The last issue of All-Star Batman kicked off a new Alfred central arc, taking us back into his past with MI5 and more. Also introducing a new villain from Alfred’s checkered past, well at least hintings at it. Bruce once again entangling himself in another mystery but this time it has ties back to Alfred himself.
What is this all about?
‘THE FIRST ALLY’ part two! Batman races to track down his new nemesis before another murder rocks Miami. But with old secrets revealing unsettling truths about his closest ally, what dark accords will the Dark Knight make in order to stop true evil?
All-Star Batman #11 continues the flashbacks of the previous issue. Continuing the theme of how similar Bruce and Alfred were in their younger years. Also leading up to the reveal of who is behind this current killing spree and what they are really after. The storytelling here is second to none, with the past and present telling intersecting stories as it moves along. Subsequently, this gives the high impact moments more oomph and substance when they are revealed. Never leaving you out in the cold on what is going on or why what you just saw was important.
Another hallmark of a great Alfred and Bruce story is the banter found within. Once again Synder does not disappoint here either. Where Alfred is snarky as always, but Bruce gets some nice one-liners as well. Their relationship here is the best it has ever been. Bruce is confident borderline cocky, where Alfred is the concerned parent looking out for his best interests. Alfred is doing his best to be there for Bruce in ways that his father never was for him. Also knowing where this angry path can lead Bruce, as Alfred has already traveled that road.
While this story is a very serious one and has some quite dramatic moments found within. The best scenes are the light-hearted ones peppered throughout the issue. Like Batman being saved by Penguin (in a Hawaiian shirt of course), Black Mask, and Great White at the beginning. Bruce waking up to the trio and being greeted as Batman, which causes some alarm. Yet they believe that Batman is wearing a Hush disguise, who disguises himself as Bruce. So yes they think Batman is disguising himself as Bruce, which is his true identity, how ironic and clever. Upon parting ways Batman tells them that his Bruce Wayne disguise is perfect. I just can’t.
Rafael Albuquerque’s pencil and ink work here are yet another highlight of the title. Going from sunny Miami days to underwater submarine nights. Paired with Jordie Bellaire’s colors this issue is a sight to behold.
All-Star Batman #11 continues to impress and be an all around fun read as if that surprises anyone. With compelling background stories on Alfred and fleshing out new villains along the way, there is plenty to look forward to in this arc. With Alfred’s past looming overhead and that last page cliffhanger, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Reviewed by Tim Montoya
All-Star Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque, Jordie Bellaire, Steve Wands
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: June 21st, 2017