I Am Batman #16 review

So the previous issue was completely unrelated to the New York arch that we sadly have to get back to. This time we’re witness to a bunch of family drama and some disturbing reminders of mass shootings. Let’s see how Batman deals with it!

I’ve had lots of complaints for the New York arch and it’s very sad to me that we have to abandon Sinestro’s psychedelic powers to return to the slow paced exposition dumps that defined I Am Batman’s previous stories. This story tries to get us invested through the depraved killings of shooters who are supposed to parallel the 4chan dwelling monsters of more mass shootings than there are days in a year. While this comparison could be explored in a way that dives deep into the psyche of those who perpetrate human atrocities, John Ridley prefers to treat this problem just like he did Anarky, that is to say, kill them off and make it about something nebulously evil. This nebulous evil is then brought to a personal level as the self obsessed Fox family immediately feel targeted by these attacks which only further dilutes the comparison between these attacks and their real life counterparts. Sadly, the real life shootings could easily be connected to the Fox family as they are a very wealthy non-white family who could be prime targets for those who spread the awful conspiracy of “white replacement”. But the politics just aren’t fleshed out enough for there to be anything beyond surface level comparisons.

If we look at the story outside of its political aesthetics we can see that there is still a lot of unresolved tension in the Fox family. So far this tension has been left to simmer as each family member was pretty much disconnected except maybe Lucius and Jace. Now that it seems like they’re going to become a bit closer I really hope that the rest of the story allows them to talk like human beings instead of just saying vague things related to the plot or just straight up explaining everything that’s going on. In particular the passage where Tiff and Jace are talking to each other just reeks of unwanted exposition.

I’m also really disappointed in the art of this issue. The people sometimes look crisp and realistic and other times look like the first draft outlines of their previous forms. The buildings and foliage suffer the same fate and the already inconsistent world of I Am Batman continues to lack a strong or captivating aesthetic. The panel compositions are very rigid and functional with less than a handful of exciting panels to care about. While I think that Christian Duce has done a competent job at illustrating each action and conversation I’m just a bit too bored to really bother pausing on any particular page or panel.

The coloring by Rex Lokus really makes me sad about this issue though. What was once the main draw of this comic has lost almost all appeal. The bright daylight panels look really bland as khaki and aggressively neutral purples and blues flood the page and water down the atrocities being displayed. The night time panels lose their sense of familiarity as every building is colored in almost identical ways. The shading and colors of the people do improve a bit at night but they’re surrounded by impersonal landscapes and metallic gray interiors.

Recommended if…

  • You care about the Fox family drama
  • The idea of tackling mass shootings intrigues you
  • You can’t wait to hear about all the confessions these characters need to make


Welp, I guess we’re back in New York and we’re going to stay here for now. That means the same ol’ same ol’: a bit of story dumped onto your lap, slowly strung out for your boredom to be maximized as your eyes try to quickly capture the art before immediately forgetting about it. Because I’m reviewing this I have to keep track with what’s about to go down but I highly advise y’all to skip this comic for now.

Score: 2/10

Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.  

Come check out my other writing at loosedogmagazine.com !