Title: All-Star Batman (2016-) #14
Words: Scott Snyder
Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Publication Date: October 4th, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “‘THE FIRST ALLY’ finale! In the final issue of Scott Snyder’s high-octane run on ALL STAR BATMAN, he and superstar artist Rafael Albuquerque put Batman to the ultimate test! Faced with either losing his future as Batman or the person he loves most, the Dark Knight must decide which ultimate price he is willing to pay.”
All-Star Batman has been a wicked ride; Issue #14 is equally as wicked and offers a fitting conclusion to the latest First Ally arc.
Picking up from where the last issue left off, All-Star Batman #14 begins with Bats strapped to a chair, on an airplane, moments away from being killed by Briar’s newest lackey. And then, Alfred appears out of nowhere, in another plane, and gets to saving his son. As one would guess, an epic battle ensues until someone dies…
Regardless of the specifics, All-Star Batman #14 is an impressive finale filled with an awesome Alfred moment (or two) and a tantalizing twist that’ll leave readers satisfied.
Scott Snyder reigns as the current king of comics in my book, and while All-Star Batman #14 may not directly justify that, his catalog of work certainly does. By no means did Snyder do a bad job on this issue, in fact, his writing was excellent, but I don’t feel as though this book met his normal standard of excellence. Keep in mind, I am comparing this issue to his current work on Metal…so that may be the issue.
No one gets Batman quite like Scott Snyder does, and if this arc has proven anything, it’s this: Snyder’s understanding of Batman extends far beyond the cowl; Snyder gets the family dynamic between not only Batman and his crime-fighting family (Robin, Batwoman, Etc.), but he also gets the dynamic that exists between Bruce Wayne and what ‘real’ family he has. With this understanding in tow, Snyder is able to craft wonderfully dynamic tales about the Dark Knight and those fortunate enough to call him an ally.
Rafael Albuquerque does—as always—a fantastic job of bringing Scott Snyder’s scripts to life. Each face is painted with emotion, and each scene is set against an authentic backdrop. His framing is beautiful and his line work is sharp and deliberate. Rafael Albuquerque and Scott Snyder make one hell of a team, and frankly, I want to see them work on more projects together.
The Bottom Line:
The First Ally arc has been rewarding for Batman fans, and even more so for Alfred Pennyworth fans; All-Star Batman #14 ends this Alfred-centric arc and does so on a high note.