All Star Batman & Robin is best described as that train wreck you just canít take your eyes off. For the past nine issues I have absolutely loved this series for its absurdity and completely ass backwards portrayal of one of DCís most recognizable icons. However, issue #10 is the one that breaks the camel's back for me. I found very little to enjoy or laugh at here making this comic almost completely worthless.
The major gripe I have with this issue of All Star Batman is Frank Millerís horribly crappy noir monologues. It feels like he is trying to channel Sin City times a thousand and it just doesnít work for Batman. It doesnít even work for the God Damn Batman. It absolutely pains me to read these things. Itís just a jumble of analogies, similes, and metaphors to sound rough. So not only does it sound awful but it blocks portions of the pretty pictures.
Issue #10 of ASBR also adds nothing to the mix story-wise. Itís just another montage issue with snippets of each character and how their separate threads might come together sometime in the next century. I mean, how long as it been since weíve seen Black Canary? Issues come out so infrequently and cover so little ground that it feels like I havenít seen her in this story for over a year and she continues to do as little here as I remember her doing before. It basically comes down to All Star Batman & Robin having some of the worst pacing for a comic book, ever.
But like I foreshadowed before, not all is lost as Mr. Jim Lee continues to draw the shit out of this book. Heís given multiple double page spreads and splash pages to flex his artist muscle and, as always, nails them out of the park. Just like the best artists in the industry, Jim Lee delivers iconic images that pop off the page once his artist team of Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair get a hold of his work. Itís just a shame that a Jim Lee & company drawn comic comes so rarely these days because I can never get enough of them. Some of my personal favorites from this month are the image of Batman holding a bruised and beaten Selina Kyle as well as Batman and Robin hitching a ride atop a speeding train.
I really donít know what has happened to Frank Miller. This is the first All Star Batman & Robin issue Iíve reviewed for Comics Bulletin and itís, unfortunately, the first one I havenít really enjoyed. This one was just all over the place. If it wasnít for Jim Leeís interiors or Frank Quitelyís wonderful variant cover I would burn this mother down. But only if I had matches to waste. Ouch.
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