Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham | DC | Published 1/17/17
Written By Tom King | Illustrated by David Finch and Mike Janin
Following up Scott Snyder and his New 52 Batman, Tom King had some pretty big shoes to fill when it came time to write his own Batman; whether or not he will be deemed successful will come in time. Right now, we have before us, the first volume of King’s Batman that is part of the DC Rebirth. Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham collects Batman: Rebirth #1 and Batman issues 1-6.
With Tom King now in the driver’s seat, it is clear that there will be some awesome (and terrible) things in store for Gotham’s defender. Also, the first several issues of the Batman Rebirth re-launch serve as a giant high-five to fans, as they remind us exactly who Batman is and why we adore him. King’s reasoning here is: to re-define Batman and to challenge the image that fans have formed over years of reading his comics, King must first remind us who the Dark Knight is, or more specifically, who we think he is, before adding depth to our already in-depth understanding. This way, when King decides to bring something new to the table it will be more impressive and will have more impact on long-time readers. To explain this simply, think about Horror flicks. The ‘gotcha’ scenes always follow an eerie silence, right? Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham is the eerie silence…and the ‘gotcha,’ well, it’s on the way.
One of the main issues that I have with this collection of comics is that the newest threats to Gotham rise as heroes and fall as villains in the blink of an eye. Gotham and Gotham Girl aren’t nearly as developed as I would have liked, and unfortunately, this is a major let-down because I believe that there was some major potential with Gotham. Because of this, and some other plot points that go underdeveloped, Vol.1 reads more like a prologue to a great story than a great story. I feel this way, perhaps, because I am current with the series and know what’s coming, so take what I just wrote as you wish.
The ominous, ‘The Monster Men Are Coming’ echoes throughout the tale and incites interest, and perhaps fear, in what King has in store for Gotham City. Terror is on its way.
David Finch and Mike Janin both do a great job illustrating throughout the volume. Again, I prefer Janin’s work in the issues to come, but the art here fits well with the writing, and thus, is a success.
Score: 7 out of 10
Overall, this is a solid volume and I recommend reading it. There were some areas that weren’t explored as much as I would have liked – some points that went undeveloped – but it was good nonetheless. Batman Vol.1: I Am Gotham sets up future volumes well, and does so in a way that is entertaining. Pick it up.