I was not a fan at all of the first issue of All-Star Batman, but the second issue was a definite step up, in my eyes, and the third continues to improve the tale.
Snyder has a lot of villains in play in his story arc. Two-Face, although in Batman’s hands, has put out a massive bounty on the hero, and everyone is trying to win it.
The KGBeast made his big return from the (apparent) dead in the previous issue, and I do really enjoy how the narrative lines contrast his weaponry with Batman’s. The pair also are relatively evenly matched, making their fight scene fairly intense. And the KGBeast is not the only supposedly dead character who makes a return in All-Star Batman, but I won’t give the other one away. Very glad he is back, though.
And while I am not always fond of how Snyder uses his villains, I have to admit that the scene with the Royal Flush Gang was pretty much perfect.
Still, this book, more than any of the other Bat-books, belongs to Duke, late of We Are Robin. Batman may be the central character, but it is clear that we are reading a tale of how Duke winds up becoming part of the Batman family. The back-up feature centres on Duke, and is actually a bit more gripping than the lead story.
Not to say there isn’t a great, cringe-inducing event right towards the end of the main story. One of those ideal moment, where the reader can toy with the potential repercussions in their mind until the next issue comes out, and we all discover that things aren’t quite as bad as it seems.
Some very nice art on this as well. I liked Romita’s work on this from the get go, and he displays a firm hand with scenes both human and super-human, as well as the wild tech required by the story.