Batwoman #35 “Mystery In Space”
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Georges Jeanty
Yes, you read that correctly. “Mystery in Space.” And when they say space, they mean space. As in spaceships, space suits, no gravity, yet they’re all throwing punches without being hurled out into the deep black, space. There’s nothing metaphorical here… And not much happens either, so there’s not much to talk about… Simply put, this is going to be a short review.
Clearly, the big talking point would’ve been the fact that Alice is back, and Kate is working with her, along with Ragman, Clayface, and the Demon. It’s as if this issue were written so that when you open it, you think, “Holy $#!?! What the hell is going on? How did Batwoman team up with these guys, and why?” In fact, the teaser at the end of this issue for the next book is, “Next: How in the hell we got here!” But I don’t care. I don’t want to know how we got here. I want to know who decided to go here! Cause… Umm….. They’re fired!
Aside from my personal distaste of Batwoman being in space, everything about this seems like it should have been successful in creating hype and buzz for this new direction (by that, I mean including these other characters… I’m definitely not referring to the space plot). So why didn’t it? Once you take out the setting of space, there’s nothing new here – it was already introduced. Everything that should’ve been intriguing was already covered in last month’s Futures End issue. And since there’s not really any character or plot development, this issue depends on the shock and curiosity to drive the issue… And it’s simply not there. This issue honestly felt like Batwoman: Futures End – Option Number 2.
In case you’re wondering, the whole issue takes place in space, and the whole issue is essentially a space battle. I’m not joking. That’s your plot for this issue. You don’t know why they’re in space. You don’t know how they got in space. And you don’t even know how the team was formed. I’m not sure when this is supposed to take place either. I know it picks up after Eternal, but, it just feels like it should be taking place years from now. And I don’t believe the Kate and Alice relationship. They’re way to chummy after everything Alice has done and been through. There should be trust issues between these two, even if they’re understated, and Kate tries to ignore them. And the “battle” itself wasn’t very good. Most of the demons, or space demons, or aliens (I’m still not completely sure what they were), just felt like pawns. Even the “big bad” felt a little like a pawn. Nothing felt “right.”
- You want to see Space Action Barbie…er… Batwoman. I meant Batwoman.
- You like the idea of Batwoman being part of a team.
- You enjoy space stories.
Alright, be warned, there are spoilers below.
The Art: I’m not a fan of Jeanty’s art. I never feel like there’s much detail, and I’ve had times on some of his other projects where I’m not completely sure who is characters are because they don’t look recognizable. Everything he offered here is average at best.
I also have a rant about Clayface. He’s in space… and he has no space suit! There are two major things that bothered me about this. 1. He still needs oxygen to breathe, right? So he would need a space suit. 2. Hasn’t Batman and Robin beaten him by freezing him? If so, wouldn’t he freeze in space?
The Good: Umm… It was still better than Ann Nocenti’s Catwoman run?
The Bad: This was pretty bad. There is nothing remotely recognizable about the book or the character at this point. It’s completely lost its identity. The creative team tries to create some drama with Alice’s mask cracking, but it didn’t really do anything for me. There were also a lot of aspects that weren’t believable for me. I already mentioned my issues with Clayface in space, but then using him to protect them team as the fly back into Earth’s atmosphere? No, I can’t believe that. Sorry.
And I feel like Alice, Clayface, Ragman, and the Demon showed more character depth, and were written so much better in the one to two pages that they were featured in the Futures End issue than they did in this whole issue.
Overall: While I don’t feel that this issue was absolutely terrible, there was also nothing rewarding or redeeming about it either. After I read it, I felt like I had actually wasted the previous fifteen minutes. Because of that, I can’t recommend this issue in good faith.