This entry in the relaunched Batwoman title is a lot of fun if you’re into mysterious island and corporations, creepy spirit twins and kickass heroines. Kate Kane uses her public identity as a wealthy socialite to delve deeply into a corporation’s recent acquisitions, only to discover that their plans are more nefarious than she could ever imagine. Intertwined in this intrigue is a foreign warrior with a history – a history with Kate and a bone to pick with her current incarnation as Batwoman.
The first few pages fooled me into thinking I was reading a Pia Guerra book. The style of Epting’s art is surprisingly similar in places and sometimes divergently stronger in others. Either way, it’s a good looking comic book. As Kate enters the lair of a potential nemesis, the composition is pitch perfect, showing the tension as she traverses a clinical, evil space. Some design choices, like the bat-shaped monitor in Kate’s version of the batcave is a bit much, trying to scream “this is a Bat-family book!” despite its impracticality as a screen to view information. It’s a legitimate design choice, but somewhat distracting.
Co-writers Bennett and Tynion IV have lined up a solid start to what promises to be an enjoyable storyline. It’s a great way to begin a new title, with layers of mystery and opportunities to introduce elements of Batwoman’s world to new readers. One writing choice struck me as odd though – the moment where Kate does a quick-change from her civvies to the Bat costume while in the heart of the villain’s lair, right after a moment of explosive action. Wouldn’t her secret identity be dramatically given away to the likely countless cameras that captured it all? In one moment she is dressed as Kate, meeting with the current villains of the plot as someone pounces from the rafters, and then a panel later, Kate is dressed as Batwoman, chasing the intruder out onto the roof. This pulled me out of the action and left me scratching my head.
It remains to be seen if Batwoman will become a legend, like the 75+ year Wonder Woman, but this will depend on entertaining, culture shaping comics that capture the attention of the public. Otherwise, we’re looking at another short run of a Batwoman book. The character does have an impressive history, reaching back to the mid-1950s. A huge absence (decades!) left her at the wayside. Maybe this is her big comeback. Perhaps not. Let’s hope for the best!