J.H. Williams III is an extremely unique and thought-provoking artist making him stand out among the many who illustrate superhero comics today. His art is so distinct because of the imaginative design work making for mind-tripping pages that you will not find anywhere else. His artwork really leaves you baffled as to how he could possibly imagine such a layout in his mind. After his collaborative work on the character with Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III now tries his turn at scripting Batwoman and I couldn’t be more excited to have her back. The series was supposed to begin earlier this year, however DC pushed it back in order to make it a part of the new DCU. Finally, after months of wondering, the wait is over. Batwoman will without doubt be the most unusual looking book of the New 52, and this first arc kicks off a horror story bringing Batwoman full-fledged into a dark psychological world. Read on for the skinny…
The Low Down: “Batwoman faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City’s underworld–and new trials in her life as Kate Kane. Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane, as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her?”
Batwoman, also known as Kate Kane, was re-envisioned not too long ago in Detective Comics by Greg Rucka and J.H, William III giving her a more modern persona. Kate is not your average hero in a lot of ways. She attended military college only to be booted out for her lesbianism. After years of training to be part of the Bat-family, she finds out there her dead twin sister isn’t so dead after all. Evil Twin Sister, AKA Alice, kills a bunch of people before Batwoman can stop her. Initially under the impression that Alice was dead, Kate finds out that her father, who helped her become Batwoman, knew all along that her twin wasn’t in fact dead. There hasn’t been this much drama since The O.C. (don’t ask me how I know). So now Kate finds herself at a crossroads and begins a new chapter in her life.
The best thing about Batwoman, aside from the art, is that she doesn’t function like the other member of the Bat-Gang with her black leather costume and bright red lipstick. Batwoman works alone, she’s sort of an outcast, she has a much more edgy, rock and roll thing going on. Yet, at the same time you really see who she is under the mask on a more profound level than the other Bats. Her business as a superhero vigilante sort of makes sense once you know her backstory. She’s got a lot of emotionally baggage that can be traced way back to her childhood, making this one of the deepest digging psychological character portraits in superhero books today.
Another reason this is so exciting is because Williams III has said that although he’s going to experiment with a wide variety of styles and genres throughout the series, this first arc is focused around a horror story. For some reason DC has been getting bleaker in the DCnU, especially with their Bat-books, and I couldn’t be happier. Batman stories, especially Batwoman should be horrific in my (not so) humble opinion.
Batwoman, so far as I can tell, is not a book on the top of everyone’s pull list, but I highly recommend that you all pick this up. There are so many diverging styles and ideas thrown into his melting pot all at once brining life to the pages.
Giving you mixes of styles in order to express different moods and atmospheres, Williams III is one of the most audacious minds out there. The page designs are next level, seriously if you’ve never seen his Detective work you need to google that right now!
Ultimately this book is my pick of the week because I loved Batwoman in the past but, as we all well know the new DCU it calls for a certain sense of novelty. What makes this book stand out aside from the art is the simple fact that Kate Kane is not like any other hero in the Bat-World, she’s new to Gotham with a lot to prove and nothing to lose. The Weeping Woman is a perfect first villain for her to face, bring out her the worst in Kate as she struggles to live up to her own expectations.
I was always an advocate for the DC Reboot, and it’s likely because it meant that Batwoman would finally be released.
’Batwoman’ #1 drops Wednesday September 14th from DC Comics! (MSRP $2.99)