Review: I Am Batman #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: John Ridley
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“Arkadine, Saint…they are the reasons I became Batman: To go after the powerful who think they are untouchable.” – Jace Fox/Batman
I Am Batman #4 -In the throes of Future State, the streets of Gotham City cry for justice and Jace Fox answers the call!
Fear State aftermath! Following the collapse of the Magistrate program, Jace Fox is still doing damage control from the events of Fear State. There’s a dangerous new player in Gotham, however, and they’ve set their sights on bringing down the Dark Knight!
Future State must be here to stay as I bought into the fact that it was a glimpse into a future of what MIGHT become. Apparently, it is the here and now. All clues lead that Jace is going to be Batman in New York and Bruce returns to Gotham. Or maybe vice versa.
Lucius Fox has no idea that his son Jace is a “mask” and arguably his family is in need of some group therapy as the aftermath of the Joker War had a significant impact on all things “Bat’ related!
This issue has major fallout as Jace Fox hunts down the mysterious Seer but is soon ambushed by a group of Peacekeepers who are seeking revenge for the fall of the Magistrate.
Meanwhile, the Fox family contemplates leaving Gotham City while the mysterious Victor Noonan pushes for the ability to enforce martial law in Gotham using his T.A.L.O.S. program.
Ridley’s scripts shine as we get a glimpse of all things Fox family and it is rather Shakespearean in that Bruce was a supported Batman via Alfred. No such luck for Jace in terms of his father. Jace is really shaping up to be quite the grappler, however, I want more of a back story on his detective skills.
The art is clean, the colors pop, and we really get to see a “shinier” batsuit in that he is more akin to an Iron Man than a Batman. In fact, I could detect a War Machine vibe while enjoying the battle scenes between Batman and the Magistrate and the agent of T.A.L.O.S.
The lines in this comic are clean and as much as I hate to compare heroes, I see T’Challa/Black Panther or Al Simmons/Spawn in this storyline. I see this comic taking on other societal issues that Bruce could not solve or even begin to work with given his background.
Jace’s character needs his own city and this reboot of the Magistrate in this issue is not great. Magistrate…T.A.L.O.N…. is this going to be the Court of Owls trying to take over Gotham again? As exhibited in other Batman comics, there is an international Batman force to be reckoned with, however, the funding is not there.
Too many avenues that Jace’s Batman could explore than just Gotham. However, the “anti-police” angle is played out!
This particular issue seems like a cleanup of sorts from Magistrate to a segway into a new/old threat of T.A.L.O.N. – fully funded by Lucius Fox. Jace deserves a better story than this. I am sure he has his own demons to conquer, but wouldn’t a confrontation between him and one of Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery be interesting?