ALL-STAR BATMAN #6 – “Ends of the Earth”

All-Star Batman #6
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock and Matt Hollingsworth
Published by DC Comics

Okay so, Just because the first arc of All-Star Batman is over doesn’t mean the caped crusader gets to return to his familiar scenery of Gotham. Man we are  Far from it, in fact – All-Star Batman #6 continues the trend of the dark knight traveling through unfamiliar frozen territory, with our hero braving the harsh, frozen plain of Alaska. for this issue we have colors from Matt Hollingsworth tag teaming over Jock’s reliably spectacular visuals, and an exceptionally haunting prose style from the increasingly prolific lyrical Snyder. All-Star Batman retains the writer’s patented cinematic style by going for broke in a gripping tale featuring Mr. Freeze.

From the moment this issue begins, it’s abundantly clear that writer Scott Snyder isn’t delivering a typical comic book which he never does However, the story essentially plays out in the form of prose, layered over the art to make the issue feel more like a compelling novel. But don’t think for once that this isn’t true to the source, this is still very much a Batman tale, with the caped crusader eventually making his way to the lair of arguably the most chilling and creepiest version of Mr. Freeze we’ve or I’ve seen in years. Snyder’s writing style definitely plays a large part in this, using the prose to his benefit by adding descriptive elements to the narrative that.

Let’s check out this beautiful sequence…..

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Snyder’s beautiful writing style definitely plays a large part in this, using the prose to his benefit by adding descriptive elements to the narrative that paint an eerie and frightful picture of Freeze in the reader’s head before he even appears on panel (“And then that voice – more a transmission than a voice”). When you read this, and then the subsequent dialogue, “Welcome, Batman” you can practically hear the towering, robotic nature of Freeze’s voice in your head from batman the animated series (at least for me) – something that’s so difficult to achieve with traditional comic book writing style.

As the issue progresses, Batman pleads with Freeze, warning him of an impending attack meant to incinerate his base of operations. What’s interesting about this issue is that it reads like a tragic novel instead of a conventional comic. In this format, Snyder narrates the action scenes, as well as describes the dark fantasies of Mr. Freeze. As Victor explains to Batman, he has awoken an army of people who have been held in deep cryogenic stasis for decades, hoping to use them to secure the resources he needs to complete his research and revive his wife nora. Yeah this may sound like a typical Mr. Freeze story, this is a familiar plot point. But, the methods Freeze has resorted to are far more disturbing than most previous depictions of the character, adding a new layer of sinister to the longtime Batman villain.

Jock’s art for the issue is fascinating to look at as usual. The visuals perfectly capture the dark tone of the story and its two characters,  Jock’s portrayal of the eerie atmosphere feels right at home for Batman. With the changing shades of blue in each page, colorist Matt Hollingsworth smoothly absorbs you into the cold setting….

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Okay so, Overall part one of the “Ends of the Earth” arc will satisfy those who are loving Snyder’s deep exploration of Batman’s popular villains and some that we haven’t seen in years, aside from the clown. Snyder completely changes his storytelling style for this installment, and it’s both effective and entertaining. While it remains to be seen how the arc will play out, it’s the villain of the story, alongside Jock’s captivating art, that makes this issue a must-read!

 

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