REVIEW: ‘I Am Batman,’ Issue #0

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I Am Batman #0

I Am Batman #0 is written by John Ridley, penciled by Travel Foreman, inked by Norm Rampund, colored by Rex Lokus, and lettered by ALM’s Dave Lanphear. It is published by DC Comics. After training with Tatsu Yamashiro, better known as the superhero Katana, in Japan, Tim Fox returns to Gotham City-reconnecting with friends and family in the process. Wanting to atone for past sins, Tim takes up the mantle of Batman to combat both the criminal element of Gotham and the armored security force known as the Magistrate. But he’ll learn that he has to tackle being Batman his own way.

This series essentially serves as a prequel to Future State: The Next Batman, which Ridley also penned. Between The Next Batman, its prequel series Second Son and this issue, Ridley continues to flesh out Tim’s journey as Batman while also showcasing how the events of Future State come to be. Ridley’s script also showcases how different Tim is from Bruce Wayne; unlike Bruce, Tim works with rudimentary technology such as burner phones and a motorcycle instead of a Batmobile or Bat-Signal. And the one piece of tech he owns, a heavily armored Batsuit, is unwieldy and not that easy to control.

Another element I appreciate is that the book divides its action between Tim’s interactions with his family and his exploits as Batman. Another difference between Tim and Bruce Wayne is that Bruce dedicated a large part of his life to being Batman; Tim manages to find a balance between superhero missions and civilian despite friction with his father Lucius and brother Luke. I appreciate that Ridley goes to such lengths to showcase how Tim learns to be his own Batman and how it makes Future State more than a one-off story.

Joining Ridley on artistic duties are Foreman & Rampund, who previously illustrated The Next Batman: Second Son. Foreman’s artwork feels very reminiscent of an animated series, with fight scenes having surprisingly fluid motion and impact. The best page in the issue features Tim in his armored Batsuit walking through a cloud of smoke, with Lokus giving the armor a lighter coat of gray and glowing blue eyes for an ominous effect that the original Batman would be proud of. Even his speech is grey and mechanical, thanks to Lokus and Lanphear; this adds to the “fear factor” that Batman relies on.

Foreman also shows the passage of time early in the issue, beginning with Tim in Japan. With the turn of a page, a younger and more confident Tim is shown to have grown a goatee and thicker hair. I also appreciate that Lokus gives characters various shades of brown skin to represent their ethnicity; Tim and his family have mahogany-hued skin, while Police Commissioner Renee Montoya has lighter brown skin representing her Latinx heritage.

I Am Batman #0 returns to the world of The Next Batman, showcasing the early days of Tim Fox’s journey to becoming the Dark Knight. With the origin story currently underway, I’m genuinely curious to see how the series continues to set up the world of Future State and if Tim will battle any other Batman foes in addition to the Magistrate.

I Am Batman #0 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

I Am Batman #0
4

TL;DR

I Am Batman #0 returns to the world of The Next Batman, showcasing the early days of Tim Fox’s journey to becoming the Dark Knight. With the origin story currently underway, I’m genuinely curious to see how the series continues to set up the world of Future State and if Tim will battle any other Batman foes in addition to the Magistrate.