Thursday, 13 October 2011


Series: Batwoman
Words: J.H. Williams & W. Haden Blackman
Images: J.H. Williams
Issue Number: 2
Release Date: In reality October 12, 2011  but our cover reads December
Format: Comic

As soon as I could I was tearing through the pages of Batwoman. The art in this comic continues to be amazing. For issue number two I think that art is even better then the stunning first issue. This is really unfair because it sets a very high standard for other artists. There is this blending of art styles and methods of drawing both characters and backgrounds that set a shifting and effective mood and tone for the comic. During one of the early fight scenes the image of x-rays is used to provide an illustration of how much physical damage is being done in a fight. And you do not have to just take my word for it Comic Book Resources had a preview of the comic (link here) that quite effectively show cases how amazing the art style is for story telling.

If you are a comic book fan you can also enjoy trying to find Warren Ellis' Desolation Jones in one of the panels. A great little Easter egg of sorts for longer term comic readers.

Stepping beyond the amazing art (which alone almost justifies buying this comic or buying Batwoman when it comes out in a trade) is this enjoyable story. It took a while for me to realize but most of this issue is filler and set up and getting the characters to where they need to be. I normally get very impatient with books or comics during these periods. I know I need this information for what comes next to make sense. But I don't want to wait. So usually I end up getting frustrated. Some how though the writers managed to slip me an issue filled with almost all set up and it was so enjoyable that I did not notice or mind. Instead of frustrated I am excited to find out where the story goes.

There is a little bit of relationship development between Batwoman and her side-kick. We get to see the first date with Kate Kane and her love interest Detective Sawyer. And as Detective Sawyer is upset that Batwoman interfered with her investigation in issue one I see foreshadowing for tension and conflict here. Issue two also marks the introduction of the Department of Extranormal Operations setting up all sorts of potential both good and bad. I've only recently become familiar with this department through the Green Lantern film and because it is also featured in Manhunter (which I am currently reading all of the trades of to review).

The only time I was taken out of the story was during an interaction between Batwoman and Batman where he cautions her that sidekicks have a tendency to die and come back as super villains. Being familiar with that back story in Batman's history it came across as a little flippant and a little out of character to me. But it did also get quite the chuckle out of me.

The only big concern I have with the story is the possibility of Batwoman joining Batman Inc. I am not sure if there is a way for that move to be spun with out her losing some of her strengths and some of her development. Currently Batwoman while within the Gotham / Batman universe was not trained by Bruce Wayne, she simply saw his costume and decided to take what she liked and operate on her own. At first her father was the person supporting her, helping with extra training and materials but at this point she has branched out on her own and is now training her own side kick.

The further into the story Batwoman goes the more difficult it is going to be to just pick up the latest issue and read. The story flows from one comic to another building on a foundation. I will update you when this story arch ends and the next starts. It they continue with the artwork and the great stories then this is going to be an amazing trade paperback / graphic novel to own.

If you were going to read just one of the D.C. new 52 in either graphic novel or comic formats this should be the one you get.

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