A strange cult called The Many Arms Of Death have reverted Batwoman’s twin sister to the wicked Alice.  But what they’ve done to Batwoman is even worse…  Your Major Spoilers review of Batwoman #14 awaits!

Batwoman #14 CoverBATWOMAN #14

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Colorist: John Rauch
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 18, 2018

Previously in Batwoman: “Vengeance and madness come home to Gotham City!  The Many Arms of Death have descended upon the city, bringing a plague that will devour everything Batwoman holds dear – and Alice, Kate’s long-lost sister, leads the way!”

A TRULY HORRIFYING PLOT

We open with a really terrifying moment, as Alice turns on  her own followers, feeding poison to the highest-ranking members of the Many Arms Of Death as they beg her to stop.  It’s a really horrifying opening sequence, and one that cements Alice as a terrifying creature, until her transformation wears off.  It’s a moment that works really well (especially the super-gross parts near the end), transitioning to Batwoman desperately trying to get to where Alice is being “held.”  As she flies, she’s telling her ally Julia of what has happened, with Julia desperately trying to get her to stop her pursuit.  Batwoman arrives just in time to be told the truth about her situation: She has been infected with a horrific plague, and Alice has released a swarm of infected bats to spread the contagion across the city…

PERHAPS A BIT MUCH

There’s a lot of dialogue in this issue, and where it works, it works well, but with page after page of exposition and discussion, the reading experience ends up being wearying.  Alice is used well in these pages, and the idea that she’s being chemically altered to be her evil self makes Tahani of the Many Arms seem even more evil, but too much of the issue ended up feeling like build-up for next issue, taking away from the strength of the single issue experience.  Ferdenando Blanco does a great Batwoman and since she’s a character so tied to her previous artists and their specific, unique styles, that’s a harder proposition than it might seem.  I’m really disturbed by the idea that Batwoman herself is poisoned as a vector for a terrible plague, though, and that alone makes me want to see how this story gets resolved…

BOTTOM LINE: A *LOT* OF EXPOSITION

This issue gets a bit bogged down in the conversation and exposition, but overall it’s an okay issue of comics and features some terrifying moments that do land with force.  Batwoman #14 suffers a bit from middle chapter syndrome, and the amount of dialogue overwhelms bits of the story, but the parts that land do so effectively, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I do want to see what happens next time, and I hope that Beth Kane ends up being part of the resolution…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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