Once, Harvey Dent was one of Batman’s few allies among the honest officials of Gotham City. As driven by his demons as Batman to fight the organized crime that ruled the city, Dent ran afoul of the wrong gangster and a failed assassination attempt released Harvey’s demons into the world. Obsessed with duality and fairness, Harvey Dent became Two-Face and began using the intelligence and resources he had gathered as Gotham City’s district attorney to wage war on Gotham’s criminals as a rival gangster.
Something of Harvey Dent remained, however. Something that longed to be cured. Something that worked, in secret, with Batman to allow Harvey to retake full control of the scarred and beaten body that now belonged to Two-Face.
Now, the cure is complete and Batman has captured his former friend with the intent of taking him to where he can once again become Harvey Dent. But Two-Face, though ignorant of the particulars, has learned of Harvey’s plan and taken precautions. Every dark secret Two-Face has gathered over the years of spying and scheming, every little bit of blackmail material stands ready to be released. The only thing that will stop it is his word. As an extra incentive, Two-Face has promised the fortunes of his three main rivals—The Penguin, The Great White and Black Mask—to whoever can stop Batman and save him.
An epic chase begins as Batman races to reach a remote safehouse with his unwilling passenger. Pursued by the best assassins that money can buy as well as by ordinary people desperate for a chance at unimaginable wealth or to keep their small secrets from being exposed, Batman must continue to run. This despite his own great secret risking exposure and the Gotham City Police Department already at the gates of Wayne Manor ready to respond to a tip that Bruce Wayne is The Batman!
My Own Worst Enemy is a welcome return to the Batman franchise for Scott Snyder, whose New 52 run on Batman is still fondly remembered and considered the high-point of that movement. This first volume of the Rebirth All-Star Batman title is a thrilling action epic yet also a comedic farce at times. Imagine if It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was remade with super-villains and crossed with The Fast and The Furious and you can just about grasp what Snyder’s story is like.
John Romita Jr. proves the perfect partner for bringing Snyder’s story to life. Romita Jr. is widely regarded as one of the best artists in the business and his work here lives up to his reputation. Gritty and grim with vivid details, Romita’s work also possesses a paradoxical sense of clarity despite his complex line-work. The action sequences throughout the book are fantastic, creating the sensation of reading an action movie one frame at a time.
This volume is rated T+ for audiences 12 and up. I consider this a fair rating. There’s a lot of intense action, but nothing inappropriate for the intended audience. There’s no nudity or sexual content. Ironically, given the story’s emphasis on action, the most disturbing content involves a flashback where a young Bruce Wayne and young Harvey Dent meet and discuss their respective traumas shortly after the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents.
All-Star Batman, vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy
by Scott Snyder
Art by John Romita Jr.
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: 12+