The last arc of Batwoman wasn’t too bad; the strong character work really elevated it. Now begins the second arc of Marc Andreyko’s run: is it good?
Batwoman #32 (DC Comics)
While Maggie is out of town and dealing with her ex, Kate Kane runs into an old flame of hers while out at a carnival. It’s very awkward considering how things ended between them and it starts to bug the hell out of Kate. Meanwhile, Natalie Mitternacht, AKA Nocturna, is out on the prowl, having been released from Arkham Asylum recently after her murder charges were dropped. Not everyone is happy about this though.
Awkward Levels are through the roof!
The last arc, like I said, was alright. It was slow and decompressed, but the character work and relationships were pretty solid throughout and there was some interesting creativity here and there. With this new issue, I can see some of the same issues I had with the last arc: The story is slow and a bit decompressed in areas. It doesn’t really help the pacing and getting this new arc off on the right foot — plus bringing back an old flame while the new one is gone is a kind of clichéd.
That being said, this is still a good issue and I am very curious in seeing where this story goes from here. The setup here for both sides of Kate, in her personal and hero sides I mean, are decent enough. While clichéd, I am curious of seeing how Kate deals with return of Sophie here and with Nocturna, along with everything surrounding her as well. Speaking of which, Nocturna is a nice upgrade in villains after Wolf Spider, who was just rather boring honestly and didn’t seem like much of a threat to Batwoman (he mostly just got lucky in his fights). Also good here is the character work. Kate feels like a realized and complex character with all the baggage she has, how she is dealing with it, the interactions with others, and such. I’m hoping to see more work done with the others this arc, especially with the villain. The rest of the writing is fine with the pacing and dialogue (some real good lines here that helps towards the characterization). Overall, the writing here is good enough to overcome its problems.
“I’ve hated losing ever since someone stole the backside of my dress.”
The artwork by Jeremy Haun is fine overall except for the ending where Batwoman fights vampire Nocturna where it becomes particularly captivating. The characters look fine and the costumes are decently drawn, but female characters tend to have similar looking faces or features. Plus, some facial expressions are rather dull or lifeless looking to point where you can’t tell what people are feeling. The action is decent when it is there and the layouts are good (hooray for actually having backgrounds a lot of the time). The coloring and inking here are also good, especially during the final pages. It’s a decent looking book overall.
Is It Good?
Batwoman #32 is a decent start to this new arc with good characters and interesting storylines. Its only faults lie in the fact that it is slow and decompressed in areas, along with one storyline being a bit clichéd. Hopefully, the rest of the arc can make up for that as time goes on.