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It’s here. Finally. The first issue of Batwoman arrived in stores and on digital devices today. After six long years of development, a run in Detective Comics and a “0” issue from almost a year ago, Batwoman has finally kicked off her series. How was it? Pretty damned great. Why? Here are six reasons, one for every year it took to get to this moment. (That’s the variant cover to the first issue by Amy Reeder which, unfortunately, was not used due to the reboot). Note: Spoilers.
Reason one. The art. J.H. Williams delivers his usual jaw dropping two page spreads and startling layouts. But there was more than just that. There’s a scene where Bette Kane is changing clothes and I looked at her and realized, “He knows how to draw realistic women.”
Two. The story. The issue goes fast but it covers a lot of ground. We get the opening of the arc which is dramatic and spooky. We see Kate and Maggie beginning their relationship (and discussing one of Kate’s older ones). We also get a good sense of Kate’s relationship with Bette and her father. And we see Director Bones and Cameron Chase setting up another part of the story. Again, a lot to cover but it never felt rushed. I was nervous with the writing after issue 0, which I did not think was that good, but Williams and W. Haden Blackman delivered here.
Three. The dialogue. It had some edge and some humor. I liked the tension between Bette and Kate on Bette’s “plebe” status. And I laughed at Maggie Sawyer’s line about how she knew about Kate and Renee.
Four. The characters. If this first issue is any indication this is THE female team book in the new DCnU. Four terrific, fierce smart women — Kate, Maggie, Bette and Cameron—all in the same book. Who needs birds?
Five. Seems to be relatively untouched by the reboot. Renee is still an ex-lover (though it seems Didio’s description of her role is confirmed here. And, yes, I’ve heard the speculation. I don’t see it.) The importance of the character to Kate is nimbly delivered by Williams in one panel.
The only thing I can see that was changed is Jim Gordon’s hair color.
Six. A great last page. The top Bat shows up and we are left with an intriguing cliffhanger.
This is the definitely the pick of the week for me. If the series can maintain this level of quality it will be one of the best things out of DC this year.