I’m new to Batbooks, having only dipped my toe in with the launch of the all-ages Gotham Academy title and then being blown away by the short-lived We Are Robin book. If the rest of the Batbooks are anything like what Scott Snyder did/is doing in All-Star Batman, I have been missing out.
Ends of the Earth is a new arc, and you won’t need Volume 1 (My Own Worst Enemy) to jump in. Ends of the Earth cedes center stage to the Bat’s rogues gallery. Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and others take a turn putting the Bat through his paces. (Though, I have to say, Bruce started it with at least two of them.)
The art here is breathtaking. Each issue has a different illustrator, though each style seemed to speak clearly to the characters in each story. The sharp, spare lines of the Mr. Freeze story evokes a chill. (If you’ve ever watched the Mr. Freeze introductory episode of Batman: The Animated Series, this captures him in the same wrenching sort of way.)
On the downside: while the volumes here represent a single arc, I have to say that I did get a little lost in the middle. The first two issues tie together well, but the rest, I’m a bit more fuzzy on. I’m going to say that’s my personal weakness; I lose the thread of the story pretty frequently with graphic novels. But that’s just me. All this meant is that I had to read the book twice, which was a pleasure to do.
I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley.
Tl;dr: definite buy. (It’s $5 on Amazon/Comixology. WORTH IT!)