Review: Batwoman Rebirth
By Philip Schweier
February 24, 2017 - 10:24
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion
Artist(s): Steve Epting
Colourist(s): Jeremy Cox
Letterer(s): Deron Bennett
Cover Artist(s): Steve Epting; variant by Jae Lee and June Chung
I’m not familiar with the previous iteration of Batwoman, so I’m coming in fresh. The Rebirth issue is basically an origin story, of which there isn’t much. It reminded me of the original two-page Batman origin story from Detective Comics #33 (1939). Over the decades, so much has been added to the Batman origin, it could fill six issues (oh wait – it has.)
So, 21 pages of Batwoman’s rather basic origin. Kate Kane, Army brat, kidnapped with her mother and twin sister as a child. Kate was the only survivor. She followed her father into the service, at a time when a soldier’s alternative lifestyle could lead to discharge. After being saved by Batman, she is inspired to enlist once more into the growing Bat-army, applying her combat skills to the heads of Gotham’s underworld.
I can’t say I enjoyed the relaunch; it was too fragmented for my tastes, jumping around her timeline to depict details of her life: victim, soldier, super-hero. As for her sexual identity, I don’t see that as being important. No more so than Bruce Wayne’s or Peter Parker’s. It’s great that modern times have encouraged comic book publishers to be more inclusive of all socio-ethnic groups. But the pitfall is when it is forced.
There was a time in Hollywood when African-American characters were written by white writers, leading to the most embarrassing of stereotypes. I have seen similar issues when depicting gay characters in comics. It is my hope that writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion will do better by the LGBTQ community than has been done in the past.
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