In I Am Batman #5, Tim “Jace” Fox considers his upcoming move to New York and why relocating The Next Batman is a good thing.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers from I Am Batman #5, on sale now from DC Comics.
Now that Tim “Jace” Fox has had time to settle into the role of Batman, he has decided to take the next logical step in his career: moving to New York City. This decision was made in I Am Batman #5 (by John Ridley, Christian Duce, Juan Ferreyra, Laura Braga, Rex Lokus, ALW’s Troy Peteri), where Jace also revealed his reasons for doing so.
Jace feels that it is time for the rest of the world to see and recognize him as Batman. His attempts to convert the mantle into a symbol for the people is starting to gain momentum, but he is rightly concerned that as long as he remains in Gotham he will never be distinguished from the original Dark Knight.
Jace’s early days as the new Dark Knight have been full of great leaps and stumbling blocks. This is to be expected, as there is a learning curve to being a hero, and even Bruce Wayne didn’t get it right immediately. Jace’s mission was even more difficult: reinventing what Batman represented, and turning him from a symbol of fear to one of hope for the marginalized citizens of Gotham who would never truly be protected by the city’s justice system.
Some early mistakes was not being able to distinguish himself for the people, causing him to be mislabeled as an aggressor, but Jace has since managed to turn things around with a new approach. This extended not just to Gotham’s citizenry, but also to its police force, some of whom had standing orders to take any mask into custody. Jace even managed to do what seemed to be the impossible by changing both of his parents’ minds about vigilantes. In short order, he is starting to become the inspiration to others that he has always wanted to be.
However, he is right in his assessment that as long as he remains in Gotham, he will always be seen as the “other” or “substitute” Batman. It would be detrimental for his mission for people to view him as somehow lessor than the original Caped Crusader. Relocating to New York is the perfect move for him, as it grants him his own city to protect in his own way and, most importantly, as his own hero.
It is also interesting to note that Jace is bringing the symbol of the Bat outside of Gotham, an idea that Bruce Wayne tried to build upon with Batman Incorporated. Whether he knows it or not, Jace is unintentionally continuing that noble mission, and he may prove to be even more successful than his predecessor.
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