I Am Batman #13
John Ridley takes a… questionable path with this installment. Renee Montoya is in town and working alongside Jace as The Question. This is a fun pairing as there’s a legit uneasiness between the two heroes as they try to size the other up.
Renee is also working “undercover” chatting with the detective she and Batman think killed a notable activist. This is engaging material and sets up a dynamic that’s actually different than the one Bruce Wayne has with his Batman Family.
It makes Ridley’s rush to put Jace’s sister, Tiff, on the vigilante path all the more confusing. If anything, Ridley needs to reinforce the differences between Jace and Bruce and having teenage sidekicks isn’t the best way to go. It doesn’t help that Tiff’s dialogue doesn’t come off very authentic, sounding more like an adult writing for a pre-teen.
Another problem is Ridley is still establishing who Jace is and his purpose to add in the origin for his kid sister.
This issue also has to contend with shifting artists. Christian Duce and Eduardo Panscia & Julio Ferreira handle the art this installment. Duce and Pansicia’s styles don’t mesh well enough for the back and forth switching between the two. Duce has been holding the art down just fine on his own so hopefully this was a one-off instance and not the start of a tag team approach. If so, it’d be preferable for Duce to take one issue and Panscia and Ferreria to do the other.
The Batman/Question scenes were terrific, but Ridley’s fascination with Tiff’s vigilante journey made this installment a disappointment compared to previous issues since the big relocation to New York.
Rating: 8 out of 10