I’m thankful for DC Comics allowing me to review this new volume!
Tom King. Batman, Volume 1: I Am Gotham. Burbank, CA: DC Comics, January 11th, 2017. 192 pp.
4 out of 5
Over the last year and a half I have really become a fan of Batman. So as a new fan I could not wait to get my hands on this new Batman work titled “I am Gotham.” This particular work is volume one in the new Batman in DC Comics’ 2016 relaunch which they have called “Rebirth.” With this graphic novel as my first exposure to DC Comic’s Rebirth universe I must say that I’m excited to read and explore what else DC is doing with their other titles.
At first when I read this book I was not sure where the direction was going. I thought it was going to be focused on Batman battling a certain villain that was introduced at the beginning of the book. Instead eventually we are introduced to two new characters (or at least new to me) name Gotham and Gotham Girl both of whom remain the focus of Batman’s interactions. I was rather pleasantly surprised and the artist and the writer did a good job introducing these characters to the readers in a way that gave you a sense of awe and curiosity that gave readers a greater appreciation for what Batman must have felt when he first met them. While the story has action against various villains I did not feel that was the main focus; instead the story focuses largely on the character of Batman, Gotham and Gotham Girl in terms of their psyche, motivation and fear. Surely this graphic novel gave readers a deeper character development than some of the old school comics. I thought the writer did a good job here. The story telling was good; the book left me thinking about for some time after I was done; I thought it was well crafted how both Gotham and Gotham Girl parallel Batman in more ways than one. Truly the two new characters are foils that allow the readers to better understand Batman himself.
This graphic novel was truly a thriller. There were unexpected twists and turns that the book was able to pull off even though I felt I have read a decent amount of the best Batman stories. There were times you read the inner dialogue but you were not sure who it was that speaking and at other times readers may assume they were thoughts of a particular character only to have it revealed that it was someone else. I liked that since it added a sense of mystery and twists. I also valued the theme of fear, one’s question of motivation and vulnerability found throughout the book. It wasn’t just the vulnerability of Batman that is explored; it’s the vulnerability of the other characters as well, of how you understand one gave you insight to another character.
Again a nice story. The title itself captures the many dimensions of the story since there is more than one sense to the phrase “I am Gotham.” I recommend this book for the enjoyment of the readers!
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by DC Comics and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.