Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: Batwoman, DCNew52, JHWilliamsIII, W.HadenBlackman, X-Files
Despite some of the big ticket writers and artists attached to some of the DCnew52 titles Batwoman has been one helluva long time coming, and as such has carried some extremely high expectations.
WARNING: some spoilers.
I’ve attached a link to the excellent DC Women Kicking Ass blog as they have a phenomenal run down of how long this comic took to come out. I do not have the ability to compute this amount of data, and why bother when they have done it so well already?
The art work on the cover of this book is something that just jumps out and sucks you right in. It also does a better job of any of the currently published DCnew52 of letting you know what inside your book. An extremely strong looking Batwoman stands at the top with outrageous red hair that seems to liquify throughout the rest of the cover, along with her cape down into a mysterious skull face and skeleton fish. This cover looks like blood flowing through water.
With a cover like that you know your in for something dark and Vertigo-esque – which is just the way I like my comics!! JH Williams III gets us off to a roaring and yet strangely disturbing start by taking us through what appears at first a dream sequence, but turns out to be a victims recollection of a crime involving the abduction of their children. The art throughout this will give you damp chills. The panels are actually dribbling down the page, merging with the mysterious woman’s hair whilst the dank grey/ green colouring makes us feel colder still.
Our first glimpse of Batwoman is all out action as she charges in through a window bringing with her a retina ruining flash of red. As she enters its as if she drives out the darkness and cold dark oppressive crime with it. We’re brought into the light as the parents of the abducted kids are sitting with Detective Sawyer, finishing up with their retelling of the crime.
The next few pages introduce us to the emergent romantic relationship between Batwoman Kate Kane and Det. Sawyer whilst also alluding to something going on between Kate and Renee Montoya, the mother of the missing kids. Straight from here we go to Batwoman’s …er… bungalow? Meeting Flamebird as the two go through an elaborate girls getting dressed together scene. Never having been a Batwoman reader and knowing nothing of Flamebird I have no idea about these two, but from the dialogue I think they are cousins? However to counteract this we have the bottom of this double paged spread showing the two girls bounding into action in a most ridiculously cool way.
But here is where the book shifts up a gear and takes us from interesting personal relationships/ slight hints of the paranormal/ crime and takes us up into in the heady stratosphere of smokey government corruption involving a cigar smoking skeleton wearing a suit! This comic book has now become the best X-Files episode ever with added steroids!
The book continues in a similar vein, with much of it given over to learning about Kate and her family demons. The art also keeps up its earlier pace and looks sublime, disgusting, disturbing and beautiful all throughout the book, and always at the right time.
Without a doubt this is currently the best looking book published by DC.
A must buy 9/10
Batwoman #1 is by JH Williams III & W. Haden Blackman.
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