Batwoman 4

Writers: J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Artist: J.H. Williams III

Look if you gain nothing from all my podcasts and previous mentions of the DCnU you should know this: Batwoman may be the best single character book to come out of the reboot. I will even take it a step further, it may be the only book to rival Justice League for the top spot. The art is nothing short of breath taking, and the character development through the first three books has been well thought out and the focus. Issue 4 does speed things up a bit, but Williams and Blackman still manage to give each character their time and development. We may have had to wait more than a year to finally get our hands on it, but this book has been more than worth the wait.

Nothing is perfect though. If I have a complaint about this book it’s that it reads too quickly. This is exaggerated for me because I read digitally, and because Williams uses a ton of double page spreads. Don’t get me wrong, those spreads feature the best panel work of any book in that I am reading by far, but it cuts the book in half. Furthermore, when you are reading those panels, if you do not take a moment and just look at the pages, they fly you through the book. They flow so well you are on page 6 before you realize what you’re doing. Through the first three issue this was balanced by the fact that they were taking their time with the story. Focusing more on character development and interaction by its very nature slows down comic books. Issue 4 speeds things up as the pieces that have been coming together suddenly crash into each other, and it is terrific.
Issue 4 may be the weakest book when it comes to the writing, but understand the bar is set really high. While I say it may be the weakest it starts with the probably the best single sequence the book has head yet. Williams balances Flamebird’s rebellious patrolling and ultimately near fatal encounter, with a sensual encounter between Kate and Maggie. The sex does not feel gratuitous or out of place at all even though it is set against the back drop of Bette being beat to death. It just works really well and the art is as divergent yet on point as the plotting of it. By the end of the book Kate’s entire role as Batwoman is in jeopardy as Cameron Chase, Mister Bones, and the rest of the DEO are all over her. It leaves the reader screaming for the arc’s finale next month.

I can’t be sure if the book can keep up with the quality it has had so far, but make no mistake even a large drop off would still make it worthy of your pull list. Kate Kane is not only worthy of being part of the Batman mythos she may be part of the foundation coming out of the reboot. Please pick up this book, I do not know what else I can say to convey the necessity.