Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.
Warning: Minor spoilers.
“Kaaaate…. You… you came back… why did you come back?” – Raphael
Batwoman relaunched today (following her Rebirth issue), who has always been an interesting character for me. She always has held a position on the outskirts of the Bat-Family, holding a much higher degree of autonomy than any of the rest. There’s a strong team behind this run as well:
- Writers – Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV
- Penciller – Steve Epting
- Colour Artist – Jeromy Cox
- Letterer – Deron Bennett
- Publisher – DC Comics
Cover by Steve Epting
The story picks up Kate following up on a white supremacist terrorist about to launch a venom fuelled attack in Istanbul. She’s running things herself with the help of Julia Pennyworth to stop the spread of monster venom throughout the world. As the plot of develops she’s lead to a mysterious small nation island known as Coryana where it appears she has had dealings before with the mysterious Safiyah. The dynamic between Julia and Kate is a very interesting variation to Batman and Alfred. Julia and Kate are friends first and foremost whereas Alfred is very much a substitute parent for Bruce. This adds to Kate’s character, leaving her feeling much more independent as a vigilante, than even Bruce himself at times.
There is also the question of Kate’s past experience at Coryana. Much is left unanswered at this point in time, except somebody very powerful lives there who wants people dead. What’s interesting is while there is more than one death in this issue, by the apparent same hand there is no obvious connection between the two, except the island. The assassin in question does make a brief appearance, quiet and very much deadly they form an imposing figure in the few panels they’re in.
Art by Epting, Cox & Bennett
The art feels very much grounded, with strong earthy colours used throughout the opening scene, these are switched up for darker blues and greys which create a more relaxed atmosphere between Kate and Julia. During the flashback a different approach to colouring is adopted, the panels are kept black and white except for Kate’s iconic red hair and Safiyah’s red lipstick. The use of red on Safiyah marks her as an equal to Kate in these scenes and we can be sure this is a sign of future clashes to come. Bennett does a very good job with keeping the lettering unintrusive throughout the issue, there are many large panels giving him plenty of space to work with. Finally, Kate herself forms an intimidating figure throughout, both in and out of costume her figure appears powerful.
However, how well does Epting draw hands? Very well of course. There isn’t much to fault for the hand drawing in this issue. They won’t quite pick up a perfect score as they don’t appear too often during the issue, however where they do – be it in a battle scene, carrying out and action or mid conversation they look great. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!
This is a very interesting start to a series. It isn’t the most explosive I’ve read, but it feels like its setting things up for a run well worth picking up.
Score: 8 Mysterious Throwing Knives out of 10