All*Star Batman #14
Script: Scott Snyder
Pencils, Inks, Cover, and Variant Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Variant Cover: Sebastian Fiumara
Review: Kristopher Kuzeff
It’s here: the finale of Scott Snyder’s All*Star Batman and very possibly the last non-event Scott Snyder Batman comic. Snyder has been redefining Batman for six years. His comics are a legendary run consisting of 65 glorious issues of Batman, 51 in New 52 (Tynion IV wrote the last issue) and 14 All*Star Batman. His run will be argued as the best run on Batman of all time.
For those of you who haven’t been following All*Star Batman, this series has been a Batman Road Trip. He has gone from the heartland of America, to Arctic Wastelands, to the Desert, to the Everglades, DC, and finally sunny Miami. This last arc, The First Ally, is a long over due Alfred-centric story. It centers around Batman trying to get a hold of a biological device called the Genesis Engine. It can be used for cloning, and villains such as the Black and Whites (Penguin, Great White, and Black Mask.)
Pirates have been a theme of the arc, hence the cover, as has Father/Son relationships. It has been wonderful getting an Alfred origin story, and I found myself soaking up ever Alfred moment I could get. While All*Star Batman might not have been as consistently good as his main series of Batman, it really kicked it up for this arc, and it delivered a finale that I am happy with. There has been a side story at the end of every issue, which eventually ties into the main one. It’s set in Moscow, and I can’t wait for another creator to pick up the villain coming out of it.
Scott Snyder has been wonderful writing what is easily my favorite Alfred story. It gives us an idea of what a young Alfred looked like, teenager to soldier, and finally coming home to be the butler. It was emotionally very satisfying to see this integral part of the Bat Family get his time in the limelight. Albuquerque does a great job with the pencils and inks, but Jordie Belliare steals the show with gorgeous coloring. The fire leaps off the page and glows, and I couldn’t help but stare. Jordie proves why he deserves to win Best Colorist Talking Comics 2017.
Verdict: Buy. This story arc is a must read for any big Alfred fans. It gives the character more depth, and it ups his coolness to 11. The Batman parts are enjoyable as well, and the tricks he plays as someone impersonating him remind you that Batman isn’t just good at busting skulls. He is a detective out to crack the case. This comic had so much heart, action, and humor, and I will miss it.