October 17, 2011

DC Reviews: Batwoman #2

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Written by: Alex
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Batwoman #2
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams III
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
Asst. Editor: Katie Kubert
Assoc. Editor
: Janelle Asselin
Editor: Michael Marts

Batwoman #2 starts out like most great comics do, with plenty of simultaneous character building and bad guy bone breaking. As usual, J. H. Williams III’s  art is immediately captivating. The domino masked goons that serve as the prey for Kate and Betty are creatively penciled and colored in a retro fashion; an interesting contrast  to the the rest of the comic’s aesthetics, which are much more modern. One could claim that it doesn’t make much sense for Betty to have a conversation at this time with Kate about her father/daughter confrontation in issue #1, but having the dialog take place mid-battle keeps the pages turning. Not doing it this way is a common mistake many writers make. They have their dialog completely separate from the action, leading to boring scenes of characters just sitting and talking. Yes, confrontations involving fisticuffs can be exciting on their own, but including interesting dialog can spice things up nicely.

The Weeping Woman then makes her eerie  appearance, and it may be the best collection of panels in the issue. Panning from left to right, the panel frames become slowly infected with the ghostly woman’s black and pale blue aura. It makes the already unsettling attack from the dish of holy water even more sinister. So far she’s been a villain unlike any other in the DCU, even with the minuscule amount of details revealed about her. Between her and the Religion of Crime, it’s nice to see a supernatural presence in Gotham.

Another thing that stands out as interesting in this issue: Is Batwoman becoming more like Batman than Batman himself? During the beautifully illustrated conversation between Kate and Bruce, Ms. Kane turns down his offer to be part of Batman, Inc. Even with a sidekick, Batwoman’s attitude screams independence and the desire to be left alone in her battle against crime. Most people think of Batman as an obsessive-compulsive loner, but with his worldwide plan in place there is an irrefutable amount of evidence to suggest otherwise. Not to mention his arsenal of Robins.

There are two major factors, thus far, that make Batwoman a title to be reckoned with. It gives readers the usual greatness they expect from Gotham characters. That is, a hero/heroine pulverizing goons and henchmen with their fists while taking the time to solve mysteries in between. Also, it demonstrates to skeptics (those who have trouble suspending their disbelief) that the fantastical does in fact have a place in the neo-noir setting of Gotham city.

Analytical rubbish aside, what really, and I mean really made this issue more solid than the last was the lack of a meaningless changing scene with undergarment paradoxes.

Alexander Lorenzen



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