REVIEW: ‘I Am Batman,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I Am Batman #5

I Am Batman #5 is written by John Ridley; illustrated by Christian Duce, Laura Braga, & Juan Ferrerya; colored by Rex Lokus, and lettered by ALW’s Troy Peteri. It is published by DC Comics. Picking up where the fourth issue left off, Jace Fox is cornered by T.A.L.O.S. forces — who have targeted him for death. Meanwhile, the Fox family decides to move to New York City, while patriarch Lucius decides to get therapy after his experiences in the Joker War event.

Once again, the artistic team undergoes a change, which highlights my frustration with the book. More often than not, most comics have a set writer and artist team, with that team only changing for fill-in issues or when a new story arc begins. Counting Olivier Copiel and Stephen Segovia, that marks five artists who have been on the book so far. And while each artist is a force in their own right, I feel like any one of them could have carried the issue on their own. Ferreyra gets the worst of it, as he only gets four pages, and those pages just have a wounded Jace stumbling down the streets of Gotham.

Braga, who previously illustrated The Next Batman with Ridley for the Future State storyline, has the chance to illustrate the battle between Jace and the T.A.L.O.S. forces, and it showcases how his skills and his drive for justice are just as strong as Bruce Wayne’s. Though the T.A.LO.S. soldiers outnumber him in terms of manpower and technology, he knows Gotham like the back of his hand, and he’s able to utilize the environment to his advantage. And he definitely outmatches them when it comes to fighting, as he drops them with brutal blows once he gets the chance. She also draws a poster-worthy final issue of Jace standing guard over the skyscrapers of New York City. Lokus’ color art lets Jace’s black and grey Batman suit stand out against the cool blue sky of New York; that same grey and black color is applied to Jace’s captions and the sound effects that accompany his retractable batons.

The real draw of the issue, however, is Ridley’s script. Ridley delves into the dynamics of the Fox family, rooting their decision to move to New York as supporting the eldest Fox daughter Tam after she awakens from her coma. And the ending pages of the issue have Lucius and Jace discuss their shortcomings and how they’re going to move forward. I’m not going to lie; reading this moment hit harder than expected due to my own relationship with my father — you rarely see a Black father and son having frank talks like this in genre fiction. But with I Am Batman and other comics like Static: Season One and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the paradigm is shifting, and I’m thankful for it. Lucius also convinces Jace to get rid of his faceplate and assures him that he’s made the mantle of Batman his own, something I hope is explored in future issues.

I Am Batman #5 mostly acts as a transitional stage for Jace Fox and his family, with a strong story making up for inconsistent artwork. Hopefully, the next story arc, “Empire State of Mind,” addresses the problems with this title by finding a singular artist and a new identity away from Gotham.

I Am Batman #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.


I Am Batman #5
3

TL;DR

I Am Batman #5 mostly acts as a transitional stage for Jace Fox and his family, with a strong story making up for inconsistent artwork. Hopefully, the next story arc, “Empire State of Mind,” addresses the problems with this title by finding a singular artist and a new identity away from Gotham.

But Why Tho? A Geek Community
%d bloggers like this: