Batman, Volume 1: I am Gotham by Tom King

Batman, Volume 1: I am Gotham by Tom King holds the dubious distinction of being the first Batman story since the end of the glorious Scott Snyder run. That alone would doom it in the eyes of most every Batman fan. Add to it this is a far more serious Caped Crusade with doubts and insecurities that are too often regulated to lesser vigilantes. No, this is a different Batman, a different Bruce Wayne. King is daring to make this own vision and it will only be time before we see if this gamble pays off or becomes another footnote in the long lexicon that is The Batman. Like Timothy Dalton’s version of James Bond.

Batman has faced many enemies in Gotham, the Penguin, Clayface and the Joker. But now, in the aftermath of REBIRTH, Batman must face in Gotham something that completely new, a pair of Superheroes wanting to protect the city of Gotham from all, even from the Batman himself.


They are Gotham and Gotham Girl, Superheroes with powers that rival even Superman. What they can do far exceeds what Batman has to offer, at least on the surface. They fly, with super strength and a boy scout attitude that quickly gets under Batman’s skin. But there is also the thought, maybe it is a change that Gotham needs, maybe it is a sign that there is no more need of the Batman.

Batman begins to investigate as he also takes the Gotham duo under his wing, teaching them as he had once taught the Robins. He finds the history of the duo disturbing and mirroring his own, a crime in the alley that ended not with death but with the actions of a much younger Batman saving the young Gothams’ lives. Then humanitarian missions and a disappearance and then they returned to Gotham, with powers they had no right to have. But how? How did they gain these powers? Who gave them to them? And even more dangerous, will the people who created these superheroes be coming for them, wanting them back, and for what true purpose?

gotham5.jpg gotham4.jpg

Tom King is the brilliant writer of Sheriff Of Babylon and Grayson, and with the artwork of David Finch, Batman: I Am Gotham is really a well done book. But the Snyder jet lag will hang heavy over this tale and this series and the comparison is terribly unfair. King’s vision of the Batman is introspective in a manner we haven’t seen in the caped crusader for some time. There is a mortality to this superhero. Almost a willingness and desire for death. A Batman whose burdens are now showing. This could be brilliant or more likely, fall short, its literary guns firing blanks to an audience who have been treated to brilliance just a short year before.


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