‘Kiss from a Rose’ ends with a deeply meaningful character journey.
The battle between Batwoman and Scarecrow ends this week and judging by the cliffhanger of the last issue it’s Scarecrow who might need saving. Marguerite Bennett and Fernando Blanco have been writing one scary and deeply introspective series, but can they stick the landing?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“Fear and Loathing” finale! In order to escape a wonderland of nightmares, Batwoman must embrace the monster within to defeat Scarecrow once and for all. But Dr. Crane is the least of her worries, Colony is coming to the rescue and her father turned enemy, Colonel Jacob Kane, is leading the charge. Could this father/daughter reunion be the beginning of the end for Kate Kane’s career as Batwoman?
Why does this matter?
Batwoman is a prime character these days due to the great character work Bennett has given us over the last 10 issues. This issue reveals even more about her through her fears (or lack thereof). Blanco is capable of drawing some truly unnerving stuff which matches the style of Scarecrow.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Damn, throwing shade.
This issue opens with Batwoman in full bat/dog beast mode attacking a very scared Scarecrow. It’s badass as hell to look at and Bennett offers up some badass dialogue to go with it. The line, “I am my worst nightmare, Scarecrow” has to go down as one of the coolest lines ever spoken in comics. All this fear and horror leads to a truly beautiful moment between Batwoman and her ex and eventually a conclusion that serves as a surprise epilogue of sorts. A lot of ground is covered in this issue and most importantly we see Batwoman in a more raw and personal light.
This is revealed via an interesting scene between Batwoman and her father. He speaks to giving her life purpose and order but also how he’s been a bad father even if it meant a stronger daughter as a result. In a stroke of genius, Blanco and Bennett draw Batwoman now, then younger, and younger still until she’s just a child. Visually it hammers home the idea that this domineering father has been hammering her down for years and deep down she’s still this little girl.
Blanco once again draws a great issue. From the monster version of Batwoman in the opening of the issue (scaring the s--t out of Scarecrow in a weird nightmare world) to a beautiful and angelic full page spread of Batwoman kissing her ex there’s a lot to love. Blanco is teamed up here with Marc Laming who I think draws everything after the 10th page. Laming’s art isn’t quite as painterly, but it’s very detailed and suits the dialogue heavy scenes as it helps get the emotions of the characters across.
Great dialogue here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The plotting of this issue is somewhat wonky as it tries to do a lot across its 20 or so pages. Not only does it wrap up the big confrontation, but offers a key scene between Batwoman and her father, and even new revelations on what happened before. Reading this in a collected edition is going to make this slightly off plotting and pacing issue go away, but it’s hard to miss it here.
Is It Good?
This is a very good finale that does a lot and offers up a surprise, key introspective moment for Batwoman. This character has been made stronger from this arc and should have longtime fans cheering for more.