Tuesday, August 9, 2022

I Am Batman #12 Review

Answer The Question

Written By: John Ridley
Art By: Christian Duce, Rex Lokus, Troy Peteri
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 9, 2022

In our previous issue of I Am Batman we got ourselves a surprise in the form of Renee Montoya, but not only Renee but her alter ego, The Question. That's right, it's time for Jace Fox to have himself an old-fashioned team-up and who better than The Question to get that started with her pursuit of finding out who really shot Anarky during Fear State. While I do love me a team-up, I will say that bringing back Gotham characters after leaving Gotham so that this book could have its identity this soon feels like a misstep to me but maybe it's simply here to set up Renee's book coming down the line. Let's jump into this issue and see if Batman and The Question can get to the bottom of this mystery. 

So the big question is, who killed Lonnie Machin? Anarky was killed and previously in this book we were led to believe that his shooter, Morris Caulfield was caught and he was put up to it by Seer's broadcasts that made people believe that they should protect the city themselves as the Moral Authority. That all seems to be thrown away now because this book wants to make a connection to Gotham and New York City since Jace is currently in New York, but boy does it stretch to try and make this work, and at least for me.... it doesn't really work. You see, Anarky was shot by Morris Caulfield, but he was shot before that by someone else and those shots are the ones that killed him. In this issue, we'll find out that this has something to do with New York City police officers and a Gotham City Alleytown protestor who was also killed by....... New York City police officers.  

If Lonnie's murder investigation wasn't enough for you we also have an issue that is chock full of side stories with Tiff Fox trying to make a difference and at the end of this she realizes that to do this she doesn't need to be a vigilante, she just needs to check her privilege and boy oh boy, this Batman book has really gone out of its way to focus on the weirdest things out of nowhere, especially making the original suspect in Anarky's murder a guy who didn't live in Gotham, but came to Gotham to protect it with guns because that's what he was told was the right thing to do. Ripping stories from the headlines isn't always the best option especially when they're retroactively shoehorned in to try and do more than tell superhero stories. The story just falls short in every aspect and that's a shame because I've been enjoying this book but things seem to have shifted after the last issue.

All in all, the art in this book continues to be great throughout, but the story seems to be spread too thin with all the things that John Ridley wants to deal with, not to mention that our newest mystery about who killed Anarky seemed to really be forced in to shoehorn a connection with New York City that ultimately in my mind just doesn't work and kind of comes off silly, especially when the bad guy that's revealed here that could be a culprit is that one asshole cop who Chubb previous shot to stop his brutality. I don't know if this is editorial forcing things into this book or John Ridley trying to shove everything he wanted into these issues because this book is on the verge of cancellation, but whatever is happening now is hindering the book and making I Am Batman a chore to read when previously it was a surprise delight. 

Bits and Pieces:

There is way too much stuff shoved into this issue and the main plot just doesn't feel like it actually works the way that it's supposed to. The art is great throughout thankfully, but the story of I Am Batman seems to be spiraling out of control back into Gotham problems while doing everything it can to say it connects New York City to it and it's just not working.


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