Batwoman’s backstory continues to be fleshed out as a precursor to her big Rebirth debut next month. We review the latest issue of Detective Comics to answer the question, is it good?
Detective Comics #949 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“BATWOMAN BEGINS” parts one and two! This special two-part interlude spotlights team leader Batwoman! In the wake of the “Night of the Monster Men,” A.R.G.U.S. has built a secret research city around the corpse of the megamonster that collapsed in Gotham Harbor…creating Gotham City’s newest and most dangerous neighborhood, Monstertown
Why does this book matter?
Aside from Batwoman being awesome (and looking awesome too), she has an interesting backstory that makes her slightly different from Batman. That allows for new types of stories, with one big discrepancy being she doesn’t mind handling guns.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Opening two years ago and featuring possibly the first interaction between Batwoman and Batman, James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett feature a highly dynamic interchange that tells you a lot (their different stance on guns, again, for example). The dialogue also foreshadows the conflict that this issue cuts to right after the flashback. This opening helps show how far Batman and Batwoman have come and it’s a reminder that Batwoman’s father is a real bastard. This lends meaning to a key scene later between Batwoman and her father.
There’s plenty of action in this issue too. Batman and Batwoman appear to be on the ropes as they fight a supersoldier not unlike the Arkham Knight in the video games. This allows the writing team to fortify the notion that one of our heroes’ greatest strengths is planning for anything.
Ben Oliver and Szymon Kudranski draw a wickedly good comic with great color by Oliver, Gabe Eltreb and Hi-Fi colors. Batman looks practically real and I love how their eyes are shadowed. Simply put, Batman and Batwoman look badass. There are some monster moments that are quite a lot of fun and look great as well; “the final page, a full page spread, articulates the leap we’re about to take with Batwoman and her unique direction you’ll want to join in on.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Batwoman’s father is drawn in a way that makes him look as old as her, or maybe even younger, which made me do a double take; the scene takes place in the later pages of the book, which are a tad overly heavy with dialogue. This sets up the relationship, though it’s unclear how it will function. A guess she’ll tap her father for info even though he’s a prisoner? It’s an odd back and forth considering they’re related.
Batman looks great… even if he’s getting palm-heeled in the face!
Is It Good?
I’m excited, nay, I’m pumped for the Batwoman Rebirth issue on sale Feburary 15th. This issue does well to establish the complexity of Batwoman, how her dynamic with Batman makes for interesting storytelling, and how she deserves her own corner in the DCU.