I really can’t believe it’s been over a decade since Kate Kane arrived on the scene as the newest incarnation of Batwoman. What surprises does Rebirth hold for her? Your Major Spoilers review of Batwoman: Rebirth #1 awaits!
Previously in Batwoman: Rebirth: “The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bio-weapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours! Learn where Batwoman comes from, and where she’s going, in this one-shot prologue to the first big Batwoman epic, ‘The Many Arms Of Death’!”
WHO SHE IS AND HOW SHE CAME TO BE
As with all the Rebirth Number Ones, this issue is as much recap of what has come before as it is launching point for a new series, but this issue impresses me with the amount of information it manages to convey in a short time. We get to see the death of Kate’s mother (and seemingly her twin sister, but we all know how that turned out), her ejection from the armed forces due to her homosexuality, her descent into booze and partying, and the interaction with Batman that changed her life. There are also some new bits of information delivered here, including the debut of a couple of friends who will clearly be part of the ongoing series. It even gives us some background on the recent events in Detective Comics: The Monster Men, the loss of Red Robin and Batwoman once again walking away from people who care about her. The final-page reveal is a shocking one, though I’m not entirely sure whether we’re seeing Kate or her late mother, but either way, it’s a tantalizing glimpse of things to come…
INTRIGUING, EVEN WITH THE FAMILIAR BITS
Since her debut, Batwoman’s book has been graphically fascinating, and this issue continues that trend, thanks to Steve Epting. The art keeps the unusual breakdowns and panels that have defined this Batwoman’s stories, with amazing action sequences and expressive faces and body language. The script by Bennet and Tynion is likewise solid, deftly giving us everything we need to know about Kate Kane’s life to date, tying it all together with some new elements and characters, and making it all seem as though this issue is part of an unbroken tapestry rather than several scattershot series appearances. Of all the Bat-Family, Kate is my favorite, not just for her black-and-red color scheme and stark design, but also for the amount of care put into her character and her history. This book is respectful of all that, while breaking some new ground that should be fertile for story.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A STRONG FIRST ISSUE
In short, Batwoman: Rebirth #1 is a great start for more Batwoman, and even though I would love to see her hanging out with Spoiler and company in Gotham, the decision to spin her out on her own again is both understandable and exciting, leaving this issue with a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. Batwoman having her own series is a no-brainer in terms of not only character diversity at DC, but for verisimilitude in the Batman family overall. Plus, her costume is the best of any of the bat-characters, and one of the best in DC history. Fight me, if you like…