BATWOMAN #1 BY MARGUERITE BENNETT, JAMES TYNION IV, AND STEVE EPTING
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
Bennett and Tynion IV give us a beautifully crafted start to the mysterious past of Batwoman. Combine this with Epting's eloquent art and we have a perfect issue that leaves so many questions left to be answered.
100 %
A Killer Beginning
User Rating 4.22 ( 5 votes)

BATWOMAN #1 seeks to answer the question: What can Batwoman do that Batman cannot? It’s an important question to ask since it has always seemed hard to separate her character from the Batman recipe. After reading this first issue, I’m certain that Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV will delve into that important question through the course of this Batwoman run. I can tell they’re off to a great start.

READ: Haven’t read BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1? Find out what we thought in our review of the introductory issue!

In this new series, Kate Kane is the latest to hold the title of Batwoman in BATWOMAN #1. Her sense of inadequacy to the reputation of Batman is something that will surely drive her, but it scratches the surfaces of her character. This inner turmoil is well tied into her quest to understand her past and the wrongs she may have committed. As some of us may know, this leads her to go away on a mission for Bruce. The mission entails looking for a venom with the ability to turn average people into deadly monsters. 

BATWOMAN #1

This issue starts off with our heroine Kate “Batwoman” Kane hunting down information on the dealer of a dangerous serum. As she sneaks around the international black market, Kate presents us with an inner monologue on how much effort she has put in to get the answers she needs. Of course, we’re reassured that she will not stop until she does so.

As the story takes a turn for the worse, Kate is taken down memory lane. On this journey of remembrance, she starts to think about her time on the mysterious island of Coryana. In these memories, we learn a bit more about Kate’s puzzling history and her encounters with such people like Safiyah and Rafael.

BATWOMAN #1

Also in this story is Julia Pennyworth, who just so happens to be related to the famed butler Alfred. Here she seems to act in a similar role to that of Alfred. The dynamic is different since Julia and Kate’s relationship doesn’t have the longevity of the other relationships. This offers a hint of distrust from Kate, but I’m sure that with the continuation of this comic we’ll come to see that change.

WATCH: Want to learn more about one of the writer’s behind BATWOMAN? Check out this interview with James Tynion IV!

There’s a lot of new details in BATWOMAN #1 that arise about Kate, and with Bennett and Tynion IV crafting the story so eloquently, we’re still left with questions and intrigue. It’s the perfect way to get this story on the right track. Each piece of dialogue fits right into place to build on the puzzle that is Batwoman’s story. A few times in this issue, Kate talks about pain and how to cause it depending on the target. This works up to an amazing point about her own personal pain, but I’ll leave that for the reader to discover. It just shows how well built the characterization is by Bennett and Tynion IV. You can see the level of thought that went into building this character’s past. We know very little about Kate, but with such little info, there’s still depth.

BATWOMAN #1

Speaking of depth, there’s so much to go off of visually. Artist Steve Epting continues to give us the stunning images we were given in BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1. I’ve always considered it difficult to capture certain emotions perfectly in the comic medium. When you think about it, it’s quite easy to handle happiness and sadness, but when trying to capture emotions such as determination or thoughtfulness it takes a certain finesse. Early in the issue when Kate is facing off with the monstrous threat, we can see the determination seep through her mask. It’s the same with her long stares into the sea later in the comic. We know exactly what she is thinking as she glares off, without even being told what’s going through her mind. That right there is masterful penciling.

Kate’s emotions aren’t the only thing that come through well in Steve Epting’s art. There’s also the way he combines images of reality and memory. At the start of one of the memory sequences, it seems as though Kate is dropping down a cliff before she is saved. What’s beautiful about this moment is that it shows a solid transition into her past. Here Kate is literally soaring downward into the abyss of her past. It leads to a magically woven plot about one’s past and how we can be thrown into it suddenly.

BATWOMAN #1

It’s extremely hard to find a flaw with this first issue because it’s so well put together. I actually expected this after what this team offered us in the REBIRTH issue. BATWOMAN #1 is a perfect follow-up that gives us a peek into what looks like will be a trip into Kate’s past. There’s so much to learn about Batwoman and what makes her the heroine that she is. I’m excited to see what we learn about Safiyah and the island of Coryana. Only time will tell whether Kate will truly discover what makes her different from Batman.

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