REVIEW: ‘I Am Batman,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I Am Batman #1

I Am Batman #1 is written by John Ridley, illustrated by Olivier Coipel, colored by Alex Sinclair, and lettered by ALW’s Troy Petieri.  It is published by DC Comics. After the events of I Am Batman #0, Jace Fox takes to the streets of Gotham in a new Batman suit, determined to protect his city. His quest as Batman pits him against not only the Gotham City Police Department but also the oppressive task force known as the Magistrate; both forces enact an “anti-mask” policy that cracks down on vigilantism.

This issue continues Ridley’s Batman saga that began in the pages of DC Future State and centers on Jace’s first night as Batman. Jace is determined to be a different Batman than Bruce Wayne; instead of standing on top of the massive skyscrapers of Gotham, he shoots through the streets on a sleek black motorcycle. Instead of carrying the usual Batarangs and grappling gun, Jace’s belt is mostly filled with burner phones, and he has a pair of retractable batons in his gloves. However, like Wayne, Jace has a dual identity working for his father Lucius at Foxtech and prowling the streets at night.  And like Wayne, he has a strong sense of justice that drives him to be the best Batman that he can possibly be, even if he’s approaching the mantle from a different angle. No matter who’s under the cowl and cape, some things will never change.

Ridley is joined by Coipel, who delivers a visually striking set of images throughout the issue. Coipel cut his teeth working on animated films such as The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado before illustrated Marvel titles such as Thor and House of M; there is a fluidity to his work that made me feel less like reading a comic and more like watching the pilot episode of an animated series. Pages show Batman twisting and turning on his motorcycle, cutting through traffic at high speed; another page features him as a growing shadow that strikes a man with enough force to send him flying into a wall. Readers will also be able to see the details within Jace’s Batman costume, from the rivets holding his armor together to the faceplate that detaches from his cowl. And thanks to Sinclair’s vibrant colors, Batman’s cape looks less like a cape and more like a living, thrashing shadow.

Sinclair also brings life to Gotham City, making the usually shadowy and sinister city twinkle under a collection of lights. This makes Batman stick out like a sore thumb, but it also lends weight to Coipel’s action sequences. Much like his predecessor, Jace strikes hard and fast-his hands transforming into a blur as he battles. A high octane car chase also answers the question, “What would happen if you put Batman in a Fast and Furious movie?”

I Am Batman #1 continues John Ridley’s take on the Batman mythos introducing new challenges for Jace Fox’s Dark Knight. With the next issue poised to introduce a new take on one of Batman’s foes, it looks as though Ridley, Copiel, and Sinclair will be sticking around for a while in this new version of Gotham City.

I Am Batman #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


I Am Batman #1
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TL;DR

I Am Batman #1 continues John Ridley’s take on the Batman mythos introducing new challenges for Jace Fox’s Dark Knight. With the next issue poised to introduce a new take on one of Batman’s foes, it looks as though Ridley, Copiel, and Sinclair will be sticking around for a while in this new version of Gotham City.