Review: All-Star Batman #13

As painful secrets from the past are revealed, Batman must face down a nemesis unlike any he’s seen before-or risk the horrific consequences of the Genesis Engine falling into the wrong hands!

In the fourth part of “The First Ally” we get even more of Alfred’s history as writer Scott Snyder adds layers to a character that has played the sidekick for much of his existence. In All-Star Batman #13 we see more of Alfred’s past as he trains to take on his role as a British version of Batman in the past while at the same time the ghosts of the past haunt him and Batman in the present.

What Snyder does that’s really interesting in this story is that with this new page in Alfred’s life it puts his wisdom in an even more interesting context where he knows Batman’s pain in more ways than he’s let on. We know that he served in the military but this new story makes his story much more of a mirror to Bruce’s. His advice takes on a deeper meaning in that it’s from his own experiences as opposed to wisdom.

All of this is impressively presented with tons of action and a pace that never lets up.

That’s helped by the art team that includes Rafael Albuquerque on pencils and inks and Cris Peter on colors. The art is amazing as I’d expect by Albuquerque but Peter’s colors pop in a dayglow style that reminds me of the twinkle of Gotham’s city lights. The color choice somehow enhances this as the fever dream it feels like.

In a back-up story we get even more history of Batman in the fourth part of “Killers-in-Law” that sees Batman trying to stop a gun shipment into Gotham. Written by Rafael Albuquerque and Rafael Scavone with art by Sebastian Fiumara, the story is the type of one that adds some more depth to Batman without massively rewriting his history. It’s an entertaining story that’s perfect as a back-up and beyond entertaining with its action and small details.

All-Star Batman continues the series’ impressive streak of adding rich character to Batman’s world without rewriting his past in any major way. It shows you can add to a character who’s been around for decades without rewriting the past. Snyder continues to impress and the entire series has benefited from a truly all-star creative team of artists. Easily one of DC’s best releases with each issue and I look forward to what’s to come.

Story: Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Rafael Scavone
Art: Rafael Albuquerque and Sebastian Fiumara (A/CA) Rafael Albuquerque
Story: 8.35 Art: 9.0 Overall: Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review