It goes without saying that superstar scribe Scott Snyder accomplished much during his five-year-long run on Batman with artist Greg Capullo: They created the Court of Owls, who can now be prominently seen on Gotham; redefined the Joker in horrifying new ways; reinterpreted the Dark Knight’s origins with Zero Year; and even had Jim Gordon don the cowl for about a year. So to see the innovative writer take the Caped Crusader in unexpected directions with his new opus, All-Star Batman, there’s much excitement to be had whenever readers open up the latest issue.
In this week’s instalment, Snyder brought the opening story arc to a close, a five-part tale that reexamined the dynamic shared between Batman and Two-Face. In short, their backgrounds have been revealed to be more intertwined than previously thought and this past fall it was disclosed that, yes, Harvey Dent knows that Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same.
Speaking with Comicosity, Snyder elaborated on the pivotal conclusion to the emotionally taxing road trip:
“Yeah, when he starts out, Batman is going to do something almost kind of myopic, with his opinion opposed on someone else. Yes, Harvey wants to be turned into just Harvey, but to do that is to artificially wipe out Two-Face. As much as I presume any of us would do that, there’s still something questionable about it in some way.
“Where I think he lands in the end is in saying, ‘I can’t save you’ in the same way that Batman can’t save any of us in the real world. ‘I believe in you to save yourself. I’ll fight alongside you, but I can’t fight for you. You have to be a better person at the end of the day, and if you can’t be, then you can’t be. I’ll always be there whenever you need inspiration or need help.’
“That to me was a very emotional scene to write, quite honestly. I certainly fall into a place fairly often where I get really angry about things — small things or big things. And it’s always easier to go with your darkest impulses first, which is what I think Harvey is saying, that it’s inevitable that we’re all going to land there.”
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With that now behind us – as well as John Romita Jr. providing interior art – new villains are set to join the party. Not only that, but you can look forward to seeing Snyder collaborate with his artistic partners from The Black Mirror, the very Batman tale that put him on the map at DC:
“Now, with issue #6, the Mr. Freeze story with Jock and Francesco Francavilla, it’s almost written like prose. Jock wanted to do something that felt like a cold, distant transmission from the Arctic. So, there’s no balloons or captions. It’s all exposed and placed right on the art. It gives Mr. Freeze this feeling of an inhuman radio transmission from the apocalypse-sort of feel, taking place in Alaska.”
“Then with the #7, the Poison Ivy story with Tula Lotay, it takes place in Death Valley, where Batman goes to get a cure for what happens in the Mr. Freeze issue. So, even though they seem like one-shots, they’re actually connected and culminate in issue #9 with Alfua Richardson. The Ivy story is a hot story with very little narration. It’s set out in the desert and really fun.”
All-Star Batman #5 is now available in comic shops, with the sixth issue set to arrive on January 11.