A Series Still Seeking Its Place: Reviewing ‘I Am Batman’ #4

by Scott Redmond


I Am Batman tackles a lot of relevant subject matter in a way that isn’t sugarcoated but finds itself stuck in a middle ground between an event and its potential future. A solidly crafted book that needs to firmly stake its place within the greater Batman line of books.


Gotham City might have survived Fear State and the Magistrate might be gone, but a lot of the issues and terrors that were exposed in that time are still very much a problem. Especially for the new Batman.

I Am Batman is a very odd book in many ways. It, and the series that preceded it, stands alongside but very much also apart from the rest of the Bat-books. Starting any series off with a crossover tie-in to an event is always a tough thing to do. It makes it somewhat hard for a book to really settle and develop its own identity or place. John Ridley negates that somewhat with this book being just the next part of The Next Batman: Second Son, but also with the more realistic subject matter being tackled.

The threat of misinformation and the shadowy things that governments/big businesses are up to remain the big topics here as they were in the first three issues. It hits a little bit less here because a lot of this issue is the fallout/clean-up of Fear State while also being heavily about setting up for the book’s upcoming jump to New York City. As noted, a crossover and now setting up for a big status quo shift is not helping this book firmly find its place, but the foundations Ridley is building at least should help keep it steady for now.

Stephen Segovia and Christian Duce remain on the split art duties this issue, switching off scenes in a way that actually made the changes in style not as apparent as they were in the last issue. They share a lot of the same energy and style choices across their pages, most notably in the way they go about choosing panel layouts and maximizing the space that each page affords them. It appears, that Segovia took on more of the Batman-focused/action pages while Duce dealt with more of the Fox family/talking pages in many respects.

It’s a good way to divide things up because while both are great at either thing, it allows those types of scenes to keep the same particular feel or energy that each artist has. Like a through-line for the whole issue.

Coloring for this book and its predecessor continues to remain in the talented hands of Rex Lokus who easily bounces back and forth between the darker tones needed for Batman scenes and the brighter or more mixed scenes that surround others. This is a series that has handled a lot weightier subject matter in its short life and there is an inherent heaviness granted to the artwork through these colors that is fitting.

These last few issues are very dialogue-heavy since the topics covered require a lot of exposition to be explored, and Troy Peteri deftly works his lettering skills to make sure it never becomes too overwhelming on the page. Tossing in a lot of really big superhero-worthy SFX makes the action scenes even more fun and bombastic.

I Am Batman #4 is now on sale in print and digitally from DC Comics.

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