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God of Comics: Batwoman #1

Batwoman #1 (DC Comics)


I mean… er. I’m really excited that this is happening. Batwoman was one of the few bright spots in the nu52 until the powers that be decided that the title character couldn’t have a lesbian wedding because of a dictate stating that superheroes weren’t allowed to be happy because the nu52 was full of Dark and Grit, and it proved to be as idiotic a decisions as Marvel’s whole thing of turning Steve Rogers into a Nazi.

Things came to a head and the whole creative team walked. This was after the character’s creator, Greg Rucka, walked after having creative differences with the idiots that decided eternal darkness needed to be the theme of all their comics and not just a really great video game. Art duties went to someone awful, and writing duties went to someone who took Bruce Wayne’s equal and decided that rape-by-vampire was the best story ever.

All of it just compounded the problem, like Marvel is doing right now by having a holocaust survivor become a Nazi. Readers left the book in droves. It was sad. Eventually, the book was canceled and the powers-that-be said that the character was best left forgotten and couldn’t actually remember the character’s name.

I wrote a eulogy when the creative team left back at Living Myth Magazine that talked about some of the mistakes that DC was making back then. It seems someone at DC was paying attention – not to me, per se, but to the readers that were leaving them – and they’ve since rebooted their whole franchise (again) but this time gone back to the heroic elements that make DC Comics great.

Part of that process was handing Detective Comics to James Tynion IV, one of the better up-and-coming writers who is likely to be one of the best writers the industry has to offer in a very short time. He made Detective Comics a team book, and a big part of that team was Kate Kane – Batwoman.

Kate occupies a unique place in the Bat mythos; for a start, she’s Bruce’s cousin on his mother’s side, a military brat being groomed for an officer’s position on talent until she was drummed out under don’t ask, don’t tell. She had a random encounter with Batman while beating up some muggers and took one look at Batman and decided that was what she wanted to do.

She’s not a sidekick, not a reformed criminal, not anyone that had anything to do with Batman aside from maybe seeing Bruce at the occasional family dinner. She came to being Batwoman on her own, applying her own skills and talents, and this means that she’s not beholden to him: in many ways, she is his equal and he treats her as such.

James Tynion IV does, too, and he’s brought along “Evil” Marguerite Bennett on co-writing duties, and  Marguerite excels at working on titles that flirt with mythology, horror, and black comedy. This is a character that plays to all of her strengths. On top of that, Steve Epting – the artist from the gorgeous spy-thriller comics Velvet – is handling the art duties, so we’re returning to the lush visuals, deep blacks, and bright reds that gave the original series its dream-like quality.

Here, Kate is heading off to an island nation that acts as a criminal hub. The place is called Coryana, and it’s basically the most interesting bits of Madripoor from Marvel mixed with Tortuga from Pirates of the Caribbean. She’s there to investigate some of the fallout from decisions she made between being drummed out of the military and finding her calling. There’s people she left behind and other people that have developed a bioweapon that touches on the mythic mysteries that she handles better than Bruce does and this? This is going to be awesome.

Do not miss this comic. It’s going to be the best title the Big Two put out this week.

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