Comic Name: Batwoman
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: J.H. Williams III/W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams III
# of Issues: 6
Release Date: 2012
Reprints Batwoman #0-5 (January 2011-March 2012). Batwoman is still mourning the death of her sister and resents her father for not telling her about the past. As Kate Kane tries to start a new relationship with his Maggie Sawyer of the Gotham City Police Department, she finds herself battling a child kidnapper called the Weeping Woman. With a new sidekick (her cousin Bette aka Flamebird aka Plebe), Batwoman pursues the Weeping Woman but also makes herself a target of Chase and the D. E. O.
Written and illustrated by J. H. Williams III (with W. Haden Blackman co-authoring), Batwoman finally came into her own title in this series. The first story arc received mostly positive reviews but J. H. Williams’ art continued to impress.
Batwoman is the “oldest” of the New 52. After her cameo in 52 #7 (July 2006) and her full premiere in 52 #11 (July 2006), Batwoman had a successful run in Detective Comics in the Elegy storyline in Detective Comics #854-860 (August 2009-February 2010). Originally Batwoman was supposed to premiere in February of 2012, but after a zero issue the series kept being pushed back until the New 52 was announced and Batwoman #1 was officially made part of the New 52.
The first story arc in Batwoman spins directly out of Batwoman: Elegy so in the Batwoman world, New 52 really had no effect. The story is ok with Batwoman hunting down the new water based villain known as the Weeping Woman and trying to uncover the mystery behind her. I prefer the Weeping Woman to the initial enemies of Batwoman in 52 with that whole Bible of Crime storyline. The first arc also sets up a bunch of stuff for development including Kate’s rocky relationship with Maggie, Bette’s apprenticeship and disemboweling, Batwoman role with the D. E. O., and her strained relationship with her father. In spite of introducing a whole bunch of new stuff, Hydrology feels like a complete story.
What really sells Batwoman’s first storyline is the fantastic art by J. H. Williams III. The comic looks great and it is a bit of a disappointment that the art changes for issue six. I know that Willaims III style takes a lot of time and it has sometimes made his books late…I think I could wait if Batwoman continued to look this great. Hopefully, he’ll at least keep up with a cover or two.
Batwoman is one of the smarter and more adult New 52 titles, and I hope it continues to develop. It is a Batman book but feels like its own series. I hope that minimal interaction with “the Bat” continues to occur but I wouldn’t mind seeing her interact with a few other Bat family characters like Nightwing, Robin, or Catwoman. Check out Batwoman for some great art and a decent read. Batwoman 1: Hydrology is followed by Batwoman 2: To Drown the World.