I Am Batman #15 – John Ridley, Writer; Karl Mostert, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: For this entire run, Jace Fox has carried a big mantle—while deliberately keeping himself apart from the larger heroic community. We even saw him reject Jon Kent’s request to join the new Justice League in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths—but now the crisis has come to find him. This is one of the best issues of the series, and it’s also one of the darkest event tie-ins I’ve ever read. How dark, exactly? It opens with Jace standing over Whitaker’s body after he just beat the police officer to death for insulting him. When he asks Chubb to arrest him, she tells him he needs to take care of business himself—urging him to kill himself. If this sounds wrong, it very much is—because this is all the work of Sinestro, one of Pariah’s thralls, as he targets Jace’s mind and preys on all his weaknesses and old wounds to try to get him to destroy himself. It’s one of the best uses of Sinestro’s fear powers I’ve seen in a long time.
Jace is also haunted by Enrique, the remnant of the horrible car accident he caused as a young man, and by a specter of Batman who plays on his own insecurities. Once you know the trick behind this, it’s rather reminiscent of some of Scarecrow’s tricks with a lot more realism behind it—but it works as well as it does simply because Ridley has built Jace’s character from the ground up. He knows exactly how to hurt him most, and so does Sinestro. But Ridley also knows the mistakes Sinestro is going to make that give Jace the opening he needs to take the fight back. This is really the story of Jace finally coming to terms with his past, embracing his legacy, and getting ready to become a true member of the DC hero community. I’m not sure what the long-term plans are for Jace, but I can see him coming out of this a much bigger player in the DCU. This is a rare event tie-in that actually feels like it’ll have a lasting impact on the character.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.