The original All Star DC Comics title, and one of the most memetic comic books of the last decade. Ran from 2005 until 2008. When DC announced the book it was widely anticipated as Frank Miller's return to the site of two of his greatest books - The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, this time with the tale of Robin's origin. The story that fans got, though... well, let's just say it wasn't what anybody expected.
- A Day in the Limelight: Issue 10 is mostly done from Lt. Jim Gordon's point of view.
- The Adjectival Superhero: He's the Goddamn Batman!
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Wonder Woman really hates men. That is, all men except Superman. After the two get into an argument, Supes stomps on the ground hard enough that it knocks her over. This turns her on and leads to the two making out.
- All There in the Manual: The story makes more sense as a sequel to Batman: Year One when you read issue #10 and some plot points such as Batman's relationship with GL become very interesting when compared to DKSA. Also confirmed by Word of God is that the series is in the same universe as The Dark Knight Returns.
- Though this is kind of ruined by its inconistincies with the other stories, especially in regards to Batman's attitude towards killing.
- Anti-Hero: Batman is vicious, and Black Canary is a nominal hero.
- Butt Monkey: Green Lantern.
- Character Development: Batman starts out completely insane and isolated but is slowly becoming more human thanks to the influence of Dick Grayson (12 yrs old). Not very noticeable due to the large amount of padding but it's definitely there.
- Continuity Nod: There are several to other Dark Knight Universe stories.
- DKR's Battank being built in the Batcave.
- The Batcave is full of these. Besides the aforementioned Bat-Tank, there are:
- The Bat-Glider from Batman: Year One,
- The Bat-Copter from DKR,
- The Bat-Shield Batmobile
- The 60s Show Batmobile
- And the Batwing from the 'Hush' storyline, also pencilled by Jim Lee.
- Joker's henchgirl Bruno and Batman saying the We have to be Criminals line.
- Also, Batman's character a is identical to Frank Miller's in The Dark Knight Returns, save for him being 20-30 years younger. When TDKR came out, the story seemed to imply it was the decades of superheroing that turned Batman into this sour, cynical person. This story retcons that into Batman having started out as more of a jerkass than in TDKR and growing more noble, responsible and humane as he grew old, probably thanks to Dick Grayson Age Twelve's influence.
- This is a bit ironic if you consider that Grayson is revealed a complete psychopath in TDKSA. During their climatic battle, he implies that Bruce's negligence and lack of affection drove him insane. Miller's Batman predictably scoffs and pushes him into hot lava.
- A subtle one is on the cover of the first issue, with Batman swinging over Gotham. His face is blacked out with only his eyes visible, similar to the covers for The Dark Knight Returns collected editions.
- Continuity Snarl: Even at his most pumped up, no holds barred, extreme moment in The Dark Knight Returns Batman couldn't bring himself to kill the Joker. In All Star Batman he kill crooked cops without hesitation.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Almost every character talks like this, even the 15 year-old Batgirl. Especially the 15 year-old fucking Batgirl.
- Crapsack World: Usually true in a Batman story, but much much more so here.
- Darker and Edgier: Attempted (maybe parodied?) throughout the series, though the worst has to be the scowling, humorless hitman now claiming he's people have sarcastically nicknamed him the Joker.
"They call me the Joker. But I'm not very funny."
- Department of Redundancy Department: Very often throughout the text. Again and again. There is repetition. Statements are made. Hammered. Insistent. Again and again. Relentless. Tireless. Again and again.
- Dick Grayson. Age 12.
- Freudian Excuse: Dick Grayson's evilness in The Dark Knight Strikes Again is so clear now.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Since Superman and the Green Lantern are boy scouts compared to everyone else, their dialogue comes off as even sillier than the Cluster F Bombs. Although Superman's only line in his first few appearances is "DAMN!"
- Jerkass: Everybody but Superman, Alfred and Robin is some kind of a jerk ass.
- Given that Robin nearly murders Hal Jordan at one point....you can probably put him on the Jerkass list too.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Batman and Black Canary. Batgirl and Robin are Heroic Comedic Sociopaths-in-training.
- Hotter and Sexier: Much more blatant Fan Service than is usual in comic books, including a beautifully drawn make-out session in the rain between costumed Black Canary and Batman ("The costumes make it better" line might be a reference to Watchmen: we refer the reader to that book's page for the explanation of why this is so: suffice to say, it's not simply a fetish).
- Lingerie Scene: Vicki Vale's first appearance is three pages of her parading around her apartment in pink lingeries and high heels. Doubles as Hello Boys.
- Some editions feature Miller's script for this scene, which gets pretty disturbing as he goes on and on about how detailed her underwear should be, and even calls himself shameless when he asks for a closeup of her ass.
- Male Gaze:
- Frank Miller specifically made a point of having artist Jim Lee draw a detailed shot of Vicki Vale's ass.
- From the special edition of Issue One, in the script: "Okay, I'm shameless, let's go for the ASS SHOT." (caps in original).
- Man Child: Batman. Most likely a deconstruction. Possibly. He has the temperament of a child, getting incredibly moody and angry whenever someone isn't impressed with his cave or toys.
- Ms. Fanservice: Vicki Vale. To make that point even more blunt, her first ever appearance in the story has her standing in her apartment talking about Batman... wearing nothing but pink lingerie.
- Mood Whiplash: Issue 9 was when Batman meets Green Lantern in a yellow room, at first is incredibly funny (DAMN YOU AND YOUR LEMONADE!!) and when Robin starts fighting Green Lantern it's still hilarious and Batman is in the joke but the fun stops abruptly with a splash page of Robin punching Green Lantern's throat, almost killing him if it weren't for Batman. Then it's followed by an crowning moment of Heartwarming.
- In universe and out, Batman and Canary have been making out under the rain and "under the hood", when Batman mentions he can drive her home... in his Batmobile. Canary shows disappointment with her idol's naming choice. Which instantly kills the mood for everyone involved, including the readership, because this Batman is really touchy about his stuff and his person not being as awesome as he thinks it is.
- Only Sane Man: Alfred finds himself making crazy suggestions like, "Maybe we shouldn't force Dick Grayson age twelve to survive by eating rats."
- Precision F-Strike: "This arcade belongs to the fucking Batgirl!"
- Refuge in Audacity:
- Black Canary is a barmaid who wears a Stripperiffic oufit as part of her job. One night, the cumulated tension of unattractive men them hitting on her in the most vulgar ways wears her patience so thin she is ready to explode. Then one of them went and actually gropes her. She snaps, and beats the everliving crap out everyone, to unconsciousness. She makes a point of making one of them swallow his wedding ring, for obvious reasons. She loots their bodies. She torches the place. She runs away on a motorbike by jumping over a ramp and into the air. Coincidnetally, Detective Gordon's car was passing right under. He brushes it off, saying they've got bigger things to worry about. As a matter of fact, he is right. Allstar Gotham is only marginally less insane than Sin City.
- Likewise for the Joker's swastika-pastied minion, and a meta example when Frank Miller seemed to respond to complaints about "the Goddamn Batman" by having everyone refer to him like that... and then introducing "the Fucking Batgirl" several issues later.
- Lets face it, the whole series is pretty much built on this.
- Scenery Porn
- Slasher Smile: Not from the guy you'd expect, but Batman himself, to Go Nagai levels!
- Straw Feminist: Wonder Woman, who is introduced shoving a guy out of her way while yelling "Out of the way, sperm bank!". It seems she's mostly unsatisfied by men's failure to live up to her expectations, rather than actually claiming superiority or even equality as a woman: men are overhyped, weaker than they are supposed to be, than they should be. Superman proves to be a subversion: his boy-scout, simple morals clash with her pragmatism and warrior ethos, but he has the power, strength, and intimidation to enforce his law, and that really turns her on.
- Stupid Good: Green Lantern and Superman both come off this way, more out of ignorance than actual stupidity.
- And in Frank Miller stories, Batman is always right. Always.
- Testosterone Poisoning: Frank Miller grade, triple distilled.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The Joker's musuclar, shirtless henchwoman. With swastika pasties over her breasts. It's Continuity Nod to a minor character in The Dark Knight Returns.
- Training from Hell: Clearly what Batman intended for Robin.
- Traveling At the Speed of Plot: The Goddamn Batmobile is also a Goddamn Delorean:
"Fifteen hours ago". That means one of two things. Clark Kent either drank this carton of milk fifteen hours before Dick Grayson was kidnapped by Batman, and thus it is a magical prescient carton of milk, OR it's actually been a long enough ride in the Batmobile for Dick to have been reported missing, for his name to get to the missing persons groups, for them to submit his information to the milk company, for the milk company to print the cartons, distribute the cartons, and then for Clark Kent to go to the grocery store and buy the carton of milk. Let's see, by my rough estimate, that means that Batman and Dick have been on the way to the Batcave for, oh, about FIVE FUCKING WEEKS now.
- A lot of these issues come up. The series goes over two or three nights, depending on how you look at it, yet Miller seems to forget this since the books took so long to come out. Especially in issue nine. Batman arranges a meeting with Hal Jordan 'In twelve hours' in issue eight; yet in issue nine, Batman is reminiscing about multiple training sessions and Dick being in the cave with him for weeks. Also, apparently an entire clinic was bribed, Dick made a press conference and then they could paint an entire apartment yellow with "nearly an hour to spare" before Jordan arrived for his meeting twelve hours since issue eight.
- This is probably because Frank Miller is utilizing non-linear storytelling. Sometimes it's hard to keep track of all the "11 hours earlier" in the same issue.
- Unusual Euphemism and Inherently Funny Words: Black Canary is called lovechunks.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Both Robin and The Green Lantern call out Batman for his Bat-shit crazy behavior. Ironically, Batman also gets to call out Robin when Robin crushes Green Lantern's throat.
- Who Are You?: The first issue of All Star Batman included this memetic exchange (which, for better or for worse, effectively set the tone for the series as a whole):
Dick Grayson, Age 12: Who the hell are you anyway, giving out orders like this?
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Poor Superman and Green Lantern seem to think they're living in the Golden Age. Because of this, Batman can easily manipulate them both.