This month Sholly Fisch has the opportunity to step up his game and deliver an issue that impresses me more than his last. Will he succeed? Let’s see!
Okay, it’s anticlimactic but I won’t keep you waiting. Fisch has done it! This was another great installment in the series. Issue five is focused on some of the female members of the bat family but not necessarily the ones you would expect. I’ve long thought that Kathy Kane and Bette Kane should be utilized in some way. Not that Batman needs his world even more cluttered but it just seems a waste to have these two characters lost to time. Anyway, here they are!
I appreciate the Fisch takes the time to fill in the reader on Kathy’s backstory. It probably isn’t familiar to most people below age 70. This is also my favorite page of art in this issue. The old school coloring used is highly effective, as is the cape transition.
I’ve noticed in recent issues, but especially in this one, a growing number of references to past stories and I have to say I’m all for that. I think it’s very cool that this world is beginning to feel lived in. The gang is becoming more familiar with the Batman family and vice versa. The one-shot standalone nature of these stories isn’t lost either. Each one remains entirely separate but with a kind of optional backstory behind these characters’ friendships. To me, that’s cool. It’s the best of both worlds.
Speaking of the best parts of this issue, I have to bring up the comedic aspect. I found this to be the funniest issue of the series thus far and honestly that’s what carries a lot of the best Scooby-Doo media. Like Batman, the Scooby gang claims to be detectives but in practice, they very rarely do much “detecting” and instead do a lot more chasing, running, and trapping.
In this issue, they just follow the antagonists (Rat men. Not the most interesting.) until they are led to the leader who they take down in a fight. It’s a basic, fun plot that doesn’t have much depth so the character interactions are really what makes this one so enjoyable.
Dario Brizuela’s artwork is great here as well. While his renderings of the Scooby gang are always somewhat bland stylistically, he is the most technically skilled artist to work on this series. Regardless of how he draws the gang, I loved his interpretation of Kate, Kathy, and Bette Kane. Kate as Batwoman, in particular, looked great.
J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman costume design was always beautiful but I find a lot of artists fail to capture it as well as Williams (He is one of the best artists of all time, so maybe that isn’t surprising). Bizuela has managed to do it, however. Drawing characters who wear all black costumes is very difficult. It’s the subtlety that makes or breaks interpretations of this costume and he sells it. I think a lot of it is in the perfectly placed highlights and the way he draws her frame.
Brizuela’s Kathy Kane is a knockout too. Sometimes simple line work leads to the most impact.
One last note. The cover is… disappointing. After the last few absolute winners, this one is just boring. Step it back up guys.
- You’d like to spend time with some long-lost Batpeople
- You’re a Kate Kane fan
- Do you want more comics that make you smile? Then you better be reading this series!
The last issue was particularly disappointing but now we’re back on track with one of the best yet. This one is especially funny, makes some interesting choices, and exhibits all the best traits of this series. Part of the beauty of this comic is the ability it affords readers to jump in and out between issues and only pick up the ones you want to read. This is one of those worth picking up. Recommended!
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.