All-Star Batman Ends Of The Earth Review By Deffinition (Contains Spoilers)
All Star Batman Ends Of The Earth follows hot off the heels of ‘My Own Worst Enemy.’ If you’ve read my review of the latter then you know I thought that it was a gripping showcase of Snyder at his finest. It seemed to nail down all the key aesthetics of Batman whilst presenting something new and unorthodox.
That’s why I’m mega excited to jump into the follow up. Having read select issues of it in its original run I know I’m in for an absolute treat and can’t wait to get started.
So with that out the way, let’s dive in to All Star: Batman Ends Of The Earth.
The book opens on Batman taking down Mister Freeze in the Arctic. Threatening to unleash a virus that wipes out the world so those who have been cryogenically frozen can rise and reclaim it, it certainly packs a punch. This is a far cry from the almost nausea enduring rewrite of Freeze’s origin that Snyder provided in ‘City Of Owls‘ and it’s great to see that he has finally got a good grasp on the character.
The art is absolutely breathtaking. Avoiding speech bubbles, Jocks work is able to stand at the forefront of the piece, providing a Dark and twisted vision of just what Freeze’s world could embody.
It’s a brilliant opening that doesn’t let up and acts as a real gateway into the main plot.
Spores of the virus escaped and Batman knows that Poison Ivy is the only one who can stop it from devastating the planet. Approaching her with a sympathetic story of a girl named Lily who has contracted the strain, it provides a personal tale that will pull on the heart strings of most readers. Whilst initially starting off as a one dimensional villain I adore the way that Ivy has evolved into a multi faceted anti hero in recent times. She’s always at her best when we have her willing to help the greater good, even if at heart she is still an outlaw.
This story really elevates the book and when we find out that Batman lied about needing the cure for Lily as she has already died it showcases that he too will do what needs to be done in order to achieve a positive outcome. Ending on a brilliant call back to one of the most hilarious moments from the movie ‘Batman And Robin‘ this Issue encapsulates everything that there should be within a Poison Ivy story. Ensuring the quality of the book remains at a stratospheric level.
In what becomes one of Batman’s greatest issues we join him on the trail of Mad Hatter. If you’ve read my reviews featuring the Alice and Wonderland based villain then you’ll know that I absolutely hate him. I’ve always thought that as a villain he was an absolute joke,a complete buffoon, not to be taken seriously, till now.
The Hatter has created a filter prebuilt into a hat that allows the wearer to skin and see the world as they see fit. It’s a beautiful satire on Snapchat and how people slowly have become lost in displaying themselves slightly subverted from reality. Hatter states that he gave one to Bruce, many years ago when he became paralysed and since then he has lived out the fantasy that he is Batman.
Upon reading it this book had me completely doubting the last 80 years of the Caped crusaders existence. Similar to Total Recall I was left with the feeling of ambiguity that the entire Batman mythos had been a ruse and Snyder subverted my expectations so much that it’s hard not to regard this issue as one of the best.
Going from Year One to Present we are treat to a twisting tale that will definitely remain in your memory for years to come and by far stands out as the best Mad Hatter appearance in my opinion.
Head of the Demon
Ending on a showdown with Ra’s Al Ghul Batman manages to capitalise on all of the plot devices used in the earlier issues to take down the Head Of The Demon. It’s a good (not great) ending to the story that unfortunately didn’t quite measure up to the stellar arcs that had come before it in this volume.
In any other book it would still be a satisfying conclusion but here it feels anti climactic. Which is a shame because there’s still a lot to love. I just wish that it could have matched the prior issues.
All Star Batman: Ends Of The Earth is a brilliant follow up to book one that bests it in several departments. I’m still torn between the two as to which is superior but that’s a sign of a stellar run.
I really can’t recommend enough that you pick up these two chapters. They really stand out amongst the current day titles and pull together such a wealth of history, modernising it in the process, that it’s hard not to love.
It’s one of my favourite books of the year and that’s why it gets a…