The Batwoman Legacy

The Batwoman Legacy

Oh Batwoman, I do love thee.

Since reading Batwoman: Elegy in 2010, I was hooked. Writer Greg Rucka and artist J H Williams III had created a strong, intelligent, female crime-fighter that wasn’t just there to titillate the boys. The character herself has been treated with total respect by her creators and this has paid off ten-fold as she has now a huge fan base of both men and women of all ages across the world. They have even picked up a few awards for this re-write.

Then it was announced that Batwoman would have her own comic book series. I literally jumped with joy at this prospect. The teaser issue, Batwoman #0 was released in November 2010. This showed Batman trying to evaluate her skills, to find out who her secret identity is and whether or not he can trust her to be a part of Batman Inc.

Batman’s conclusion?

She is a total badass.

The Zero Issue showed that good things were definitely to come. With an awesomely strong team of J.H. Williams III illustrating the Batwoman panels, Amy Reeder illustrating Kate Kane sections and W. Haden Blackman writing, this was just a recipe for success and ultimate comic domination.

Then I waited. And I waited. And I waited.

The promised Batwoman comic series was continuously pushed further and further back, to the point where I believed that it was just going to be cancelled.

September 2011 – 10 months later -Batwoman #1 was finally released.

Apparently DC Comics had decided to push back the comic to be in line with the ‘New 52’ collection, which is the by-product of the 52 series in 2006 where the lesser known characters of DC were given the limelight for a year. (I’m in the process of reading the 52 series, but cannot get a hold of the fourth volume in the UK.)

My word, it was a beauty.

Batwoman #1 kicked off the Hydrology story, which lasted for five issues. Hydrology saw Batwoman struggle against The Weeping Woman and a government agency taking great interest in her; as well as Kate Kane’s struggles with her father and romantic life.

Batwoman: To Drown the World starts in issue #6 and is still being continued at the time of writing this. Issues 6-9 sees a very different way of story telling and is continuing where the Hydrology story arc left off. Every issue is divided into different characters’ points of view: Batwoman, Kate Kane, Jacob Kane (Kate’s father), Maggie Sawyer (Police detective and Kate’s girlfriend), Agent Chase and Maro. At first I found this quite difficult to follow and had to re-read a few times to understand what was going on, as the story jumped backwards and forwards in time as well. I am used to it now and I do quite like this way of story telling. It makes each little arc more personal to that character and I am just waiting for the finale where it all slots into place.

Issues 6-8 see Amy Reeder take more control over the Batwoman art panels and cover images. Although she is a very talented artist and does great with ‘normal’ type movements and stills, she doesn’t seem to get the ‘action’ shots drawn very well, which I was quite disappointed with. Due to some controversy (it still isn’t clear what happened), DC Comics took Reeder off the bill and Trevor McCarthy took her place to work along side Williams III. McCarthy steps up to the  challenge excellently with fantastic illustrations and he can draw those all-important action shots brilliantly.

As you can see, the Batwoman comics have gone through some struggle already, but they have been consistent in high quality story lines and artwork. It’s a series that I absolutely adore! I have even started to collect some signed and alternative cover editions. That’s how much I love them and if I can manage to get a signed copy by J H Williams III or one of his original illustrations that go for around $2000, I would die a very happy lady. I have sung William III’s praises before, but whenever he is illustrating an issue, it is like picking up a total work of art. Words cannot explain how much I love his work.

This is the start of a monthly review of the Batwoman comics that I will do as and when I read them. This review has been an introduction about the saga and issues 0-9 (hence it being so long!). I already have #10 in my hands and will write a review on that shortly!

Websites:

J H Williams III

Amy Reeder

W. Haden Blackman

Trevor McCarthy

Greg Rucka