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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 7 comics last week: Wonder Woman #8, Detective Comics #942, Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy #1, All Star Batman #3, Darth Vader 25, Han Solo #4 and Action Comics #965.
The best comic I read last week was All Star Batman #3.
I believe that’s 3-in-a-row for All Star Batman. All three issues of this title have been the best read I’ve had in any week they’ve been published.
That’s not too surprising as my affection for the work of writer Scott Snyder has been chronicled many times in “Best Sequential Art…” blog. I am certainly not alone in my admiration for his work with the character of Batman. He’s been writing him for over four years now and his stories remain both fresh and daring. This arc he’s put together in All Star Batman is a great example of this. The story is shocking and that is not a word I chose lightly. The story here does shock. It shocks in the best way.
Snyder knows the character, has defined the current status of him and continues too play with it in exciting ways.
This story is no different, well, it might be because it is so much better than the last arc he wrote on Batman – the Mr. Bloom arc that just never… bloomed for me.
What he’s doing here is writing the character with confidence.
Almost as much confidence as the legendary John Romita, jr is using the illustrate the book. I am hot-and-cold on Romita. He’s clearly one of the most storied and best illustrators in the business, but I don’t always love his work. I love it here. It may have to do with the solid inks of Danny Miki. These two seem perfectly suited to one another and the character.
All Star Batman is supposed to feature Snyder working with the best-of-the-best and, so far, it has been.
And I didn’t even mention the terrific back up story with art by Declan Shalvey. Shalvey would be great on the main book as well.
What a terrific comic this is. Truly one of the best.