All-Star Batman #8
By Hervé St-Louis
May 13, 2017 - 8:30
Writer(s): Scott Snyder
Penciller(s): Giuseppi Camuncoli
Inker(s): Mark Morales
Colourist(s): Dean White
Letterer(s): Steve Wands
Cover Artist(s): Francesco Francavilla; Giuseppi Camuncoli, Dean White
Batman is continuing his investigation into the Blackhawks. This leads him to the Mad Hatter who attempts to render him mad and take control of the hero’s mind. But Can the Mad Hatter really confuse Batman?
The Mad Hatter did manage to confuse someone in this issue. It was me! Scott Snyder writes his stories almost as stream of consciousness. In a sense, Snyder writes at a second and third-level much like Christopher Priest and Grant Morrison. Yeah, he’s one of those post-modern writers where nothing is literal and reality and what one grasps from the comics’ narrative is questionable with a very unreliable omniscient narrator. Hence Batman’s descent into madness was quick and his exit from that state was even quicker. This is where most comic readers will be lost and they will get little aid from Snyder.
Instead, what they get from the writer is a very well-researched background story and plausible elements that craft a deep and interesting personality about the Mad Hatter and his world. This is how Snyder writes his characters. Readers can hold on that but when the post-modern twists start, their hold on reality and their senses becomes questionable and murky. Other questions arise such as “so the Mad Hatter knows Batman’s secret identity now?” None of these questions have answers. The resolution is so fast that it skips over the details that would help readers get a grasp of things.
I haven’t seen Giuseppi Camuncoli’s work in years. I’m glad that he’s back. His characters are always expressive and their grins are his signature. Mark Morales inks hims here. It’s thicker lines and coarser than Sandra Hope’s inking of his work in the Intimates. But it’s still remarkable and leads the story in directions easily. The page with the brain maze is one such gem.
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