All-Star Batman #7
By Scott Snyder, Tula Lotay, and Steve Wands
Scott Snyder delivers another fantastic issue of All-Star Batman #7 that dives into the inner working of a new batman villain while also providing a great stand-alone Batman story. This time he partnered with the insanely talented artist Tula Lotay and their subject is Poison Ivy. This issue is filled with a battle against the clock, as Batman needs to stop the spread of a bacteria Mr. Freeze let loose. As the clock ticks on will Batman get Dr. Pamela Isley to help him, or will all he get is Poison Ivy?
Snyder and Lotay will pull on all your heartstrings with this surprisingly touching story about passion, loss, and creation. The chemistry between Poison Ivy and Batman jumps off the page. You can feel the understanding and respect between them that underlines their confrontations. Snyder writes this story a little different from past issues of All-Star Batman, this has more depth in little space with added subtext pulled from past known origins and history between the two characters. In past issues, we rarely give the villain (Two-Face, Mr. Freeze) the benefit of the doubt, we can see plainly that they want to do harm. Poison Ivy is shown with a different light, it almost is painted as Batman searching for a consultation over him trying to defeat and stop a villain. This is also communicated through the art; she is shown are strong, heroic, and poised throughout the book. Her and her plant extensions do not appear menacing or foreboding, but rather defensive and even tender at times.
The intention behind All-Star Batman was to pair Snyder with a different creative team for every Batman villain he covered. This concept of a different artist bringing to life Scott’s story to life around each different villain is such a beautiful concept, and it is brought to life with Lotay’s art style in this issue. To put Poison Ivy with Lotay’s art makes you wonder maybe if she should be the only artist who gets to bring her to life. Lotay makes Poison Ivy the center piece of this story, with her bright red hair and striking green eyes stealing every panel she is in, Poison Ivy demands your attention. She is not over sexualized, which is so often done, but she appears understated and tactile. Her outfit is utilitarian with a green body suit, leggings, and boots all make sense in each place. There are no pointless heels in her boots, or extreme cleavage to distract you. Lotay adds a nice touch of a darkened streak across Poison Ivy’s eyes, a makeshift mask from tree bark, that really shows the transformation from Dr. Isley to Poison Ivy. She speaks eloquently and appears poised, this is a real class act sophisticated villain Snyder and Lotay are bringing here, from words to pencils; this is a fleshed-out female villain who is more than just eye candy.
Snyder continued to bring his best with each and every issue that comes out from All-Star Batman. You may already be convinced he is a superb writer, but after this issue his writing versatility will put him in a new league unmatched by other contemporary writer in comics. Batman so far has encountered three villains over this series, and each issue we learn more about Bruce Wayne, Batman, and those around him that have shaped him (his enemies). As we dive deeper and deeper every month in getting to understand new bits and pieces about the Bats it starts to become clear how much this villains are also shaped by Batman. This series is as much of a love note to Batman as it is to his villains which makes this is a must read for every Batman fan or anyone who wants to be one.