REVIEW: Batwoman #17

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Strange mythic things are afoot in Gotham as Ceto, mother of monsters, has risen from her watery grave. Will Batwoman and Wonder Woman be able to stitch together this tear in the fabric of reality or has the end finally come to Gotham? Should you be worried? Major Spoilers has your review!

BatwomanCoverBATWOMAN #17
Writer: J.H. Williams, III, and W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams, III
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics, Inc.
Price: $2.99

Previously in Batwoman: While Wonder Woman left to try and kill the Hydra, Batwoman set her sights on Medusa herself to end her once and for all. Things are rarely that easy though and Medusa used the blood of innocents to raise her Titaness mother, Ceto, from the murky depths of the Gotham harbor. Bette Kane rejoined the fray to once again go toe to toe with the Hook. And all around them, the city begins to tear itself apart as all manner of mythical beast and urban legend attacks.

MOTHERS, MONSTERS, MAYHEM AND MARRIAGE

In this issue we finally get the overall climax to the 17-issue long Batwoman story arc and, hot dang, is it worth it! As every mythic beast and urban legend known to man comes rolling through a war-torn Gotham, Batwoman and Wonder Woman finally face off against Medusa. Not to mention Bette is metaphorically reborn as Hawkfire after she finally defeats the Hook, regaining what she lost to him the first time they faced off: her confidence. Things take a surprising turn when we finally meet Ceto, prompting Wonder Woman to make an unexpected stand and compromise. Plus, if you haven’t heard by now, Batwoman makes a surprising proposal to her beloved Maggie Sawyer.

Plot wise, this is a very fitting end to what’s been a whirlwind of a story. From the beginning, Blackman and Williams have carefully crafted a tale that’s been surreal and fantastical, playing off of a mythological theme the Bat-family hasn’t really touched on before, at least not to this magnitude. Though, one has to wonder, how does Gotham always manage to dust itself off and go about its business after such epic apocalyptic events? Does everyone conveniently forget? How does one simply forget a rampaging Titaness tearing the fabric of reality?!

One important aspect about this particular book is what it’s doing for the LGBT Rights Movement. Ever since Batwoman was revamped as a lesbian, she’s been one of the go-to comic characters for the gay community. This particular issue is of interest due to its now heavily touching on the hot-button issue of gay marriage. It’ll be interesting to see what the writers intend to do with this, as not only is Kate Kane an illegal vigilante but she’s pursuing a potentially illegal marriage in the eyes of the law. Although introducing LGBT themes is becoming a trend with comics, it’s a welcome trend addressing themes that need to be addressed.

And said themes are definitely being tackled head on with this particular book.

I WANT J.H. WILLIAMS TO ILLUSTRATE MY LIFE

As far as the Nu52 reboots go, Batwoman has been consistently beautiful each issue from the very beginning. Little has changed. Williams is a master artist and has managed to make yet another masterpiece. There is hardly a traditional box panel in sight as each page is an artistic transition into the next, flowing beautifully and creatively every single time. So much thought and care went into designing this issue that even the smallest detail seems to pop on the page. Every time you look through it, there’s something new to see.

My only complaint, if any, is that occasionally Wonder Woman isn’t shaded as well as the rest of the cast. That might be a stylistic choice though. It seems like a lot of the mythological figures are, color-wise, much brighter than everyone else. Since Wonder Woman comes from that world of myth, her shading may have been done on purpose. Again, this might have been a stylistic choice and it doesn’t subtract from the overall art of the book in the least.

BOTTOMLINE: BUY IT… AND BUY THE NEXT ONE TOO

This is a great issue and a great conclusion to the massive Batwoman storyline, not only making it go out with a bang, but setting up the reader for the next big bad in the Batwoman series. It’s positively addressing the issue of gay marriage is something I applaud it for and it’s a bold choice for the writers to make. Williams’ art is as beautiful and pleasing to look at as ever and is reason enough to collect the whole series, let alone this issue. Overall, Batwoman earns 5 out of 5.

Rating: ★★★★★

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