No Bat-title has been praised more for its art than Batwoman, but today’s issue is different. Batwoman #6 marks the beginning of Amy Reeder’s run as penciler and everyone is wondering if she can fill the shoes of J.H. Williams.
Well, in my opinion she has. Did she surpass Williams or equal his quality of art? Nah. Until she starts layering several different artistic styles on one page like Williams was capable of that’s just not gonna happen. But she delivered plenty. It’s a fine looking book, but I think she’s trying too hard to emulate Williams’ layouts when she should be doing something all her own. Oh well, the point is that Amy Reader maintained the book’s artistic quality and nobody is going to pick this issue up and call it ugly. Instead, they’ll likely call it “short” or “boring”, but not “ugly”.
I’ve never been a fan of this series’ writing. It’s always been more style over substance, and the phenomenal art always made it easy to overlook the story’s faults. But this issue was definitely weak in the story department. Nothing actually happens. The book takes a different narrative approach by showing the perspective of five characters at widely different points in time with no segue between the various vignettes to give the book any sense of flow. It just doesn’t work. Well, perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself– it COULD work when this story comes out as a TPB, but if you’re picking this up as a single issue you’re going to walk away feeling a bit empty. In fact, most of the story serves as filler. It’s a jumping-on point that refreshes everyone on what’s happened so far and gives the reader a basic idea of who everyone is, but it never spent enough time with any character long enough for me to get invested in what is happening NOW.
Oh, and here’s a nitpicky thing. Batwoman has a new suit that allows her to take a barrage of bullets without harm.
Taking the tech of Bat-characters this far makes them uninteresting to me. It makes them too invulnerable and sucks a lot of the intensity from any action scene. And why did the art team decide to outline each bullet strike with a little box? What’s the point of that? I think the tracer fire, numerous “tink!” sounds, and firey bullet impacts were sufficient enough to get the point across.
Also, these guys are back.
It’s clear from Batwoman #6 that Williams and Blackman have big plans for this arc, but this first chapter was so scattershot and so much of a recap that it could easily be skipped. On the other hand, if you haven’t been reading this series, issue #6 might be able to catch you up on what’s been happening for the past 5 chapters.