With I am Batman ending in February but the second Batman featured in Dawn of DC poster alongside Tim Drake. I would like to share some ideas I have about the Jace Batman that honestly could be interesting to see in the future when he returns. His series is not something that I would call a success but I do see the potential for new changes to his character that could be interesting to see Ridley, or any writer take him.
Staring with the villains, I am Batman so far has a lack of compelling or interesting villains. The fear state villains, the magistrate was as good as it got for antagonist. People who Jace could only really outmaneuvered in battles and not necessarily beat conventionally. That was in Gotham. The villains he has faced in New York really do not have something that gives them an edge over Jace over make them stand out from the ordinary criminals. In fact, the Moral Authority and the Manray are too ordinary to be considered a threat to anyone else who in the Bat-family, yet I am Batman has them as Jace most consistent Rogue Gallery. New York has an interesting history of real-world crime to take influence from, and beyond that New York has plenty of potential for new metahuman or new super-villains that Jace could combat against.
Keeping the villains grounded and street level criminals is fine, but I do think it can help to have more villains who present a better threat and something to challenge Jace’s greater goal of change in his status as Batman
New York has relative absence in the DCU, Jace Fox Batman could be used to explore places not seen in the DCU. New York is big, and for now, Jace is the only one operating it. I imagine nobody just wants to read a book about a Batman who only operates in Manhattan. However, I do like to see some NYU setting familiar to the DCU that this Batman could discover:
The justice league secret sanctuary:
Seeing a place that was not shown in years would be cool and who knows maybe a new base for this Batman’s operations.
Madame Xanadu fortune telling shop:
Magic is not strange to Batman, but it would be different if it was a Batman becoming a possible magical adventurer or even a magical student where he might need the help from a magical tutor in the Greenwich village.
Teen Titans old academy tower:
Seeing the fallout from Dark Crisis would be interesting and perhaps to see it’s old residents like the Brat Bats could be cool to have them follow Jace around.
The Fox Family as a Team
My biggest pet peeve in Jace saga is how despite the focus on them, none of them are really connected and especially not as a family unit. Jace Batman and everyone in his family should be more supportive and involved in using their skills to become part of a greater team dynamic where each contribute to fighting the corruption and crime in New York. Make them feel like a team of heroes and if not that, a family who work more together and each relying upon the skills of one another to help New York in their own way. I’m really bored of family drama and just want to see a team of remarkable people using the bat symbol.
The Jace Batman meeting Bruce Wayne and the rest of the Bat-family.
The absence of Bruce Wayne or even a mention of the other members of the Bat-family especially at this point is a disservice to the Batman mythos. It really screams of some head cannon logic John Ridley seemingly is working with that his Batman exists on a world where Bruce Batman is dead. It’s even mentioned in the first I am Batman issue.
Jace Fox desperately needs that connection, the people who been in the Bat-family who can teach him how to become a better hero. Having Renee Montoya is great for a start, but I feel like we need people who are more compatible to Jace or would be interesting to see. Examples would be:
Catwoman: Meeting either Selina or the new Catwoman; Eiko Hasigawa would bring interesting conversation about the Bat/cat relationship or with Eiko Catwoman. A legacy hero who could bring something new to the dynamic.
Batwoman: Modern socially relevant superhero with similar experience within their early years as a hero, and interesting conversation about her friendship with Luke Fox. Kate is someone I imagine a hero like Jace needs to hear from. She doesn’t like working with heroes with no training and who she perceives doesn’t have a purpose in being superheroes like Batwing and Flame bird. If Jace has a reason to be a batman, he better make it clear with her what he wants as Batman.
Azrael: Former Batman meets a new Batman. Jean-Paul Valley has really humbled himself over the years and I imagine that Azrael would want to educate this batman on the things he learned as batman. Things he failed to do and what Jace can become, both good and bad.
Katana: interesting discussions with her prodigy teachings and possible outsider recruit would be nice to see. Filling in those gap years between his vigilantism in Vietnam. Also, I imagine meeting the other outsiders like Black Lighting and metamorpho would be a fun concept.
Tim Drake: Become friends and partners with Jace. Could be nice to see Tim, ironically teaching another Batman how to be a better batman from a Robin who helped the main Batman with his trauma.
Jace Batman Personality/characterization
Bruce Wayne in his war on crime wants to put fear in superstitious criminals with the Batman symbol to hopefully one day end crime. Jace is out to end injustices by seeking to change the justice system itself and to hopefully seek his own redemption through Batman.
From what I seen, Jace has failed to inspire change and innovate himself as Batman except perhaps being deputized by the police.
I think of Tom Taylor’s Nightwing and Johnathan Kent superman series would be great examples for this particular Batman to Follow. Both are progressive heroes seeking to change their city for the better by addressing real world political issues.
Jace’s stories briefly had dabbled with this concept, he talks about it a lot, but Jace hasn’t done any changes in New York. I can’t stand the platitudes he makes and actually want to see Jace do something proactive to show he is making superhero who advocates social justice. I feel they ignore something from Jace’s origin that could be interesting to see and that’s his youth. Along with his friends Vol and Hadiyah, the trio are prominent in the series but are left unexplored. How Jace became a vigilante is left unanswered. Would be nice to see his more revolutionary rhetoric came from and how he uses his that as Batman. Like it would be nice to see a progressive hero, but it would be more fascinating to see a socialist Batman. Jace marching with protesters, working with the press, supporting political candidates, addressing real-world issues with a restorative justice approach.
Basically, a Batman who can be provocative and challenging to readers but like I said fascinating. It’s baffling how in the grand scope of things, Jace is a really safe and mundane Batman.
Perhaps if a new and different magistrate returns, Magistrate 2.0 in New York, than maybe this character can return to that classic Future state format with an even better set-up than before with new allies, most of his family on his side, and his own antagonists. I do want to see the return of batwing but based on the current direction of Luke Fox being ostracized by his family, and his rejection to being a superhero. I unfortunately see Luke either becoming just a tech guy for Jace Batman or even a possible heel-turn to villainy and willingness to associate with other villains like he did in Future state.
That’s how I feel anyway about the things I could see improve and change to this Batman that could be cool. If anything, the best thing about Jace was in Gotham or briefly in Dark crisis. If somebody can add those ideas than perhaps more people could enjoy this character.