I Am Batman #6 is written by John Ridley, illustrated by Ken Lashley, colored by Rex Lokus, and lettered by Troy Peteri. It’s published by DC Comics. “Empire State of Mind” sees the Fox family relocating to New York City in the wake of “Fear State,” where Jace Fox continues his battles as Batman — and finds a surprising ally in New York’s mayor Villanueva, who wants him to work with a special NYPD task force. Jace’s troubles are only compounded when a sinister new criminal starts to prey on New York’s elite.
After an opening arc that more or less felt like it was treading water, this issue kicks things into high gear. New York City may be different than Gotham, but there’s still crime to fight, and Jace still sees Batman as his way of atoning for past sins. While Commissioner Gordon was pretty much the only law enforcement figure who was on the original Batman’s side, New York wants to actually work with him despite some dissension in the ranks. What helped Batman Beyond stand out from previous Batman tales was the differences in how Terry McGinnis approached the role of Batman; Ridley has been slowly taking a similar approach throughout his Batman saga, but this issue is a supercharged step forward, especially with how New York reacts to the idea of a Batman who happens to be a Black man.
The title also sees the arrival of a new artist with Lashley, who’s previously illustrated other superhero sagas, including X-Men Gold at Marvel and Spawn at Image Comics. Lashley’s art comprises sharp angles and shadows, giving the fight scenes an extra oomph, and there are plenty of fight scenes as the opening pages feature Jace kicking the crap out of New York’s criminal element. Another action sequence has Jace taking down a would-be mugger; in the space of a few panels he dodges a bullet, decks the mugger with a right cross, and wraps him up with cable when he tries to flee. I really hope that Lashley stays on the title for a long time, as I Am Batman‘s had an issue with keeping a consistent artist.
It does have a consistent colorist and letterer in Lokus and Petieri, respectively. Lokus colors New York’s nighttime sky with a bluish-gray filter that feels less dark and depressing than Gotham City; it’s also refreshing to see a comic with multiple Black protagonists and numerous shades of color for their skin. Lokus even makes great use of shadows to obscure a particularly gory sequence on the final page. Peteri’s lettering gives the fight scenes extra weight, including a bright yellow “krak” sound when Jace lands a punch on an opponent.
I Am Batman #6 is the fresh start the title needs, as it moves Jace Fox to a new city and gives him a new villain to battle. In the same way that Miles Morales differs from Peter Parker as Spider-Man, Jace is slowly becoming a different Batman than Bruce Wayne, and with the upcoming death of the Justice League, that might be what the DC Universe needs.
I Am Batman #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.
I Am Batman #6
I Am Batman #6 is the fresh start the title needs, as it moves Jace Fox to a new city and gives him a new villain to battle. In the same way that Miles Morales differs from Peter Parker as Spider-Man, Jace is slowly becoming a different Batman than Bruce Wayne.