Sunday, 26 March 2017

All-Star Batman #4 - DC Comics

ALL-STAR BATMAN No. 4, January 2017
Whilst one of Batman’s most readily recognisable strengths has always been his “science and technology”, Scott Snyder’s script for Issue Four of “All-Star Batman” disconcertingly ramps up the Dark Knight’s arsenal of gadgetry to an arguably preposterous high, by portraying the Bat-suit as having both the ability to fire numerous projectiles from its chest plate and gloves, as well as provide its disorientated wearer with pectoral speakers and “Echolocation.” In fact, what with the cowl’s ability to suddenly extend a supposedly air-tight guard over Bruce Wayne’s lower face, and ‘blast’ the Caped Crusader’s opponents with a forward-facing sound wave, the Harvey Award-winner’s interpretation of the super-hero’s costume seems far more akin to something Tony Stark would wear within a “Marvel Worldwide” publication, rather than the “grey body suit” created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

Rather disconcertingly however, such a plethora of exoskeleton augmentations, even when imagined by the New York-writer himself, are still not enough apparently to save the titular character from being blinded, when it purportedly helps provide the plot with an extra twist. This utter contrivance, based on the assumption that despite being housed within an armoured, air-tight head-piece, Batman’s eyes would still be ruined by the vapours from a vial of Two-Face’s burning acid, is only ‘topped’ by the utter absurdity of the crime-fighter’s solution to his dilemma… piloting a bi-plane in order to give his sight time to recover..?

Equally as implausible as its start, is the conclusion to “My Own Worst Enemy”, with Snyder building upon the premise that the Court of Owls gave Harvey Dent “my own battalion” of assassins, by subsequently having the former Gotham City district attorney apparently able to additionally marshal a thousand-strong armed mob, courtesy of a tracker code on his mobile phone; “Come on you piece of -- therrrre we go. One bar… two bars…” Admittedly this people-packed cliff-hanger gives artist John Romita Jr. plenty of opportunity to pencil a vast array of formidable-looking miscreants and malcontents, but such a fortuitously well-timed arrival seems as realistically likely as the mob’s incredibly lucky ability to shoot the Silver Dollar casino boat into matchwood and yet still miss their targets Batman and Duke.
The regular cover art of "ALL-STAR BATMAN" No. 4 by John Romita Junior

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