I Am Batman takes a leap into uncharted territory and becomes a much more exhilarating read. I’m a bit hesitant due to the fact that I Am Batman always seems to have an intriguing moment where everything looks like it’s about to get better only to go back to the same sludge of repetitive and boring storytelling. This particular issue is great though and I’m glad to see I Am Batman escape the more down to earth approach it had been failing at.
The comic that jumps to mind after reading this issue is Batman: Ego (especially since the title of this issue is “Dark Crisis of the soul”) where the inner demons that Batman is avoiding come to taunt and torture him. Sinestro is the perfect character to reflect Batman’s insecurities because he is able to have an innate sense of people’s fears. I could argue that this issue can be read independently from the rest of I Am Batman because John Ridley masterfully unpacks the thoughts that have been brewing behind Batman’s mask while both introducing and hauntingly concluding the New York and Gotham storylines.
I love the fact that this comic is able to cover so much terrain and yet reveals so much every time it stops to display a new scene. While the stakes of suicide are incredibly high the entire comic carries the energy of it’s opening delirium and you see the craziness continue without cuts or annoying interruptions, just a seamless story progression throughout. This also holds for Sinestro whose power seems incredibly strong from the get go but won’t fail to surprise you throughout its many incarnations.
Let’s just address the elephant in the room. If you’ve been following the Batman News reviews of I Am Batman you will have noticed that there have been a lot of artists working throughout I Am Batman’s run. The fact is that this has destroyed any attempt to make the world of I Am Batman feel cohesive throughout the story. Since the previous issues focused on down to earth level problems the constant changing of the city’s look would often make me feel disconnected.
However now that we’re greeted by super-villains with crazy psychedelic powers the look of the comic has this incredible liberty to constantly change the way it looks by virtue of its otherworldly features. So while Karl Mostert has definitely drawn some beautiful pages with great character designs I also feel like the backgrounds were a bit generic at times. There is one stunning exception to this but in general I hope that (in the unlikely case that we are greeted by the same artist in the next issue) Mostert can add some more flair to the backgrounds.
It also seems like Romulo Fajardo Jr. has taken over for now as colorist and at the very least I can say that nothing as atrocious as the lighting at the end of issue number fourteen has made its way here. In fact, the colors here are really powerful as they draw you in and allow you to focus on the action. The colors applied to any piece of clothing adds a crisp layer that can almost make you feel the texture through the page and is also a contrast to the smoothness of the colors around them. There are also lots of panels with blurred colors that make the panels look like a camera lens focusing on Batman.
- You want to start reading I Am Batman and take my advice to just start here
- You’re a fan of Batman: Ego
- A well written Sinestro is always a shoe-in for you
I really hope this new start keeps it up and am cautiously optimistic about the future of I Am Batman. The reason I’m still cautious is because this issue was mostly a one on one and only involved a single character with superpowers which worked incredibly well in order to dive into Batman’s psyche but it seems like we’re about to get a bunch of new superheroes and supervillains headed our way and this might dilute the story. In the past I Am Batman has had a hard time juggling multiple characters so I guess we’ll see! I’m just happy to have been able to read this gem and could easily return to it without needing to read the previous issues for a recap.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.