While this is technically a part three I highly recommend seeing this issue in isolation from the rest of I Am Batman. Of the seven issues I’ve reviewed for this series only one has gotten higher than a six out of ten. This issue will be joining the very very few times where I have read I Am Batman and enjoyed every aspect of it. It’s a shame that because the rest of this series is so mediocre there isn’t any extra emotional investment to the story even though we’re at issue number seventeen already! I don’t know if anyone will ever randomly decide to only read this issue out of the other seventeen but if that happens then they will have an absolute blast!
Imagine for a second that this is the jumping off point and as a reader rifling through comics in a store you’re curious to see what this issue is about. The first couple of pages immediately jump you into the action. The stakes are high and the name Elena is mentioned. A hostage, being heroically rescued by Batman. The tides have turned in Batman’s favor with the arrival of a new faceless friend and all the tension you see in the beginning moves it way towards Elena. The rescue is made even more impactful because we see the hostage find out who she is for Batman. Not just an ordinary person but his biological mother. The dialogue in the issue has a lot of ellipses which allows for the revelations to feel natural and personal to the characters. They struggle to put their emotions to words and in those three little dots thousands of thoughts can be conjured by the reader.
I really love how John Ridley makes the dialogue speak volumes in such a short span of sentences. Everything in this issue is so much faster paced than what I’m used to in this series. While the buildup in previous issues is barebones the characters here are segmented and in each fraction able to pour out their emotions.
My one criticism of the writing would be that Jace is seen leaving his parents in a room that looks quite typical. In the previous issues the Fox Family’s home is usually bookmarked as “Billionaire Boulevard” in a luxurious place and it was a visual anchor of their overall wealth which shapes the way that Jace and Tiff think about helping others. In this issue however, they work alongside the police and there’s no clear indication that this has anything to do with their wealthy upbringing and you would only know that if you’ve read the previous issues of this comic (which, you know, oof).
The art by Christian Duce, Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira keeps up with the pacing of the comic and uses the time it has to deliver powerful pages. The punches that silently show the rage that is always hiding behind the Batman mask, the beautifully detailed facial expressions and the smooth flow of the fighting. Sure you might not know who Hadiyah is but if you just jump into the story at the last issue you will one hundred percent stay for the art.
I would say that while it’s great to see Ms. Aoki defend herself instead of being a helpless victim, it felt a bit lazy to have Tiff and Hadiyah stand in the exact same pose for an entire page of fighting while Batman beats up an entire mob. Not that Tiff and Hadiyah didn’t get their time to shine but an entire page of inaction?
The coloring by Rex Lokus is top notch and in order to keep this review short I’ll just mention one thing about how the mood of the story is effectively related by the brightness of the day. We start off the story by having a dark sky and lots of black in the background. When everything is over the day is brighter and we even see a sunrise as Jace talks to his biological mother. The beautiful warm rays of the sun make it seem like he’s about to start a positive turn in his life yet we see the night call him back. By the end of the comic the night has taken over and the sky is elegantly mixed with faded orange hues. A combination of the day and night that encompasses this new Batman who lives a life as Jace without needing to make it a facade.
- You have read I Am Batman and have enjoyed it the whole time and are excited to see a well executed ending
- You haven’t read I Am Batman and want to read a one and done story that’s great and over, it’s over ok, no need to look back
I am really not a fan of this series. I kept seeing potential here but the pacing was so slow that I really had a hard time wanting to recommend anything I felt like was just filler. This issue at the very least ends on a high note. Takes the story to emotional and action packed moments that any fan of the series will feel deeply. For that, I am happy to recommend the only existing issue of I Am Batman (as far as I’m aware of).
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.
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