Kate Kane takes on Batman, The Belfry, her father, and her father’s legacy. Just another day in the life of Batwoman, right?
Previously in Detective Comics: The Colony has infiltrated The Belfry, and it is up to Batwoman and Batman to take him down before he has a chance to free Jacob Kane.
For those unfamiliar with Batwoman’s backstory, there are two ways you can resolve that – go and read the excellent Batwoman series DC put out a few years ago, or get a super condensed version in these last two issues of Detective Comics. In this issue, thanks to flashbacks and epilogues, we learn how Batman first approached Batwoman, and how she figured out Batman was Bruce Wayne (hint: she shot him in the leg). These are nice sequences in the greater story of Kate Kane and her growth as Batwoman, but it feels like we are missing something. Perhaps we’ll learn more about Kate’s past in the upcoming Batwoman series, but for now, we know everything we need to know to push the story forward.
One thing we know for sure, is no one, not even Kate’s father, should underestimate what she is capable of. In short, Batwoman kicks the crap out of Colony Prime at every turn. She probably would have taken him out for good had he not injected himself with some Monster serum and escaped. Though Kate’s backstory is an important element of this arc, I felt the action sequences were a bit on the thin side.
Ben Oliver continues to deliver fantastic art in this issue. There are moments when you believe you have been transported back in time to read the last Batwoman series, and yet there is an updated look and feel to what is on the page. Layouts work well, but I doubt we will ever see anything like the jaw dropping J.H. Williams III layouts anytime soon. Still, panel composition is worth a second or third look while reading through the issue as there are some interesting choices being made.
Color continues to use a muted palette that makes the story feel old and dreamy. At no time do the colors feel muddy or over saturated to draw the eye in. While I don’t think I would like this color in all of my comics, it certainly feels at home and appropriate for Batwoman.
BOTTOM LINE: WRAP IT UP
Detective Comics #949 is a nice wrap to the Batwoman Begins arc, and sets up her ongoing adventures in Batwoman Rebirth #1. While Batman battles crime, Batwoman will need to step it up if she plans on taking down The Colony, and war in general. Writers James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett tell an engaging story, and Ben Oliver’s art brings it all together in a fully formed tale. While this issue works best with Detective Comics #948, it isn’t half bad by itself.