Sunday, December 04, 2011

Batwoman owns the night

Kate's gone from crying to kissing Maggie. Earlier, she'd fought with the Weeping Woman and told her cousin Bette to get lost and did we mention the government agent on her tail?

mpc 922

Kate is Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, who's left DC's Detective Comics for her own DC title. J.H. Williams III is the artist and, with W. Haden Blackman, co-writer of the series.

As with her stint at Detective Comics, Batwoman's fighting more than the run of the mill villains that so many comic book heroes and heroines face off against. The woman so fond of blood red -- check hair and costume -- faces various demons and battles the world of the occult.

Which is why the Department of Extranormal Operations' Cameron Chase is on her tail. The what? The who? In issue two of Batwoman, Batman explains, "She's a top agent in the Department of Extranormal Operations. A major Black Ops outfit tasked with keeping tabs on people like us."

Batwoman's primary target for the current storyline is The Weeping Woman who tries to lure her to her own death underwater and appears to magnify fears. With Kate, The Weeping Woman brings up the dead Alice who, right before she fell to her death, convinced Kate she was Kate's identical sister Beth. Batwoman almost succumbs to guilt and fear but manages to escape to the surface.

Away from Gotham's Underworld, Kate's still mourning the death of her lover Renee but ready to explore with Maggie. Oh, and cousin Bette? That would be the Teen Titans' Flamebird. And Bette's biggest crime, as far as Kate's concerned, was probably attempting to fix the problems between Kate and her father. Yeah, they're on the outs again.

And did we mention the missing children?

A lot's going on in this five part "Hydrology" storyline that's kicked the series off. And it's allowed the series to avoid so much of what sinks other new comic book series. There's no cutesy villains to hook in the Super Friends audience, there's no attempt to turn a female lead character into a man with long hair (which just tends to make the woman a pale copy -- we can name three comics with 'female' leads right now that fit that description) and she's not a little girl dependent on Daddy (we can name two comics which infantalize the lead female).

It's rare that a series kicks off so strongly and so sure-footed. And "Hydrology" is followed up with "To Drown the World," a story arc (writing again by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, art by Amy Reeder and Richard Friend). Building on the strong foundation Williams and Greg Rucka provided Batwoman with in 2010 (Detective Comics), DC is making Batwoman not just the most satisfying title of 2011 but the one to watch next year as well.
Batwoman autographed
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }