Batwoman 1: Hydrology

batwoman volume 1 hydrology cover trade paperback tpb new 52
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Great art, interesting character, good set-up

Actual story is a bit weak and not enough happens

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batwoman (Volume 1)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  J.H. Williams III/W. Haden Blackman

Artist:  J.H. Williams III

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:   2012

batwoman #2 cover new 52 jh williams iii art

Batwoman (1) #2

Reprints Batwoman (1) #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 J.H. Williams III (with W. Haden Blackman co-authoring), Batwoman Volume 1:  Hydrology is part of the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe after Flashpoint.  The collection features art by J.H. Williams III and is a follow-up to the Batwoman:  Elegy storyline originally told in Detective Comics (1) #854-860 (August 2009-February 2010).  Issues in this collection were also collected as part of Batwoman:  Haunted Tides.

Batwoman is the “oldest” of the New 52 because she originally was planned to launch long before Flashpoint.  After her cameo in 52 #7 (July 2006) and her full premiere in 52 #11 (July 2006), the solo Batwoman comic book 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.

batwoman #5 cover new 52 jh williams iii

Batwoman (1) #5

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.

Related Links:

Batwoman:  Elegy

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.

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