BATWOMAN #6 by Marguerite Bennet, James Tynion IV, and Eddy Barrows
BATWOMAN #6 is a compelling, but ultimately shallow, introduction to a potentially engaging narrative.
78 %
A Grim and Intense Introduction
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BATWOMAN #6 continues Kate Kane’s retrospection by reflecting on Batman’s influence on her journey to becoming a hero. Interestingly, this issue is quite distinct from previous ones for her retrospection takes place in the future. In this era, a group of officers referred to as the Batmen monitor the streets of Gotham. They maintain strict order under “The Reign of the Bat,” a movement Batwoman expresses disappointment in. At this time, Bruce Wayne has died, and the commissioner of Gotham City is Renee Montoya. Though the future this issue depicts is bleak, a veteran Batwoman shines through, showcasing her confidence as a member of the Bat-Family.

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BATWOMAN #6 page 8. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This Means War

So there’s a new Batman operating in Gotham City, and the identity of this Dark Knight isn’t Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is long dead. With this, the perception of the bat symbol has changed drastically. Citizens of Gotham City have lost faith as the despotic Batmen, under the authority of the new Batman, maintain control. Kate herself struggles in affirming her own perspective on the legacy of Batman.

READ: Take a look at another  James Tynion IV work with our review for DETECTIVE COMICS #961!

She doesn’t believe that the late Bruce Wayne envisioned Gotham’s future under such tyranny. Interestingly, Kate seems to express guilt over contributing to the city’s current, catastrophic state. She appears to regret upholding so much faith in the bat symbol, as the new Batman has compromised everything Bruce worked for.

BATWOMAN #6 maintains plenty of ambiguity to keep the readers guessing. It isn’t until the final pages of the issue that we finally understand who is currently behind Batman’s mask and is ultimately responsible for the Batmen. It’s an exciting revelation that implies more growth in the series’ current narrative.

The Once and Future Batman

This particular entry is introductory, lacking profound characterization apart from brief depictions of Kate and Commissioner Montoya’s relationship. Along with this, we get brief glimpses of Jason Todd’s alliance with Batwoman, a partnership I hope to further understand in future works.

Though this work leaves more questions than answers, it leaves readers anticipating upcoming issues. It succeeds in depicting the veteran Batwoman as a formidable combatant. In addition to this, I hope James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett explore the depths of Kate and Montoya’s relationship in future entries since it seems as though they have a significant history, both professionally and romantically. In order for the upcoming storyline to be especially engaging, the characterization of the narrative’s major players must be rendered less ambiguous.

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BATWOMAN #6 page 17. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Art of BATWOMAN #6

Artist Renato Arlem implements some beautifully intricate panels in this issue. His portrayal of Batwoman’s futuristic costume is particularly impressive, as it suggests that the character has attained significant expertise. With this, Gotham City’s cityscapes stand out; for Arlem maintains remarkable detail. In junction with Arlem, colorist Adriano Lucas’ palette is quite engaging. Its drab tones juxtaposing with Batwoman’s costume contribute to some compelling sequences. Perhaps most notable in this issue is the fight sequence between the Batmen, Batwoman, and Commissioner Montoya. The colorful backgrounds are offset by splatters of blood that showcase Batwoman’s combat prowess.

READ: Revisit the beginning of the BATWOMAN Rebirth series with our review of BATWOMAN #1!

Along with this, I particularly love the opening panels of this entry. They depict monochromatic tones that embody the darkness of Gotham City. Yet, Kate’s iconic red hair contrasts with the dull colors, creating a beautiful image. Ultimately, the artwork of the issue succeeds in showcasing a grim future for Gotham. Despite this, the portrayals of Batwoman juxtapose these somber tones with images of hope.

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BATWOMAN #6 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Journeys That Await

DC Rebirth’s BATWOMAN series has been incredibly engaging thus far. BATWOMAN #6 changes the game by exploring a radically different setting for our titular hero. With this new setting comes deeply personal conflicts that have been rooted in years of tension, years that remain ambiguous to readers. Because of this, an exciting tales lies ahead for Batwoman, who declares herself ready to take on a familiar face, a showdown that will surely be a thrilling event. So, in order for this event to truly be thrilling, we readers must be better acquainted with these familiar characters who now maintain unfamiliar pasts.

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