A Bat On The Payroll: Reviewing ‘I Am Batman’ #7

by Scott Redmond


‘I Am Batman’ handles the social and political commentary well with each issue, while it seems to be struggling a bit still to actually build a solid foundation of a world/social structure or more for Jace Fox in his new life. Cops and Batman have a very long iffy history and this series adds its own take on the matter.


Folks have Batman on the brain these days, that’s what happens when another feature film focused on a new version of the character hits the big screen. While the Bruce Wayne version of Batman in the comics currently matches little of what the Robert Pattison-led film showcases, the Jace Fox-led I Am Batman might be much closer in tone.

Fox’s move to New York and Batman’s new position as a paid (a dollar paycheck) deputized nongovernmental agent working alongside a police task force continues in this issue. John Ridley once again tackles a lot of issues such as feelings about police (including a commissioner that is every sort of bigotry wrapped into one out of touch ancient package), political maneuverings, a killer seemingly targeting the powerful of New York that have dark secrets, with a hefty normal focus on family.

While Ridley hits a lot of good points about the police and Batman’s place and the system, the heavy focus on cops with a number of them being “the good ones” main characters can be a bit off-putting. While Batman having relations with the police is a long-time part of any version of the character, it can feel like something that is from another era that should be left behind. More of Jace and his family situation and building himself up as a hero would have been a nice thing to see.

We’re seven issues in and still really feeling out who these characters are and where they land, the formerly unseen Vol only coming into actual physical play last issue. Political real-world issues are welcome in comics, but they have seemingly taken over a lot of the space in this book for better or worse, depending on the reader.

The musical chair of artists on this young series continues as Christian Duce returns to the series as Rex Lokus remains on colors. Duce has a very smooth style that works well for this issue, and his paneling choices are top-notch. We get a lot of really inset or overlapping panels that work well to mix the more action-packed and more talking head elements that are going on here.

Lokus blends the darker and lighter tones well, bringing some weight to the heftier issues and levity to the more emotional personal moments. Also fitting for Batman is the fact that even the well-lit scenes feel like they are a low level of light with heavy shadows, reaching that peak Batman tone.

Letters-wise, Troy Peteri continues to do great work on this book as the dialogue flows smoothly and has little flashes of emotion and personality that are easy to pick up on. There are some solid colorful and powerful SFX in play, and the dialogue has all the right emphasizers.

I Am Batman #7 is now on sale in print and digitally from DC Comics.

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