One of the few things I dislike about DC’s Rebirth is that it’s tough to sometimes know which issue is which Matthew Peterson has already reviewed Batwoman Rebirth #1, so that may make this issue “Rebirth Batwoman #1.” Augh!
No matter what you call it, it’s good to have Kate Kane back in the black and red.
Previously in BATWOMAN: “The Many Arms Of Death” part one! At last – Batwoman is back in her own ongoing series! On the island nation of Coryana, anything goes for members of the criminal underworld… and during her lost years after being drummed out of the military, Kate Kane found a kind of refuge there. But now, a deadly new bioweapon is available in the markets of Coryana, and Batwoman will have two face up to the things she did in those days… and the people she left behind, some of whom would be happier to see her dead than alive! Writer Marguerite Bennett (DC BOMBSHELLS) is joined by James Tynion IV (DETECTIVE COMICS) and superstar artist Steve Epting (CAPTAIN AMERICA, VELVET) to present an epic Batwoman story that will alter the course of her life forever! This one’s unmissable!
NOTHING’S MORE FUN THAN EXPLORING THE PAST
Some of the best Bat-family stories have been the ones where we get to delve into a character’s past. We begin to understand just who that person is, and why they do what they do.
For instance, the story surrounding when Dick Grayson’s parents died added some more grey tones to Robin, which helped us understand, on some levels, why he wanted to work with Batman.
Thus, it makes sense that the Bat-family’s “lipstick lesbian” would encounter a case that makes her confront her past, and while doing that, helps us understand her motivations better.
I do smile when I see what I call the “Batman Beyond” team set up being used. You know, Bruce Wayne was in constant communication with Terry McAulife as he fought crime in the Batsuit. Well, Kate has a person doing that for her as well. Don’t get me wrong – it makes sense! It’s just turning into a cliché, though. I do like that it’s like a companion in Doctor Who in that she’s someone to talk with, which helps us grasp what Kate is thinking as well as seeing what’s she’s doing.
What makes us pull for her is that she keeps taking on baddies who really challenge her, and that’s what happens in the early pages of this issue. That she’s largely unphased by such a foe gives us respect for her.
This comic is, of course, focused on the ladies in the Batman universe. Men are there, but they play a lesser role in the story than they would in a Batman tale. That’s very refreshing, actually!
The characterization is strong, with Kate and her surrounding cast each displaying a different personality. I’m reminded of comics in times past where the people really were only costumes and powers, with no differences to speak of when it comes to who they are and what they think or feel. This book is as far away from that as it can be!
The pacing is quick, with slower sequences that give texture to the story. There’s lots of action and dialogue, and they’re very well balanced, keeping the reader’s interest.
THE ART IS DYNAMIC
Epting’s art, as always, is dynamic and clear. Facial expressions are easily understood, and I often wish the action sequences could be turned into posters, they’re that strong!
The only thing that confused me was the full-page image of Batwoman standing on her ship overlooking the city about 3/4 of the way through the book. I genuinely thought it was the end of the story in this issue. If you run into that page as well, keep reading! There are four more pages to go, including another splash page at the very end.
BOTTOM LINE: A Great Part of the Bat-Family Is Back
I’m one of those fans who enjoyed Kate’s previous run in the comics very much. But no creative team stays on a character forever, sadly. These creators are following in the style and intensity that the current excellent run on Detective Comics is known for, and that’s great for me! I love that!
If you like that book, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one as well! Powerful art, excellent story, great characters – what’s not to like?
Highly recommended! This is the first book of the new series, so I strongly suggest you jump on board now so you can enjoy future issues!