Review: ‘All Star Batman’ #6

by Ryan Lower
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Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Jock

“The Ends of the Earth” Part One

(Minor Spoilers Ahead)
Scott Snyder wrapped his first story arc of All Star Batman last month in a beautiful bat-bow. The 5-issue run was exciting, fresh, and fun. So, there’s a bit of pressure on this next story, “The Ends of the Earth”. Batman travels to a bitterly cold Alaska, where Mr. Freeze is living suit-free…and in a land of frozen zombies. His plan? Release a virus planted in the arctic and rule in a frozen wasteland. Our Dark Knight has his work cut out for him, but as always, he has a plan.

Straight to the chase: I found All Star Batman #6 confusing. There’s no doubt Snyder is excellent, thoughtful, respectful to the character’s mythos, and is taking bold risks whenever drafting a story. I applaud him for all of that, and throw him in with Denny O’Neil, Frank Miller, Jeph Loeb, and others who have put a stamp on Batman’s legacy.

However, sometimes I think he’s working too hard to create a deep story. I had to read this issue twice to fully understand the plot/plan, and at the end of each reading I felt a little unfulfilled. There’s a lot of dialogue, A LOT, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with a $4.99 price tag. But all of the text slows down the pace, which is read in a short-story mode. I feel this is a case where maybe less is more, and would have left a larger impact.

As for the art, no complaints here. Jock is the perfect artist to draft up a horror story. His style is dark, sketchy, and eerie. His work compliments Snyder’s script in every inch of every panel. This guy is another blessing to the Batman legacy.

As for the backup story, “The Cursed Wheel” continues to confuse me. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t understand what this “color wheel” is, what is demonstrates, and how its effective. Or, maybe I do and it leaves me feeling “meh”. Anyways, the art with Francesco Francavilla is excellent. He’s another wonderful artist who also worked on “The Black Mirror” with Snyder and fits his style well. It’s so haunting and original, I want more.

All Star Batman #6 is a good, but not great, start to the next story arc in the series. Its tale is ambitious, haunting, and is a perfect example of Mr. Freeze’s true villainous potential. While I find the book to be bogged down with text, it’s still a quality issue. Batman is in the right hands.

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