Batwoman #36 “How In the World Did We Get Here?” Part 2
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Georges Jeanty

I’m going to start referring to Andreyko’s Batwoman as “the slide to NOcenti” because the book is definitely headed that way. The writing is sub-par at best, with unrecognizable characters and disjointed plots. Is it NOcenti level bad? No, but it’s definitely on its way.

In this issue, we return back to our current continuity after last month’s horrendous glimpse into a future space adventure. Batwoman is on patrol, and crosses paths with kids vandalizing a billboard. It’s nothing too serious – one of the kids is asking a girl to prom by spray painting it on the billboard – but you know something is wrong when Batwoman yells, “Vandalism is a crime punishable by death!!!” I know, it’s a little much. It only gets worse when she starts attacking the two teens, and tries to bite one of them. Thankfully, police sirens cause her to snap out of whatever trance she’s in, and she leaves the teens to investigate the police related incident.

During all of this, we witness what appears to be a ritual sacrifice. This plot is spliced throughout Batwoman’s altercation with the teens, and doesn’t end well considering nearly everyone in attendance is burned to death. This is what the police are responding to when Batwoman is pulled out of her trance. The moment Kate decides to check in on the police activity, I know what will follow… an awkward moment between Kate and Maggie… And sure enough, that’s what we get: a poorly written interaction where Maggie sticks it to Kate. It’s reminiscent of something you would see in high school. Oh Marc, you really are too predictable.

Then things get weird. Apparently Kate is dating Nocturna now… and she doesn’t seem to be under any type of spell. She just seems to be doing it because she doesn’t have the heart to tell her no. Ok… umm…. What in the hell is going on here, and where is Kate Kane? This is freaking Batwoman! She’s an extremely skilled soldier! She was hunted by a religious cult, was stabbed in the heart, fought a psychopath that turned out to be her sister, and held her own with gods… And she’s now incapable of telling someone “no?” Plus, Kate is well aware of who Nocturna is, so why are they dating? This is just weird. They even go on a date, and before doing so, discuss Kate’s wardrobe… Again, what in the hell is going on here?

While on the date, they even run into Kate’s therapist. She hasn’t been to him in over a month, and he definitely does not approve of her choice of spouse. I was convinced that something was going to be revealed proving that Nocturna is controlling Kate, but it never happened. Instead, Kate seemed to be embarrassed to admit she is dating Nocturna. Yep, we’re definitely moving towards NOcenti territory. This whole plot is INSANE! Kate just stands there shamed as Nocturna speaks for here! Ok! I’m throwing my hands in the air! I give! Here’s my white flag, I just don’t care anymore. We’re at “NO,” all that’s missing is the “centi.”

Jason Blood receives his proper introduction in this issue. I must admit that I’m not that familiar with him, so I can’t really speak to how he’s written… Considering everything else that Andreyko is offering up, I can’t imagine it’s a good representation. Blood is a doctor that works on one of the patients who was burned at the ritual. When he touches the patient, he has a vision of hell and demons. It appears as though the patient sees the same thing, and discovers who Jason is before biting the bullet. It could’ve been interesting had it bun done well, but everything here is just so unbelievable. The hospital bit is bad too. Imagine a medical drama on the CW or ABC Family, with pretty actors and actresses in their early twenties playing the doctors… I mean, they claim the patient is “crashing,” and on both occurrences, the patient is speaking to the doctor… Has Andreyko ever been in a hospital? Or watched ER? Greys Anatomy? Doogie Howser?

There is an interesting reveal concerning Blood at the end of the issue. A certain someone also makes their return to Gotham before everything is said and done. If I’m being honest though, I could care less. It’s not even remotely enough to redeem this issues.

 

Recommended if:

  • You prefer stories that are fun with little to no emotional weight or context.
  • You’ve enjoyed Andreyko’s arc up to this point.

 

Alright, be warned, there are spoilers below.

The Art: I’ve been pretty open about not liking Jeanty’s art. I don’t think he’s terrible, but I don’t really think he’s good either. His art reminds me of what I would see on a less popular, Saturday morning cartoon series. His reactions appear to be as over the top and cartoony as Andreyko’s writing. It makes a bad combination.

The Good: Alice returns to Gotham. I find Alice extremely intriguing, but I’m basing it on everything that occurred prior to Andreyko taking over. Her mental state and rehabilitation should make for a fascinating story (hence my excitement), but I know that it won’t.

I was also intrigued by the Jason Blood/ Demon twist at the end. Again, I don’t know much about this character, so maybe I’m wrong, but I thought they were essentially one being. You either have Jason Blood, or you have the demon.

The Bad: Nearly everything?

Overall: Andreyko continues to butcher a book that had one of the strongest foundations to build upon. It’s a shame to watch amazing characters such as these turn into shells of who they really are and participate in pointlessly juvenile drama and adventures.

 

SCORE: 4/10