All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy by Scott Snyder

allstarbatmancoverTitle: All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy
Series: All-Star Batman #1
Universe: DC Universe Rebirth
Writer(s): Scott Snyder
Illustrator(s): John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Declan Shalvey
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 12th 2017
Pages: 192
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9781401274429


After handing the mantle of the Batman canon series to Tom King as the DC Universe Rebirth was introduced, Scott Snyder has embarked on new adventures and continues to reshape and innovate titles like no other writer has done before. Including his ongoing ambitious and mind-blowing Metal event, Scott Snyder, the very man who has written the game-changing New 52 Batman series, American Vampire, Batman Eternal and Superman Unchained, is now masterly coming up with stories for the All-Star Batman series.

In My Own Worst Enemy, Batman goes on a road trip alongside Harvey Dent, also known as Two-Face, in hunt for a cure for his old friend’s split-personality. With 500 miles separating him from his goal, the Caped Crusader runs into countless obstacles, notably individuals who seek to prevent him from reaching his destination.

Why would anyone want to stop Batman from doing something that seems so harmless?

Over the years Two-Face successfully gathered the deepest and darkest secrets of every single person in Gotham. He has unveiled an evil offer to these citizens where their secrets will be exposed to the world if they don’t stop Batman from bringing Harvey Dent to the indicated location. Whoever is able to take down the Dark Knight would be rewarded with an incredible sum of money. Batman however plans on reaching that goal through hell and high waters. Will he find a cure? Will he be stopped?

In this five part story arc, Batman and Harvey Dent are faced with not only criminals of all ranks, known and unknown to casual readers, but also the citizens of Gotham who just can’t let the world know about their sins.

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It is a bit destabilizing to jump into this story knowing that Harvey Dent holds the kryptonite of every single person out there. How he even achieves such a feat is beyond my understanding and being able to accept this without hindering my appreciation for the story was a colossal task.

The writing is however excellent and plays beautifully with the artwork. With puns that foreshadow the imminent panel, transitions are done perfectly. The action is also top-notch, with Batman’s suit being the main attraction. You’ll be amazed by the tricks he has up his sleeves. Always a billion steps ahead of danger, his ability to withstand pain is also showcased throughout the story.

While the artwork complements the writing quite well, it isn’t a style that can be easily chugged down. John Romita Jr’s artwork continues to be a hard pill to swallow with the odd facial shapes, but as soon as you find yourself used to it, it isn’t so bad. There are moments where you question the artwork for certain characters, especially Batman, but there are also plenty of instances where everything is drawn with purpose.

An extra small story arc is also incorporated within this volume called “The Cursed Wheel”. It doesn’t have much to do with the main story arc and simply offers us a look at Duke, the same boy straight out of We Are Robin, Batman’s latest partner, who no one should ever refer to as a Robin. This story offers us a glimpse into Duke’s motivations and into what kind of hero he wants to become. It was a very clean story that was pretty well-thought out, but was nothing too mind-blowing.

All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy is an entertaining ride to the finish. It explores the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent in ways that past stories have not done in a while. With sneaky Easter eggs for long-time Batman fans, this first volume promises great stories for this series.

In Scott Snyder, I trust.

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

You can order your copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada) – Chapters Indigo – Book Depository

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

lashaansignature

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43 comments

  • I haven’t read many DC comics ( I have always been more of a Marvel fan myself) but I have always liked Batman. I like the premise for this one, and the artwork for it looks very good as well. This was a terrific review, thanks for sharing this 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would’ve executed Operation Conversion if you hadn’t mentioned that you liked Batman! 😀 It is an original premise, although it isn’t very logical and contains a little bit too many plot holes. It does however work well in giving us a fun story, so I couldn’t hate too much on it. Thank you so much for reading, Michel. I appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, phew glad that Operation did not commence lol 😂😂 Well as long as it gives a fun story it is worth checking out. And I haven’t read any real Batman books (besides of course the comics) so that would also be a reason to check it out for me 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wait a second. Batman books? As in novels? I have never read anything like those either since most of those are either movie novelizations or video game-based stories. All-Star Batman is a graphic novel which collects the first 5 issues of the series into one. Any particular comics that you enjoyed though? 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ah…lol: I read this comment in the reader and thought it was a response to a comment I placed over on Trangs blog for the Nightwalker novel that also mentioned you. My bad 😅😅 Seriously my apologies. As for your question. I really was a fan of the Death in the Family storyline. That was both brutal, heartbreaking and at same time very terrifying. But it was an awesome read and one of the most powerful Batman graphic novels that I have ever read 😊

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ahahaah no worries! I had a feeling that you thought it was that Marie Lu book! 😛 I’m too scared to pick that up after hearing Trang’s thoughts on it. I might reserve my first Batman novel by someone else hahah Ohhh yes! A classic. 😀 A huge moment in comic book’s history since I believe fans got to vote on that life-changing event too hahah 😀

              Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Dani! Oh yay! I didn’t expect that. Rare that these Batman stories ever land into the TBR’s of my readers hahaha Ehhh, in all honesty, there’s a lot of ways to go with Batman. 😛 You just have to pick the right ones so you don’t see how some writers/artists completely fail 😀 Thank you again for reading and for your kind words!!! ❤

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  • Great review for this one Lashaan, and I’m glad All Star Batman lived up to your expectations as well. The artwork looks amazing and I think it was interesting to see a story explore the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent because there’s probably a lot to explore there right? 🙂
    Great review, I take it you’ll be picking up the next one in this series too. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Beth! 😀 It’s consistent, so it makes for a pretty fun ride visually, and even story-wise. Definitely a lot that can be done with Dent. His story alone is pretty interesting, so seeing him be the main attention in this story arc was nice. I’ll definitely read the next volume as I hear that it gets better, with different artists this time too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Yeah it’s a curious concept for him to have everyone’s kryptonite- not sure how that’d work. Does he have their internet browsing history or something 😉 But then, if he has everyone’s secrets, surely it doesn’t matter anymore? Sorry, got a bit distracted by that 😉 It’s good that it was entertaining and that the writing and artwork was good. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my God… For real. I still can’t wrap my head around how he succeeded in getting all that. Ultimately, that idea leads to the whole “good guys turn into villains to stop Batman, and bad guys… well… are worse now”. Because of the premise, the whole ride to the finish line turned out fun and insane and I guess that’s why I overlooked looked the plot holes. Thank you so much for reading! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  • I am now realizing that it may be impossible to start at the beginning when it comes to comics. Between Marvel and DC I think there are about a million, I’m going to just pick a story line and go from there I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I initially didn’t pick this up because 1 – I’m not a huge fan of John Romita Jr., and 2, I was reading the main Batman book and Detective Comics at the time. Two Batman books were enough. I dropped Batman after getting bored by it and I’ve heard nothing but good things about All-Star Batman. At some point I need to pick this up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeh… His artwork is not the best thing out there. And I totally understand limiting yourself to their 2 main series. It’s why I haven’t read it till now too. And also why I didn’t read this one in single issues. It’s actually a pretty decent run, with its flaws if heavily scrutinized. I’ve heard even better things about volume 2 as well. Might be worth checking out whenever you got time though. Thanks for dropping by.

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  • Hm, some excellent thoughts there my friend, got to admit I’ve been hesitant in checking All-Star out – mainly because of JR Jr who am not a big fan of (his more contemporary stuff anyway, his work on things like Frank Miller’s Daredevil: Man Without Fear from the early 90s is actually pretty good). Yet your review intrigues me, especially with the comforting thought that the art is something you adjusted to yourself and managed to enjoy the story.

    I’ve heard decent things about later arcs as well (where Snyder teams up with different artists) so it might be a series worth checking out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeh man, I can see why you’d be reluctant about that. I think you can get used to it fairly quickly unless you have a severe allergy to his style hahah He still draws Batman weirdly. Without his mask, he looks super weird. With his mask, his chin looks super weird (I think one of the pictures I put in the slideshow shows it). But once you get used to it, the story overshadows it and everything turns out to be quite enjoyable. Although the story has its issues too, but if that can be overlooked too, the series has an original concept and can only get better from now on. I heard the same thing about volume 2 too. I’m curious to see how the artwork works now. Thanks for reading, Chris. Hope you get the chance to trying this out some day. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Stellar review as always! Sooo, you know I am not the superhero fountain of knowledge, I have to ask: Was the quest for a cure for Two-Face part of the original story line or is this a new play on events? Asking, because this actually intrigues me. I think I could come to appreciate the artwork, although I do admit it is different. But I like different as long as it is not bland 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  • You know, every time I see Batman GN I hear Christian Bale’s gravelly voice in my head saying ‘Batman’ 😀 hahaha… no idea! Don’t even ask 😀
    The plot(s) in this one sound positively intriguing though and happy to see it all blended well together with illustrations! 🙂
    PS! what would your superhero name be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no no no! We need to change that 😂 His iconic grave voice is too often joked about, it’s impossible now to take it seriously anymore hahahah
      Yep! Definitely an original story with good artwork where everything just works well together!
      Oh boy… I wouldn’t have the slightest clue! I’ve always aimed to be Batman that I never thought about having my own name 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL- I rather like the voice… it’s bordering just on the line of cringey! 😀

        Ah, but Lashaan, the disciple will always eventually leave the shadow of their mentor and so shall you leave Batman behind and have the chance to be your very own superhero 😀 Besides, Batman’s shadow isn’t that scary, that spells an opportunity here 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  • Great review Lashaan! 😀 I do struggle to maintain my suspension of disbelief with villains nowadays… it’s like we should automatically believe they can do whatever they want just because they’re evil! That doesn’t make sense… there has to be a network in place to maintain… for example Politicians who prey on women in the workplace have an entire system to keep those women down. The tax payers payout to them and gag orders are part and parcel. Evil just doesn’t happen in a vacuum someone has to be enabling it! Haha, rant done… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dani! That is beautifully said. I totally agree with you. When an author can create a villain that has a system and revels in it, I end up falling head over heels for him. I mean… that AND a cunning personality? I’ll probably end up wishing the villain was the main character at that point. 😛

      Like

    • Thanks Karina. I appreciate that. 🙂 Fun thing about this first volume is that the artist stays the same for all 5 issues (John Romita Jr.) while the inking and colouring might alternate between a couple of individuals. I do hear that the next volume is different in that John Romita Jr. isn’t the main artist anymore and that each issue is done by someone different. I’ve only heard good things about this, so hopefully it’ll be well executed. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve been reading Batman for over 30 years, and Snyder’s run on the New 52 was one of my favorites in all that time. I really rate him as a writer, and have been interested in picking up this series.

    How does it fit in with the time line, is it set concurrently alongside the Rebirth books or totally stand alone?

    I recently read the entire Grant Morisson run, having avoided it for years (because, well, I generally can’t stand his writing). After many years of wondering how it all panned out I can now safely say that… I still hate Grant Morisson’s work!! There were a few highlights, Batman And Son, and Batman And Robin, but most of it (I’m looking at Final Crisis and Batman Inc.) was just a mess.

    Currently I’ve decided to go and read a lot of Robin related stuff dealing with the handovers of the role, ie. Dark Victory, Robin Year One, The Judas Contract, Death In The Family, Second Chances and A Lonely Place of Dying – and I’m really enjoying it.

    Looking for a new series to jump on after that though, and this looks just the ticket!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That is definitely a lot of years of experience to gather all possible Batman knowledge out there. The Black Mirror is when I discovered Scott Snyder and knew that he was a helluva writer. I wasn’t wrong cause he has yet to disappoint me!

      It is set in the same era as all the Rebirth stuff, but this series doesn’t make any particular connection with the Rebirth Batman run or even the Rebirth Detective Comics run. So I guess you could say that it is its own thing.

      I’ve read a lot of Morisson’s stuff too and I can wholeheartedly say that he’s a love or hate author. I actually love how insane he is with his Batman stories and really pushed the boundaries with that character. Batman and Son was a really nice story arc indeed! Final Crisis was nice in its own right, but man did it go places that it should’ve said no to hahah

      That’s pretty cool! I’ve read most of those too and cherish them. Have you seen the recent Judas Contract animated movie? What’s your thoughts on the soon-to-be Titans TV series?

      I definitely encourage testing this series out (it’s short too with only 3 volumes for now). Expect it to be different though as Snyder is really testing out new things with Batman on this run and also has a bunch of different artists with various styles on board!

      Liked by 1 person

  • No I’ve not watched the animated movie yet, it’s on my (huge long) list of things to get round to though! Re: the TV series, I’ve not actually heard much about it. Aside from a few issues here and there I’ve never really read much Teen Titans, but I did enjoy TJC book so may check out a bit more of them.

    Also yeah, The Black Mirror was definitely a great story. I never actually read that until after I’d read a lot of his New 52 stuff, but it’s obvious right from the start he’s a great writer. Certainly my favorite of the last decade or so.

    Liked by 1 person

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