Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Tula Lotay
I Hope There's Air-conditioning...
This issue starts off very similar to the last, only we see Batman walking through the desert instead of the Arctic and the opening monologue is an excerpt from a lecture by non other than Dr. Pamela Isley AKA Poison Ivy. I love these little intro monologues Snyder uses. They basically foreshadow what’s going to happen by connecting the story to the villain's past.
Also Batman has another kick ass looking Batsuit which I'm guessing protects him from whatever Poison Ivy may throw at him. Kind of has a bit of an Owlman look to it. I just hope the suit has air-conditioning.
Next we’re shown Poison Ivy traveling through the desert and making a quick pit stop along the way. The art here is fantastic. As much as I miss John Romita Jr's art, Tula Lotay does great work that fits the story perfectly. At one point Poison Ivy hypnotizes the store clerk and the art goes all psychedelic. Love it.
Poison Ivy arrives at her destination which we find out is a tree that's thousands of years old that she's been studying and has been studying for quite some time. When Batman arrives to ask for her help with a little girl who's been infected by the virus Freeze let loose last issue. Which could be spreading. Ivy tells him her origin and how it has to do with the tree. We didn't really need the origin but it was short, showed that Ivy had good intentions from the start and flowed with the story.
Who Sent You?!...
Unfortunately Batman's visit is cut short when both him and Ivy are attacked by Blackhawks of some kind that are using advance tech that Batman recognizes. But not even Batman knows who sent them which is intriguing. The team ends up burning down the tree which makes us think no cure for Freezes disease is possible, but luckily a flower survived. Or Ivy just had it on her. Either way, Batman got what he came for and is back to his travels. Love it.
The Cursed Wheel...
I still think these two storylines should be there own series. Unless somewhere down the line the two stories meet and intertwine, but I can't see that happening. That being said I did enjoy part 6 of the Cursed Wheel. It shows us a struggling Duke as he deals with what had happened with the Riddler last issue (Duke almost went boom) and living up to Batman and all his previous sidekicks. The art was pretty good although a little more detail would be nice in some panels.
All-star Batman just keeps getting better and better. The way Snyder takes old characters and creates fresh, original stories while still making you feel at home is incredible. When each issue ends I'm aching for the next one to come out. I’m kind of hoping with this virus that Mr. Freeze let loose, we get a Batman zombie story. One can hope! The art is fantastic. I wouldn't have a problem if Lotay stuck around for awhile.
Brandon Reid | NCR