of Batman’s long-standing foes: Jervis Tetch. You may know him better as the Mad Hatter. What follows is essential when telling a Mad Hatter story: a trippy mind control sequence. The issue wraps with a tease of what’s to come, yet we don’t really know what that is.
I’ll cut straight to it. All Star Batman #8 is fantastic. After the past two good-yet-mixed issues, Scott Snyder has done something thoroughly enjoyable this month. He always does an honorable job of pushing toward something different, while constantly nodding to Batman history. Here, we get a Mad Hatter story that includes what we expect (mind control, Alice in Wonderland, weasel-looking Jervis Tetch) yet is thrown into a unique situation with varying other factors (“Batfamily” fight, identity reveal, Mississippi). And it all works.
Aside from the story itself, I loved the way it was told. Snyder gives us a layout that implies a full out monologue, but actually just switches between Batman and the Hatter. It’s well crafted, entertaining, and something you don’t see too often in comics. I dug it.
Another part that stuck out to me was his fight with the Batfamily, or should I say “Batfamily”. Everything about this is awesome and classic Batman. At first, I didn’t get it. However, his explanation throughout the fight, and at the end, summarizes perfectly how he knew this was the mysterious Blackhawks (intriguing), and not his family.
“Because my family knows how to #$%^ fight”.
Of course we can’t skip the art. Last month’s issue was a bit of a letdown, but no worries here. Giuseppi Camuncoli nails it. The art is clear and concise, detailed, and fresh. Batman again is seen here during the daytime, and it doesn’t bother me at all. Camuncoli is on my radar for any future books. This art is perfect.
All Star Batman #8 gets us back on track with the book’s first story arc. It’s exciting, true to character(s), surprising and just a pleasant read. The backup continues with Dean Thomas’ “The Cursed Wheel”. The art is again done by the fantastic Francesco Francavilla but if you’ve read my earlier reviews on this arc, nothing new here: meh. Overall, the whole issue is definitely worth the purchase.
Images courtesy of DC Comics.