ALL-STAR BATMAN #13 By Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
This comic is not about the usual struggles of Bruce Wayne, but instead, we learn more about the struggles of beloved Alfred. A great build-up to the final issue of ALL-STAR BATMAN.
100 %
Intriguing storyline with deeper cuts than what appears
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Alfred the Crusader

ALL-STAR BATMAN #13, the penultimate issue of ALL-STAR BATMAN by Scott Snyder, is here! A title that rotates artists for every storyline within the series, Rafael Albuquerque (AMERICAN VAMPIRE) does this issue. The issue is packed with action and Bat-villains, including the Penguin, Tiger Shark, Black Mask, Tommy Eliot (Hush), and now, pirates! It takes place outside of Gotham, sending the Bat to Miami. The recently announced final arc of ALL-STAR BATMAN is ending on a story not quite focused on the Dark Knight, but the one man he can always depend on: Alfred Pennyworth. Sometimes hearing about allies is more interesting than hearing about the heroes.

All-Star Batman #13 Page 5
Image courtesy of DC Comics.

Not Just Bat-Bashing Baddies

ALL-STAR BATMAN #13 continues “The First Ally” storyline as it left off in issue #12. The plot plays out, unlike many other Batman arcs, with Alfred’s past coming back to haunt him. The book digs deep with revelations about Alfred’s time as an M15 agent and just who is chasing him after all these years.

READ: Need to catch up? Check out our review of ALL-STAR BATMAN #12 here!

ALL-STAR BATMAN #13 begins with Batman against a wall by Gordon and a squad with their guns out, warning to him give up. They tell him he has gone too far and suddenly open fire. The issue flashes to Alfred startled with fear of the thought of losing Bruce and being unable to help him. As it turns out, this was a daydream. Following the events of issue #12, we follow Batman and Alfred crashing down within Bruce’s newest hotel that is being demolished from the outside by the currently unknown terrorist organization. The two struggle without anything to grip onto. Alfred, screaming, encourages Bruce to save himself, not willing to let Bruce die for him. With just enough luck, Batman grabs onto a torn banner and barley catches Alfred before they hit the ground.

We then flashback to Alfred on an M15 mission, leaping from building to building in Morocco. Seeing Alfred in action like this reminds us of a young Bruce in training on his way to becoming the Dark Knight. Poisoned by some sort of virus that we see on his arm, Alfred makes his way to a hideout. There, he meets with his mentor, a mysterious new character named Briar. Briar seeing that Alfred has been infected with the virus, congratulates him, draws blood to retrieve the virus and gives Alfred a cure.

After learning that Briar has become a father figure to Alfred during this time, they drive off. Meanwhile, in the present day, the reader is taken back to Alfred and Batman safe on the ground. Commandeering a nearby motorcycle, Batman takes off, following a helicopter that leads him to a confrontation with the man behind all this recent chaos. The book leaves us hanging, questioning the fate of Batman and this new villain.

All-Star Batman #13 Page 10
Image courtesy of DC Comics.

Creator Talk

The team-up of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque goes back to Snyder’s early comic book writing days in AMERICAN VAMPIRE. If you haven’t picked up that book by now, you absolutely must. Snyder has an extraordinary voice when it comes to telling stories, no matter the content. There’s a reason he’s hitting the big leagues and taking on major DC events right now. Additionally, Albuquerque’s work is beyond amazing, with his detail to characters’ emotion from moment to moment. What was particularly enjoyable was him bouncing back and forth between a younger and older Alfred with an excellent distinction between the two.

READ: Want more of Scott Snyder’s amazing Bat-stories? Check out our DARK NIGHTS: METAL review here!

Cris Peter is doing the coloring job as of now and he brings an interesting pallet to Albuquerque’s drawings. His coloring is perfect for the story Snyder and Albuquerque are telling. His dark and mysterious pallets change over to vibrant Miami sunsets and water. It sets a tone for the Miami setting, but he maintains the same set of colors between the actual story and flashbacks which makes it difficult to tell that it switched time frames on transitions.

All-Star Batman #13 Page 18
Image courtesy of DC Comics.

All In All For ALL-STAR BATMAN #13

Overall, Snyder has kept reader’s attention while he finishes up his run on ALL-STAR BATMAN. He has so much Bat history under his belt, having him do this ALL-STAR run has been enlightening compared to other everyday Gotham stories. Adding a deeper focus to Alfred is something I would love to see more of in the future. We’re all excited to see what Snyder has in store for us later down the road. For now, ALL-STAR BATMAN has kept us filled with his amazing storytelling. Hopefully one day we might get an Alfred mini-series that can expand on the character’s past and present situations.

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