In the final chapter of this epic, is Batman truly the hero Gotham City deserves—or does it deserve better? In this ultimate showdown, where the line between allies and enemies blurs, the question will finally be answered… and the fate of Gotham will be decided.
Despite what the direct-from-DC blurb above says, I would hesitate to call the five issue I Am Gotham an epic, but that speaks more to the frequency and size of the issues than to the quality of the comics being produced by Tom King and David Finch. Batman #5 brings the I am Gotham storyline to a close, and while there have been some ups and downs with the storyline, I’ve enjoyed King’s take on the Dark Knight thus far. And David Finch’s artwork is quite frankly jaw dropping.
There have been so many great artists take on Batman over the last five years, but I’ve always been partial to Finch’s style, and he’s producing some amazing stuff here on a tight schedule. I do wonder whether he’ll continue as the sole artist on the comic, or whether DC will rotate a guest artist every now and then to help with the bi-weekly release schedule. But that’s a question that’ll be answered another day.
Minor spoilers for the previous issues from here on out. If you want to avoid them, and have been reading the series, then go buy this issue and read it. If you haven’t been reading the series, then… do whatever you feel you need to do.
After the newly introduced Batman/Superman-mashup characters Gotham and Gotham Girl were broken by one of the lesser known villains that King has utilized for the story (Mr. H had to illuminate me on who said villain was), the stage is set for an intense confrontation between Batman and Gotham. It’s an encounter that, while somewhat unbalanced, is an incredibly entertaining read – I won’t spoil anything, here, but despite the somewhat predictable nature of aspects of the story, there are some genuine moments of subtle (and not so subtle) brilliance from both Tom King’s writing and David Finch’s art that I honestly don’t care about the partly by-the-numbers moment that have led us to this issue.
Batman #5 is strong conclusion to an arc that has certainly had it’s problems, but none big enough to hamper one’s enjoyment of the story – including within this issue – but we’re getting a different version of Batman than we have in the last few years,which when combined with the moments of brilliance within the series so far more than compensates for the odd crack in the wall.
Writer: Tom King Pencils: David Finch
Inks: Finch, Matt Banning and Scott Hanna Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read
This review previously ran on Graphic Policy.