If you’re already a fan of Batwoman then you don’t need to read this review. I’m sure this is just the sort of thing you’ve come to expect. But if you’re like me and last month’s Batwoman #1 was your first introduction to the character…
Batwoman #2 opens up with Batwoman and her sidekick (whose name I can’t remember) beating up some guys that appear to be trying to rob a casino. I immediately had a problem with that since casinos have better security than most banks and could’ve handled this situation without the help of Batwoman, but that’s just a nitpicky thing. What I definitely won’t gripe about is the cool x-ray panels J.H Williams used in this opening fight scene. It’s a cool effect. Once again, Batwoman has some of the best artwork and page layouts of any comic book out there.
Batwoman comics are pretty fond of the 2-page spread and one in particular is sure to catch the attention of die-hard comic readers. Page 2-3 looks like this:
As some of you may know and as Chuck Wahl informed me in the comments section of my Batwoman #1 review, this Batwoman series suffers from having been written before the launch of DC’s New 52. This makes for a rather inaccessible book to first time Batwoman readers like myself. It also means that a few leftovers from DC’s previous history might have crept onto the pages. Notice how Dick Grayson’s Batman, Azrael and others have been sort of fazed out of the collage of Batman Inc. members. That’s because those folks either don’t’ exist in the New 52 or no longer appear in that capacity (Dick Grayson, for example, is Nightwing again).
Moving on from that interesting little tidbit we get a few pretty good scenes involving Detective Sawyer. I’ve noticed that I enjoy the Sawyer scenes better than anything else in these Batwoman books. It’s probably because those feel the most grounded. Watching her relationship grow with Kane makes for some really wonderful scenes. Especially in a 2-page spread at a bar where we see quite a few easter eggs in the background like a cameo by Desolation Jones (a book J.H. Williams also worked on). And the DEO agent that’s pestering Sawyer is a far more interesting villain than the supernatural elements currently plaguing Gotham. And that’s my real problem with the book. The portion of the book that actuall shows Kane as Batwoman is just too over-the-top for me. I don’t know why I can suspend my disbelief for a shape-shifting man made of clay, a walking refrigerator who demoted himself from Doctor to Mister when he turned to super-villainy, and a 1000 year old terrorist who can be revived by frequent visits to a hot spring, but when I open Batwoman #2 and see the Mexican ghost who steals children or the street gang made of minotaurs and griffins my mind rejects it entirely.
Yeah, there’s a gang war going on between a group called “weres” (ya know, like werewolves, but they turn into all sorts of monsters) and a new gang that looks a lot like the Silver Snakes team from Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple.
As for any story progression in the ghost plot…there really isn’t any. Not that I mind. But it’s clear in the last few pages that that storyline will be center stage again in issue #3.
This is a beautifully drawn and colored book. Maybe the best! There’s no doubt about that. And if you’re already a fan of Batwoman, then you’re probably going to love this book. Everything I hear from fans of Rucka’s Batwoman run on Detective Comics is nothing but positive. But if you’re like me and have only known Kate Kane since last month’s issue #1, you’ll find that the art, Kate Kane and the people in her personal life are the real draw here. Not Batwoman.