All-Star Batman: The First Ally: Volume 3 Review By Deffinition
All-Star Batman has definitely outweighed the main Rebirth Batman Series in more ways than one. With Scott Snyder at the helm, it’s no surprise that the books have been outstanding from start to finish and the writer rarely puts a foot wrong.
Stepping forward with Volume 3: The First Ally, I have full confidence that Snyder can once more use the bat to knock it out the park (that’s some terrible wordplay for you).
However, I have been wrong in the past.
Throughout this review I will be discussing All Star Batman Volume 3 in full detail from beginning to end, so you may want to avoid this breakdown if you haven’t read it yet.
Let me know your thoughts on the book below as I’d love to hear them.
With that out the way let’s dive into All-Star Batman: The First Ally.
The First Ally
Predominantly an Alfred story, the book centres around a mystery that involves the Butler’s past and Bruce’s present.
Opening gloriously in London, it was awesome to see Mr. Pennyworth’s reprobate past and it immediately made the character infinitely more endearing. I absolutely loved seeing his relationship with his estranged father play out throughout the story and the chapters centred around his SAS training highlight the similarities that he shares with Bruce.
Alfred’s perspective on The Dark Knight paints the vigilante in a new light. It’s something that we rarely see in storylines centred around the character and the book is invigorating in its innovation and points of view.
A Family Affair
At its core this is a tale about family and watching Bruce stumble into danger throughout the present storyline raised the tension dramatically because we knew that Alfred too would have to deal with the consequences of his partner’s actions.
Throughout the storyline, Alfred switches from rebellious son to a parent dealing with one. This role reversal makes the book a breeze to get through and the character development that the creative team manages to interject brings new life to age-old characters.
The constant jumping between timelines is an inspired choice and Snyder should be applauded for his ability to depict a coherent storyline across multiple decades. Everything feels natural and ties together perfectly in a way that seems simple on the surface but has more depth than the deepest and darkest recesses of the Batcave. Snyder is once again on top form and deserves all of the accreditation’s he receives.
The Genesis Engine
Of course every story needs it’s McGuffin and The First Ally Is No Different. Able to rewrite the DNA of its subjects, The Genesis Machine has the ability to change the world. Initially developed as a way to recreate Batman should anything happen to Bruce, it’s an overwhelming piece of technology that perfectly showcases how Bruce has a contingency plan for everything.
Those who have read Batman: Endgame will be familiar with the device, however, the dangers presented here elevate it beyond the mere ‘reboot’ machine that it was in that storyline.
After the machine is duplicated and sold on the black market, Batman is really pushed to his limits as he attempts to track it down. Broken, beaten and badly damaged psychologically he manages to attain it, however, this was all part of the villain’s plans and after it falls into the wrong hands, the stakes rise exponentially.
The Dark Knight
The finale ends with Alfred’s past catching up to him and playing out in the present. Whilst as a premise it is rather cliched, Snyder still manages to lace the climax with a wealth of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
It’s breathtaking to see how the writer ties every aspect of the story into a memorable showdown that will stick with many readers long after they put the graphic novel down.
don’t know how he does it but Snyder gets better with every book. All Star Batman is an incredible introspective look at Alfred that is one of a kind in scope and delivery. Unrivaled in its plot devices, twists and overall message, this is a book with a lot going on that demands your attention.
I was heavily engrossed in the storyline from start to finish and found it immensely enjoyable from beginning to end.
There is very little that I can fault with this work and that’s why it gets a…