Every issue of I Am Batman is like being on a very unexpected yet also predictable roller coaster ride. There are some big powerful highs and then there are some really low lows, and there are the issues that are somewhere in the middle. That’s exactly where this fourteenth issue sort of falls.
In the last review, I went on about how there is a real police problem in this series, where our brand-new Black Batman Jace Fox is actually working for the police which is even further than Bruce Wayne’s Batman ever went. In this issue, things aren’t much better as it turns out that the activist group that we saw in the previous two issues turned out to be the ones that murdered their fellow activist, who was actually a police informant, and the masked vigilante Anarky. We’ve got corrupt police, but they were innocent here, mostly, but the Black activists were the murderers.
Now to be fair Jace does reflect on this afterward, but just wow. I get what John Ridley is going for here but it’s just not sitting right overall for me one bit. It doesn’t help that Ridley is launching a new series that is fully about the police and Renee Montoya trying to fix Gotham’s force, as there is just too much police going down on this side of the Batman equation. Bruce Wayne is dealing with operatic foes and his robotic sins in his books, while the Black Batman so many of us wanted is knee-deep in cop stuff 24/7.
Also, I wanted more detective stuff in this book, but holy crap was the Anarky murder just way too easily solved and then wrapped up and moved past. A murder that was perpetrated early in this series run and teased for quite a while just wrapped up and tossed aside. Because next is Dark Crisis and Sinestro stuff. I have no clue how to even take this book most times.
It’s another artist mashup situation as regular artist Christian Duce is now joined by Tom Derenick while regular colorist Rex Lokus is joined by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Troy Peteri remains on the letters.
Like the last issue, the artistic jam works as the styles are similar and have a lot of the same qualities. They also appear in different set pieces which helps them flow better and makes the change a smooth one, which is fitting since both art styles have a bit of a smooth energetic quality to them. Derenick has a bit of roughness to his pages, but it’s fitting for the city and the content of the issue, and the brutal fight scenes that fill those pages.
Color wise we get a lot of nice bright colors but also great work with shadows to create darkness and nighttime that feels natural and heavy as it should. We get a whole lot of very vivid bright colors going on here, and they have a very glossy slick feeling to them as they slide across the page with the kinetic artwork. It works.
Peteri does a great job as usual at making the lettering flow across the page, the dialogue just naturally moving around the page to where it fits best for an easy read. Tons of great emphasizers to make sure that tone and volume are clear, changing up the font or bubbles to hit home how a character is feeling or sounding at any given moment. I also really liked the design and incorporation of the grawlix, symbolic swearing in comics, which there is a whole lot of here.
I Am Batman #14 is now available from DC Comics.
Every issue of I Am Batman is like being on a very unexpected yet also predictable roller coaster ride. ThereCOMICONRead More