All-Star Batman: The First Ally by Scott Snyder

: All-Star Batman
Story arc: The First Ally
Volume: 3
Stand-Alone: No
Universe: Dc Universe Rebirth
Writer(s): Scott Snyder
Illustrator(s): Rafael Albuquerque, Sebastian Fiumara, Rafael Scavone, and many more!
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Hardcover
Paperback Release Date: March 20th 2018
Pages: 176
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9781401277260

Previously on Rebirth’s All-Star Batman:
My Own Worst Enemy (Vol. 1) by Scott Snyder
Ends of the Earth (Vol. 2) by Scott Snyder

It is unfortunate that this series takes an end with volume 3 as Scott Snyder takes a leave of absence to work on other projects. While he states that he has countless more ideas to share with his fans and plans on bringing back this series, the wait is going to be a killer. All-Star Batman: The First Ally is most definitely the best story-arc in this series and its focus isn’t Batman again but rather his trusted partner, mentor and father figure, Alfred Pennyworth.

Collecting issues #10-15 as well as featuring a little story arc at the end, this volume sticks with Rafael Albuquerque’s art style and presents us a modern pirate story with an underlying father and son theme to capture the raw and powerful bond that keeps two of the most iconic characters together. I personally haven’t seen many stories that put Alfred at the front of the line, but I really loved what Scott Snyder does with this character in The First Ally.

What is it about? The story shuffles around with two distinct stories, one from the past and one from the present. Narrated by Alfred, we’re taken upon an oversea adventure where Bruce Wayne infiltrates an operation by pretending to be another villain who looks like him (maybe you can guess who that is?) but finds out that it isn’t as easy as it seems. As plans go pear-shaped, Bruce finds himself on a hunt for safety. The story quickly unfolds and reveals a new character who catches them off-guard, but forces Alfred to connect the dots, past with present.


The pirate story theme that overlays this volume was truly well-done and, with Alfred’s narration, really helps in convey the core ideas of it all in a stunning fashion. Scott Snyder also does a marvelous job in making it an emotional story by tying in Alfred’s relationship with Batman and putting emphasis on the father figure role that roamed under the waters throughout the history Batman’s legacy. The angle pursued is truly beautiful and fully explored in this story arc, and honestly elevates this story to a higher level.

The artwork easily captures the essence of Scott Snyder’s story and I’m really glad that Rafael Albuquerque stuck around for the whole story arc in this volume. Unlike the previous volume, this one easily felt much more complete and consistent thanks to that alone. I also really love how his art style successfully delivers the brutality and the softness at the same time, and I think it might have something to do with the colour palette privileged.

What however kept me at bay from calling this a pure masterpiece is the forced parallels drawn between Alfred and Batman regarding the Dark Knight mantle. I wish Scott Snyder had restrained himself a bit on that regard as it made the coincidences feel unnatural when you took a moment to reflect upon it. Besides that, The First Ally was an incredibly original story that has strong themes and an emotional finish.

Rumours have it that Scott Snyder might get back to writing more stories for All-Star Batman once DC Comics introduces a brand new comic book format (prestige-style). There are no information on what exactly that entails, but I do love the idea that it ain’t over yet and that it might return with something really new for the comic book world to dip their toe in!


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Have you read it yet?

Do you plan to?

What do you think about All-Star Batman: The First Ally?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,




22 thoughts on “All-Star Batman: The First Ally by Scott Snyder

    1. YASS! You know what’s up! His New 52 run and Black Mirror are some of the best things that happened to Batman. Particular love for Black Mirror and its horror vibes 😍 You should totally try out his All-Star series, especially The First Ally!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s a graphic novel called Wytches that might be of your taste. It’s horror and it’s just one volume. Written by Scott Snyder and it even has Jock (one of the artist in volume 2 of this All-Star Batman series) on it. I haven’t read it, but it might be something worth testing since its short and probably easy to pick up at the library! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Awesome review as always buddy! I’ve still got to check out this series but plan to eventually (especially if it’s only three volumes as well).

    I’d heard some positive things about this particular arc around the time the individual issues were coming out and Rafael Albuquerque seems a perfect fit for this story.

    I have to admit thought that I’m not as keen on Scott Snyder as I used to be, sadly I wasn’t a huge fan of Metal but hey, maybe his upcoming Justice League run will win me over?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks man! Good to hear from you again, Chris. Yep, it is a fairly short series, especially volume 2. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on them since your love for Snyder is quite special! 😉 Sort of not surprised that Metal didn’t sell well for you hahahh the six issue storyarc turned out to be perfect for me though 😂 More on that when I finally get around to write a proper review for it.

      I’ll probably wait for the collected edition for his Justice League run though, but isn’t Manapul on that run too? Seems like all the folks that have a hard time impressing you are teaming up nowadays huh? 😂

      Definitely. I feel that he was perfect for this story and really complemented the whole vision Snyder had for this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s definitely one of the best in the business and the other stuff he’s currently working on are already on their way to changing things dramatically for DC (in a great way!). That’s what it really is. The art is really awesome and works great with the story. 😀 Thanks for reading, Dani!!! It’s been forever since we last chitchat!!! ❤


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