Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman’s Batwoman was one of my favorite books from the Bat-family. Keyword “was,” but I’ll touch on that later. Batwoman is working with Agent Chase and the D.E.O., the Department of Extranormal Operations. She was coerced into this situation when they threatened to throw imprison her father for aiding her vigilante efforts. Along with this and other cases, Batwoman has continued her search for the missing kids from early in the series. The kidnappings continue to add up as Kate edges closer to confronting the culprit.
One aspect of the series that has changed since its debut is the fractioning of stories within each issue. But not only does the issue split time amongst the participants, it also jumps around in time. Both of these techniques could turn readers off which is the effect I am currently feeling. This particular book has a section for Batwoman, Kate (civilian identity), Jacob (Kate’s father), Maro (working with Falchion is behind the kidnappings), Maggie (Kate’s detective girlfriend), and Chase. When focused on Kate, with and without the mask, the book is at its’ finest. When it ventures away from the titular character, it can be hit or miss; mostly miss.
Jacob has been at the hospital visiting Bette, his niece and Kate’s cousin, after she was injured way back in Batwoman #4 by a man wielding a hook for a hand. It wasn’t pretty and her life hangs in the balance as a result. This serves to provide readers with a more emotional touch. It only works however, if you actually care about Jacob or Bette. Maggie’s story allows readers to see the world from the point of view of a detective in Gotham and also see a bit of Kate away from the mask.
Trevor McCarthy and Guy Major take over as the art team on pencils and colors, respectively. Despite having changed artists several times in these nine issues, the series has maintained its distinctive look with the unique layouts. Going back to the various characters used, each of them has a different set of structure for the panels in their respective stories.
In the beginning, this series was one of the better books amongst the entirety of DC Comics’ New 52, but as of late it’s losing that impact on me. The storytelling style used may not work well with some readers as a monthly series. If you like the character, I would suggest reading all the issues together or waiting for the collected edition. Otherwise I would recommend skipping this issue and at least waiting for the next story. It is not that Kate isn’t an interesting character, because she is. But the dragging story doesn’t do her justice.
This comic book was purchased by own funds.