- Written by Tom King
- Pencils by David Finch
- Inks by Matt Banning & Sandra Hope
- Colours by Jordie Bellaire
- Cover by Matt Banning, Jordie Bellaire, David Finch & Danny Miki
“I Am Gotham” part five. 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.
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‘I Am Gotham’ has been an interesting reset for the ‘Batman’ series. In recent times the main ‘Batman’ line has heavily featured the full family of Bat-sidekicks., then with it’s New 52 ending run Jim Gordon took over the mantle of the Bat. In ‘Rebirth’ we find ourselves still readjusting to Bruce being behind the cowl. Ironically here we also find Alfred wearing the famous costume for a time, albeit under duress.
Rather than focusing on his own family it’s been a refreshing difference to see Bruce dealing with a new heroic family on the scene. Gotham and Gotham Girl have morally challenged the idea of Batman. Does Gotham need such a dark hero? Does it need a hero without having powers? The answer is of course, yes. But it is still interesting to see him challenged in new ways.
The characters of Gotham and Gotham Girl themselves have not been overly compelling villains. Gotham himself has seemed blindly hellbent on being a hero whilst his sister is only present through sibling affection. Over the course of these five issues it seems more time had been spent on Gotham leading to his downfall, with this issue Gotham Girl gets to take some of that limelight. Perhaps most perplexing is the closing scenes where Gotham Girl narrates from the future. Her future seems, at least for now (in this universe), to be tied with that of Duke.
Morality tales in comics ultimately need action. Writer Tom King is able to bring action to ‘Batman’ without sacrificing character. The Bruce-Alfred dynamic has always been the heart of this series and that was missed during Gordon’s time in the costume. In these first five issues of ‘Rebirth’ we have already had multiple opportunities to see Alfred’s emotional side. With issue 5 we’re able to see just how far Alfred will go to aid Bruce in his mission.
Critically all this has been done without the distraction of multiple sidekicks. We’re yet to understand the full extent of Duke’s new role as trainee hero.
‘Batman: Rebirth’ is currently one of the less visually stunning series on the DC slate. It is easily one of the most visually consistent however. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen on this issue between penciller Finch, inkers Banning and Hope plus colourist Bellaire.
The colour palette is full of reds and drained hues which are in stark contrast to previous versions of ‘Batman’. Much of this series also seems to take place during the day. Whether these were conscious choices to step away from tradition or not they work. This looks like a new ‘Batman’ and reads like a new one to boot.
I’ve always been a fan of Finch’s pencils. The level of detail that he brings is always exciting. The way he draws Alfred in the Batsuit, extenuating how it fails to fit, is just one example of the care and attention he puts in to his art.
‘Batman: Rebirth’ #5 further takes the story in new directions. There’s a strong mix of action and character with equally strong artwork. It’s unlike a to win any new fans but for current readers it continues what is shaping up to be a great run of issues.