Batwoman #37 “Muddying the Waters”
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Georges Jeanty
*Apologies to everyone for getting this to you so late. Work got a little crazy this week, so I’m behind with all of my comic stuff… (I haven’t even read Batman #37 yet. I know… it’s a sad thing to come to terms with…) Anyway, thank you for your patience, now on to the review!
If you haven’t heard, Batwoman was canceled and will finish its run in March of 2015. I was a fan of this book, but ever since the creative change, this book has been getting worse and worse. I was hoping DC would bring in a new creative team rather than cancel the title, but at this point, I’ll take whatever I can get to keep from damaging the character further. And if you’re wondering, this issue continues the downward spiral.
Kate is currently entranced by Nocturna. Her control comes and goes, but when Nocturna does have control, she uses Kate to create a little chaos in Gotham, especially to children of her former lovers. Naturally, Kate doesn’t remember anything that she does under Nocturna’s control, so she’s saved of any and all guilt.
Last month, we left off with Jason Blood getting attacked by Etrigan – the demon form he’s been bonded to for Centuries. The catch is, he doesn’t remember anything about the demon. Before anything can really happen, Batwoman shows up – normal Batwoman, not entranced Batwoman – to save the day. And of course, she arrives with the “witty” banter, “Step away from the naked man!” followed with a thought bubble claiming, “Easily the strangest thing I’ve ever said.”
Alright, let’s take a timeout and talk about the biggest problem with Andreyko’s Batwoman. I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say this again: it’s Batwoman/ Kate Kane herself. The character is SO FAR from who she truly is… Kate’s a soldier to her core. It’s how she thinks. It’s how she operates. And it’s typically a priority over relationships. Kate Kane is not Zooey Deschanel. She should not be the quirky and adorably cute girl with awkward one-liners. The fact is, Kate would never say half of what she says in this book. Stephanie Brown? Absolutely. Barbara Gordon? Maybe. Kate? Hell no. If you can’t write a proper portrayal of a character, then you shouldn’t be allowed to write their book. Moving on.
Batwoman gets into an altercation with Etrigan, before the fight quickly leads to the two tumbling out into the city streets. She’s convinced that Etrigan is with the cult members that were burned alive, but when he mentions he’s not, they stop fighting… Really? I mean, really? Ok, let’s think about this: You’re a super hero, and you see a big demon attacking a rather defenseless man, so you step in to save the day. You believe the demon is tied to a cult, so you feel even more justified to stop him, but then the demon says he’s not with the cult… Considering these facts, would you actually believe the demon and stop fighting him? Hell no. But these two become chummy, and decide to work together to stop this cult group – which we then learn are trying to resurrect someone.
This brings me to another major problem I have with Andreyko’s Batwoman… There are WAY too many convenient plots, and I consider that cheap writing. There are typically three things that attest to really good writing: strong plot, strong characters, and cause and effect… While I think Andreyko does a decent job of crafting the “big picture” when writing, his execution with the details (cause and effect and characters) is pretty poor. So keep that in mind while I reference the rest of this issue.
While Kate and Etrigan are on their mission to stop this resurrection – by the way, nice job checking in on Jason Blood to make sure he’s alright… not – we get to see what Clayface and Ragman are up to. Having escaped from Arkham Asylum after it collapsed, Clayface has successfully been on the run from the cops. Honestly, that shouldn’t be too hard for someone that can shape shift… but then a random van with random guys just happens to pull over and tell him they’ll give him a ride… AND HE GETS IN THE VAN! Of course, something “bad” happens that plays a part at the end of the issue, but come on! How stupid do you have to be to get into a car with strangers when you’re on the run? It’s like strangers with candy. I had a pretty big eye roll at this point. Thankfully the moments involving Ragman weren’t as bad. The one positive I’ll give to Andreyko, is that how he ties all of these characters together is logical, and decently planned so kudos. I’m not going to give you those details though, you’ll have to suffer through the book for that.
Oh, and in case you’d forgotten, Alice is in town. And if they wouldn’t have had that terrible space issue, then you wouldn’t know that Alice is good now, and there would be some suspense to her being back in town, especially since her father is M.I.A. But you know, the finer details/ cause and effect never really come into play with Andreyko’s writing…
- You want to read something mindless and illogical
- You’ve been reading Batwoman since the beginning and are determined to finish its run
The Art: I’ve been pretty vocal that I’m not a fan of Jeanty’s art. I will admit that I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily bad, I just don’t think he draws humans well… That’s pretty bad in and of itself, but I’m trying to be nice and show some growth here. I don’t mind how he draws creatures. They actually look decent, and might have been part of the reason that he was selected to work on this title. I would then argue that his work looks a little “cartoony” for what this book should be, but that’s strictly my opinion and preference.
Of course, I’m not going to chime in about the art without letting you view it for yourself! Check out Jeanty’s work in the spoiler tag.
Overall: It’s been hard for me to care about this book or feel invested as it is, but now that I know the title is coming to a close, my care for this book has diminished even more. If you’ve been reading this title since the beginning, and feel like you need to finish the run, I would understand. Other than that, I would advise you to not waste your money. There are plenty of other titles that are much more entertaining and engaging.