Ricky Church reviews Batman #6…
“I AM GOTHAM” epilogue. In this stand-alone tale, Batman seeks redemption as he tries to keep Gotham Girl from going down a dangerous path. But can the Dark Knight save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?
SEE ALSO: Check out a preview of Batman #6 here
When ‘I Am Gotham’ started, one of the few criticisms against Tom King’s story was how little characterisation Claire/Gotham Girl was receiving. It wasn’t until Batman #5 that she got some real growth and Batman #6 deals with the fallout of those events, examining Claire’s grieving process after killing her brother. That is one of the issue’s main strengths and how it juxtaposes her loss with Batman’s.
Right from the start, Gotham Girl was given the main focus with Batman relegated to the sidelines for the majority of the issue. Her denial over Hank’s death made her a bit unpredictable as she was reluctant to step in on some crimes, instead wanting to shirk away and continue talking to her imaginary brother. It put her in a sympathetic light and made her struggle relatable. That said, though, if she had been given more prominence in the earlier issues, her depression and denial might have struck home a bit more since we would have been able to see a clearer contrast between Claire before and after Hank’s death.
While the emotional ties to Claire could have been stronger in that regard, there were still some emotional moments between herself and Batman, particularly at the end. Batman is no stranger to helping young children or teenagers through the loss of family, but none of his Robins have dealt with their trauma in such a mentally reclusive way before. Batman’s struggle to reach through to Claire was something new for him. His moment asking Alfred how the butler helped him was especially poignant and even tied into Alfred’s thoughts from the previous issue regarding his regret over Bruce’s lifestyle.
It’s good to see Claire finally getting some growth and how this is further developed in future issues should prove intriguing. King is able to connect the characters very well and explore different facets of emotions and the grief process while David Finch was able to adequately convey those emotions through his artwork. Batman #6 is both a good concluding chapter and set-up for the future as King leaves us with a very compelling cliffhanger and potential team-up that should get fans excited for what’s to come.