Review: I Am Batman #2
John Ridley has been putting together an interesting story with I Am Batman. Coming from the world of film and television, it’s not surprising that Ridley’s approach has differed from other comic writers. While one can pick up each volume of his works on their own to read, it’s the overarching story that makes each stand out. I Am Batman #2 has Jace attempting to put the pieces of the puzzle together. He’s getting dragged into the current “event” “Fear State” and is convinced what he’s investigating is tied into the Magistrate and Scarecrow.
Ridley’s take on Batman is different in multiple ways. We’re seeing “year one” in many ways as Jace slowly is figuring out what he’s doing in some dangerous on the job training. This isn’t a polished Batman at all, instead delivering a bit more of a brutal ground level take on the character. There’s no issues breaking bones or a knife plunging into a bad guys’ leg. The theatrics aren’t as present and instead it’s a much more direct approach to things. The differences are there.
What’s more intriguing is what Ridley does with the character in this issue. The traditional Batman has had his jaw out in the open for individuals to see. You can see his mouth move and you know he’s likely white. Jace’s take covers that space though in this issue uses it to an advantage. In a scene I probably lingered on for far too long, Jace removes the plate to his enemy. In doing so he makes it clear that this is not the regular Batman. This is one who operates differently. I can’t also help but think that there is something to signaling that this Batman is Black. Jace uses it all to his advantage and in doing so will create a potentially interesting dynamic that I hope Ridley will explore further.
Stephen Segovia‘s art is solid. With Rex Lokus on color and lettering by Troy Peteri, the art continues to forgo the splashy spreads and two-page entrances. Here, things are kept to a partial page or a panel. Jace on a motorcycle launches in with a multi-panel page delivering a different feel of an entrance than we’re normally used to. There’s a bit more of a focus on the physicality of this Batman. Fights are close combat and up close, relying less on gadgets to stop the enemy. It all comes together for a comic with a very different feel than Batman.
I Am Batman #2 continues Jace’s journey in the cowl. He’s not a polished crime-fighter. The approach is far different and attitude as well. And it’s all perfectly caught in the writing and the art. This is a series for those that love the long game and storytelling. Where Jace is here will not be the same character a year from now. And watching John Ridley plot and guide that growth will be a potential masterclass in storytelling.
Story: John Ridley Art: Stephen Segovia
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for a review