Batwoman #26 Review

by @DocBenway on Jan 2, 2014

Kate and Bette bounce from swanky parties with Gotham’s high society to battling crime against a poisonous art thief as a new creative team grabs the reigns of one of DC finest superhero books.

The Good

The best news here is that Batwoman seems to be in good hands. When J.H Williams III and Haden Blackman bowed out of this title after issue 24, the future of the astounding, beautiful and exceptionally well-written series they created was in question. Marc Andreyko and a stable of artists were brought in to craft last issues’ Zero Year tie-in and (as you can read in my previous review) and, although it certainly felt a bit hurried, they pulled it off. So this week’s issue is our first look at the direction that Andreyko is going to go. His choice is to bring in a new villain, the Wolf Spider, who has a taste for paintings by suicidal, depression era Gotham artist. We’re also introduced to a well-heeled old classmate of Kate’s. The balance between the character development and action is solid and indicates Andreyko’s interest in writing for one of the more complex characters in the pantheon. Jeremy Haun has a good showing in the art department. I especially enjoyed his take on the established characters: maintaining similarity to Williams’s creations but putting some of his own distinctive stamps on them. Kate has more elegance than we've seen in the recent past which blends nicely with her sleekly stoic alter ego.

The Not So Good

Where are we? Did the Batman versus Batwoman fight happen? Is the DEO still playing Kate like a marionette? We’re dropped off at the beginning of a three part story-line that, at least at the onset, doesn't seem like it is constructed to fill in any gaps. In my mind a Bat battle is too big of an item to brush under the rug. Speaking of items, what gives with all the marriage talk? Didn’t Didio and DC editorial squash that idea? Point for taking the issue head on but the dialog seems to indicate that the nuptials are still impending. Adding to the confusion is a reference Bette makes to ‘needing to shake off the barnacles’ that, according to editor Mike Marts, won’t be reviled to us until Batwoman Annual #1 in April. I really hope these guys can figure a way to keep this book moving forward while resolving all of Williams and crew’s unfinished business.

The Bottom Line

Although there are still a lot of loose ends to tie up, Andreyko and Haun have a tight grip on the wheel and it looks like this series will survive this rocky transition.

4.3 / 5
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Batwoman #26
Released December 31, 2013
Writer Marc Andreyko
Artist Jeremy Haun
Cover Artist Stéphane Roux

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