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I Am Batman #16
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘I Am Batman’ #16 is built on the crumbling foundation of our lies

Thankfully, the only thing falling apart is our heroes’ web of lies as the tide of truth crashes against their bedrock of deception.

“Life’s random, you know?”

Built on the crumbling foundation of the lies we weave, I Am Batman #16 is an engaging read from cover to cover. Thankfully, the only thing falling apart is our heroes’ web of lies as the tide of truth crashes against their bedrock of deception. This issue’s success is largely due to the narrative’s dual themes dueling for the reader’s attention. John Ridley does an excellent job sewing themes surrounding lies and life’s randomness so that each sequence crescendos to this issue’s final reveal, leaving you wanting more. Additionally, Christian Duce’s artwork with Rex Lokus’ colors does a great job conveying this issue’s drama and action.

SPOILERS AHEAD for I Am Batman #16!

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Two of my favorite elements throughout I Am Batman #16 are the themes surrounding deceit and life’s randomness. Ridley opens this issue with narration detailing a seemingly random murder of a man in New York City. Initially, the only thing out of the ordinary about this crime, if there is a such thing as an ordinary murder, is that the victim was Tanya Fox’s executive assistant. Ridley’s opening here is intriguing as we as readers know that when Batman’s involved, nothing is truly random. As a result, Ridley’s bold statement both rings true to reality but begs to be disproven as the story progresses. As crimes against FoxTech employees escalate across the city, the connection becomes more apparent.

Interwoven with each of these crimes are sequences between Jace Fox and various other members of the Fox family. Throughout each of these moments, Jace worries that his lies about being Batman are catching up to him, especially after his sister reveals that she knows his secret identity. This concern is only heightened when one of his friends notices the FoxTech connection to the crimes. Jace’s worries are thematically echoed through his parents as Tanya worries what secrets would have come out had she been the one killed instead of her assistant. Our heroes’ concerns bring this superhero drama down to earth as everyone in this world has had similar concerns surrounding lying.

Worrying about secret identities and the fallout of their reveal is a trope as old as the superhero genre itself. This is especially true for younger heroes and those worried about protecting their loved ones. So, while John Ridley isn’t necessarily breaking any new ground on this front, he does manage to make it engaging for the reader by pairing it with crime sequences that sew doubt regarding the safety of our hero’s secret identity.

What makes Ridley’s work in I Am Batman #16 so effective is his ability to effortlessly weave these thematic elements together. By alternating themes throughout the narrative, Ridley constructs a mystery begging us to discover how these crimes are connected. Additionally, our concern for the heroes is only heightened as the familial connection is slowly revealed and the walls erected by their deceit begin crumbling down. It’s impossible to look away as each of the seemingly random pieces of the puzzle come together. However, what’s most impressive is Ridley’s ability to make these seemingly disparate moments crescendo to this book’s devastating final moment. It is going to be impossible to wait for the next issue.

“Yeah. Right up until it isn’t.”

 

I am Batman #16

DC Comics

I would be remiss if I did not mention Christian Duce’s artwork with Rex Lokus’ colors. This team does an excellent job conveying the emotional beats of the I Am Batman #16 as the Fox family seeks to comfort one another. This is balanced perfectly by the structure of each action sequence throughout the book. Duce and Lokus do an excellent job of capturing the tension of each assault on FoxTech employees. The most devastating and memorable of these involve Jace’s attempt to bring the assailant to justice.

An engaging read from start to finish, I Am Batman #16 is built on the crumbling foundation of the lies one weaves. This issue’s success is largely due to Ridley’s handling of the narrative dual themes. By interweaving themes surrounding lies and life’s randomness, Ridley builds the narrative so each sequence crescendos to this issue’s final reveal, leaving you clamoring for more. Additionally, Christian Duce’s artwork with Rex Lokus’ colors does an excellent job of balancing the drama necessary for every quiet moment with the tension necessary for every action sequence.

I Am Batman #16
‘I Am Batman’ #16 is built on the crumbling foundation of our lies
I Am Batman #16
An engaging read from start to finish, I Am Batman #16 is built on the crumbling foundation of the lies one weaves. This issue’s success is largely due to Ridley's handling of the narrative dual themes. By interweaving themes surrounding lies and life’s randomness, Ridley builds the narrative so each sequence crescendos to this issue’s final reveal, leaving you clamoring for more. Additionally, Christian Duce’s artwork with Rex Lokus’ colors does an excellent job of balancing the drama necessary for every quiet moment with the tension necessary for every action sequence.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9.2
Ridley does an excellent job interweaving themes of deceit and the life's randomness to built a compelling narrative.
Ridley builds intrigue by making the conflict personal to our hero in a manner that build to this issue's devastating final reveal.
Christian Duce’s artwork with Rex Lokus’ colors does an excellent job of balancing the drama necessary for every quiet moment with the tension necessary for every action sequence.
New ground isn't necessarily broken on the age-old trope of secret identities.
9
Great
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