All Star Batman #11 Review
DC’s All Star Batman #11 continues to unveil more of Alfred’s past, showing his similarities to Bruce, while in the present, Bruce Wayne continues his search for the Genesis Engine.
Scott Snyder is amazing at weaving the past and present into one cohesive story. He is arguably my favorite writer in comics.
Snyder always finds a way to put Batman in a trap, and surprise the reader with how he gets out. Issue #11 is no different. In issue #10 Batman is trapped in a room, in #11 he escapes only to find himself being chased by crocodiles.
Spliced into this life or death situation is a flashback to Alfred’s past.
We learn while Alfred’s father was a butler for the Wayne’s, Alfred grew up alone with his mother in London. Alfred is confused why his father would rather set clocks for another family when his son needed him. We see Alfred go through a troubled childhood and eventually land himself in the military.
Snyder also layers a third story into the mix. The story of Blackbeard the Pirate. The book begins with a quick history of Blackbeard and ends with a note about how one needs to die to become legendary.
The message is relayed in a panel with Alfred about to be shot. So, does that mean Alfred died? Does the Genesis Engine have the ability to bring Alfred back to life? These questions and Snyder’s writing will bring me back for issue #12.
In the present, Batman faces off against a new foe, dressed like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The new villain leaves Batman in an elaborate trap, and we get a glimpse of Alfred’s past returning to the present.
The second story in All Star Batman is titled Killers-In-Law Part 2: The Killer. I love the art in this book. It looks like it was inked with a dry brush; which delivers organic values. It may have also been done with a specialized Photoshop brush. It’s especially noticeable in Batman’s cape.
Batman narrates a lot of the information not provided in the artwork. there’s little to no backgrounds, but from the story, we are told Batman is in disguise working with Princess Vik, the heir to her father’s Russian Mafia empire to uncover black market weapons in Russia that have the potential to end up in Gotham.
Batman struggles to keep his secret identity and not kill on his mission.
The story ends with Batman finding a clue and disappearing out of a window before he is discovered.
The second story isn’t as strong as the first, but luckily it’s only a few pages of the full book.