All-Star Batman #10 Review

comic books:
Christian Bone

Reviewed by:
On May 10, 2017
Last modified:May 10, 2017


All-Star Batman's new story arc kicks off with yet another stunning issue that combines amazing artwork with a fantastic character study of Batman's butler Alfred.

All-Star Batman #10

This review contains minor spoilers. 

All-Star Batman‘s latest issue kicks off a brand-new arc, after issue #9 wrapped up the thrilling ‘Ends of the Earth’ storyline with aplomb. We’ve been promised that ‘The First Ally’ will introduce a new foe into Batman’s rogues gallery who has some ties to the character’s beginnings. While we haven’t got to that exciting material yet, issue #10 is still a terrific comic.

Alfred fans, you’re in luck. Batman’s faithful butler – his first ally, if you like – is the star of the show this issue. Captions tell the story through his POV throughout and we get an exciting opener where Mr. Pennyworth gets to drive the Batmobile (with Batman himself backseat driving, of course). Writer Scott Snyder nails Alfred’s character here, in both his love for someone he exclusively calls his “son” and “child” through the course of this issue and also his unexpected badass nature. Because it takes someone special to be the one person Batman relies upon.

That’s not to say that Batman is short-changed this issue. The Bat and the butler have followed old enemy Hush to Miami where he’s hoping to get his hands on a dangerous Macguffin. The result is an entertaining pirate-themed caper as Bruce ironically goes undercover as himself (Thomas Elliot having had plastic surgery to look like Bruce Wayne). In case we’d forgotten, there’s a great reminder of how awesome Batman is. Even without his suit full of gadgets, Bruce can get himself out of a room full of armed gangsters in tact.

The other element that deserves discussion is the framing narrative flashbacks which open and end this issue. We follow a young tearaway on the run from the police in London, England, as he has apparently abandoned his post at Wayne Manor in Gotham. The final reveal here comes as a total lack of surprise considering the theme of this issue, but it’s a fun development nonetheless that we look forward to seeing explored in the rest of the arc.

As well as Snyder’s reliably top-quality writing, a highlight of All-Star Batman has been the revolving door of talented artists working on each issue. This one’s a real treat, though, as it reunites Snyder with Rafael Albuquerque, the dynamic duo behind American Vampire. Albuquerque has his own unique, gorgeous style, often typified by faded backdrops with expressive, sharply-drawn figures in the foreground. Jordie Bellaire on colors also deserves a mention for bringing it all to life with his almost watercolour-like work. One page, which sees Bruce and Alfred overlooking the purple-tinged skyline of Miami, is simply stunning.

Albuquerque’s work is not confined to the A-story this issue, however. The Duke Thomas-centric ‘The Cursed Wheel’ is now over which means the back-up strips takes the form of ‘Killers-in-Law,’ a gritty, down-to-earth tale in which Bruce infiltrates the Russian Mafia. This time, Albuquerque is on writing duties, along with Rafael Scavone. The decision to hand the reins of the art over to Sebastian Fiumara is a good one, as Fiumara’s bolder style better fits the type of full-blooded story this is.

All-Star Batman continues its winning streak with another hit from Scott Snyder and his team. The artwork is fantastic and the Caped Crusader gets to prove his awesomeness again and again, but mostly what you’ll take away from this issue is the pitch-perfect rendition of Alfred, that often overlooked unsung hero of the Batman mythos.

All-Star Batman #10

All-Star Batman's new story arc kicks off with yet another stunning issue that combines amazing artwork with a fantastic character study of Batman's butler Alfred.