Batwoman #1 – Review!

18 Sep

After many delays (a whole years worth), Batwoman #1 has finally graced the stands.  Of course, this comes on the heels of DC’s The New 52 which serves as a catalyst to finally get this beauty out there.

My local comic shop can attest as to how excited I’ve been for this title.  We’ve been through the ups and the downs of various postponings together and finally we can celebrate.  To that effect, Batwoman #1 does not disappoint.

The comic follows Batwoman as she tries to find some missing children possibly captured by the ghost La Llorona (the weeping woman).  At the same time, Batwoman/Kate Kane attempts to juggle her personal life as well as training her cousin Bette to be a superhero.  At the same time, Batwoman has drawn the attention of some higher powers.

Surely, this comic will be the most beautiful one to come out of The New 52 and for nearly all comics, in general.  J.H. Williams III’s art mystifies as well as excites.  He experiments with different techniques and styles in order to get a comic that is very diverse as well as easily identifiable.  For the most part, I believe that many of us readers have bought this book because of the art. However, after waiting so long for this comic and its various previews, I wasn’t too taken aback by the art.  Surely, it’s great and beautiful but I expected that.  The earlier run in Detective Comics set the bar high and this issue seems to merely stay at the same level rather than exceed expectations.  Then again, this is no fault of the creators own.  Not much can be said about the art other than this is J.H. Williams III working with Dave Stewart – the thing is going to be wonderful.

The writing does work well in the comic, but it lacks that sharp and cleverness that Greg Rucka brought to the characters in the original run.  Nevertheless, it serves its purpose well to bolster the art rather than drag it down.  Problem is, I just do not think that this new threat is anything too fantastic.  I like the folklore around it, but it’s not explosive.  Also, it seems like many scenes were just cut out like with Kate’s decision over Bette.  Also, this issue is not entirely accessible to the new reader (due in part to its intended debut so long ago).  Ultimately, I am heavily invested in Batwoman/Kate Kane because she is a powerful female character who is also a lesbian.  This comic is then right up my market because it is unique, expressive, and forward-thinking.

The comic serves its role well in providing an idiosyncratic book on the market.  When I tell people that comics can be art and so much more than they’re lauded to be, I can cite this comic as an example.

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