So Many Questions: Reviewing ‘I Am Batman’ #12

by Scott Redmond

Overview

Even after a year’s worth of issues, ‘I Am Batman’ continues its up and down trajectory as the series tries to find itself and where the character should stand within the DC Universe. Even with a new city, stripped-down approach, and more street-level feeling the new Batman isn’t fully living up to the potential that the character holds.

Overall
7/10
7/10

Because the new Batman’s latest series kicked off with a detached tie-in to the Fear State event, following a prior detached digital-first series, it’s easy to forget that the hero hasn’t crossed paths with other vigilantes yet. With the twelfth issue of I Am Batman, that has now changed.

This is a series that personally is like a roller coaster, in the sense that in one given issue I’ll really like what John Ridley is doing with Jace Fox/Batman and his world and then another issue I’ll shrug, and others will actually pull a groan from my lips. This was a heady mix of the latter two options, and that’s not a good thing.

As noted, this is where Batman and a vigilante team up, that that vigilante is the Renee Montoya version of The Question who is in town both for Renee reasons (being offered the recently vacated police commissioner job) and Question reasons in the form of the death of another vigilante, Anarky. That death actually happened back at the start of this series and was part of the aforementioned Fear State tie-in issues.

All of that part is decent, the cop stuff at times still isn’t fully sitting right nor does how antagonistic this Batman can be to all sides of the line/issues. At the same time that does make sense when one factors in the privileged background.

Where the groan came was a moment where Tiffany Fox actually utters the line, “You want to cancel me, you can cancel,” after trying again with a character she had a poor, overly privileged, encounter with early in the issue. No matter how much one tries to come up with reasons it works, just no. Don’t care that she is a young character who might be “using it ironically” or whatever. Just no. Big time nope.

Overall, the prospect of a Black man as Batman is something that I felt would open so many avenues, and so far, the overly cop-heavy execution of this idea is leaving some stuff to be desired.

Christian Duce continues to provide the artwork for this series, bringing a smooth kinetic styling to all the happenings. It makes the action sequences flow with great energy but also really helps the quieter more character/emotional moment sit right as well. There are some pages/panels that would look awesome as full-size posters for the wall, like the first shot of Batman and Question together.

Rex Lokus’ colors continue to fit well in that shadowy/dark but also colorful but washed-out realm that this book finds itself living within. Some of the daytime scenes are very vivid but aren’t that detached from the night scenes in the overall tone so that they don’t pull the reader out too much.

Troy Peteri keeps doing what he does best with lettering, getting all the personality/energy to pop out of the words while also making sure that volume/tone is very apparent in how the words are presented. It’s a little thing to many, but it makes the stories and energy work so much better when the dialogue changes in style or size to really hit home how soft or loud or normal the voices are meant to be.

I Am Batman #12 is now available from DC Comics

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