In I Am Batman #5, Jace Fox decides to drop the faceplate, show his skin and let the world know that he’s just as much of a hero as Bruce Wayne.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for I Am Batman #5, on sale now from DC.
Jace Fox, the new Batman in the DC Universe, is no longer hiding the color of his skin.
I Am Batman #5, the latest issue of the John Ridley-penned series, sees Jace ditching the lower half of his mask at the behest of none other than his formerly estranged father Lucius Fox. In an interview with CBR, Ridley said it was “a very powerful moment of identity when Lucius tells Jace to never put his faceplate back on, represent, and never think of himself as a lesser Batman.”
“He admits that his son has a lot to learn before he is Batman, but he reinforces that he is not a lesser person by any means,” Ridley said of Lucius’ advice. “Some people have said that I’m doing Black Batman, and they mean it as a compliment. But I say that it is not Black Batman, but Jace Fox as Batman, who happens to be black. This family has to struggle with money, with representation, and with just being out in the world, and you will see much much more of that going forward as Jace and his family make the move to New York in I Am Batman.”
Jace, originally introduced in the possible alternate future of DC’s Future State initiative in 2020, rose to prominence during the “Fear State” event of 2021. Inspired to adopt the identity of Batman after the militaristic Magistrate security force took over Gotham City, Jace has thus far been operating in the shadows, far from the reach of the original Dark Knight and the sizeable Bat-Family.
I Am Batman #5 sees Jace’s faceplate knocked aside by an assailant as his father, Lucius, watches the event on screen. In a marked change from typical superhero secret identity conventions, Lucius instantly recognizes his formerly estranged son and pledges to support Jace in his crimefighting career.
“In comic books and other created narratives, it’s a given that no one can figure out who the hero really is,” Ridley said. “It’s a conceit, and it works brilliantly. But for me, and I say this partly as a father, you’re always going to recognize your kid. You could be in a crowd of children and still recognize the sound of your child’s voice. In that moment, I just couldn’t just play that conceit. Jace is black with a goatee, and there is no way that Lucius was not going to recognize his son.”
Despite the newfound respect between Jace and his father, the pair will not be working together to tackle crime in Gotham anytime soon. Beginning in I Am Batman #6, Jace will move to New York City, marking the first time that the Big Apple has been protected by Batman since 1941.
“I’m incredibly excited about charting this new direction for Jace and the Fox family,” Ridley said when Jace’s move was first announced last November. “This new setting is a great opportunity to do some really creative world-building and give Jace his own allies, adversaries, and challenges that will continue to shape and define him as his own character under the cape and cowl.”
I Am Batman #5 is on sale now from DC.
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