Batwoman: Elegy

batwoman elegy cover trade paperback tpb
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 10/10

Great art from J.H. Williams III

Story is good but has room for improvement

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Detective Comics (Volume 1)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Greg Rucka

Artist:  J.H. Williams III

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2010


Detective Comics (1) #854 (Variant Cover)

Reprints Detective Comics (1) #854-860 (August 2009-February 2010).  Batwoman is recovering from her nearly fatal wound and continuing her battle against the followers of the Religion of Crime. When Batwoman learns that the new leader of the cult is a woman named Alice who is obsessed with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, she learns Alice intends to kill the population of Gotham. Stopping Alice could come at a cost when Batwoman makes a discovery about her enemy that could change her life forever.

Written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by J.H. Williams III, Batwoman: Elegy was a collection of the primary story in Detective Comics (1) #854-860 and follows Batwoman’s appearances in Final Crisis and 52. The series was praised by critics, and J.H. Williams art and helped him be nominated for an Eisner award for Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist. The collected edition features an introduction by MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow.

Batwoman is an interesting character and this is a great first solo adventure for the character. Batwoman first appeared in her original version in Detective Comics (1) #233 (July 1956), but faded into obscurity. The new and current Batwoman was introduced in 52 #7 (June 2006) with her first costumed appearance in 52 #9 (July 2006). Here, the character’s background is expanded with her father’s involvement with her creation, her sister Beth, and her past in the military. The first part of the story presents Batwoman’s battle with Alice and the second half is her coping with Alice’s apparent death.


Detective Comics (1) #857

Batwoman made national news for being a lesbian. Rucka does a good job trying to create a rounded character that isn’t just lesbian for shock value or following the politically correct trend to show a more diversified world. Kate’s past is directly tied to being a lesbian. She is kicked out the army because of her sexual identity and in an attempt to “serve and protect” she adopts the identity of Batwoman. I do however find it rather amusing that Kate does end up hooking up with the two of the few prominent lesbian characters in the DC Universe…aka Rene Montoya and Maggie Sawyer…both police officers.

What really seals the deal on this collection is J.H. Williams III’s great art. Much like Todd McFarland’s ’80s art was hailed as a game changer, Williams III’s art also feels new and different. The style and look of the art works perfectly with the character and enriches Rucka’s story. The one fault I do have with Williams III’s art is sometimes the path of the panels is a bit difficult to follow. Despite this small flaw, J.H. Williams III is developing as one of the great new promising artists.

Batwoman: Elegy is definitely worth checking out. Batwoman is a fresh new character that still feels like it has a real history and background. Batwoman: Elegy is a nice first look at the character and J.H. Williams III follows the series with the New 52 series Batwoman 1: Hydrology.

Related Links:

Batwoman 1:  Hydrology

Batwoman 2:  To Drown the World

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response