Friday, November 26, 2010

Batwoman #0

Here's another series I didn't pick up the first time around, due to my general inclination to avoid characters who are direct swipes of existing characters - Spider-Woman, She-Hulk, Supergirl, about a dozen X-teams - the list goes on and on.

(That doesn't mean I always avoid them or that it's impossible to write good stories based on those characters - it just means I usually don't go there.)

That was my loss, according to everyone in the world who writes comic book reviews. They all raved about the Batwoman series that ran in Detective Comics.

So when I saw this issue of the character in her own title (finally), I figured I'd give it a try.

So far... I'm not sold. It's not a bad comic, though a bit slim with only 16 pages of full-color art and a four-page black-and-white preview of the next issue.

The story is straightforward - Batman is investigating Batwoman to determine her secret identity and her battle skills.

The comic is artfully split (so to speak) by dividing the pages between a brief Batwoman sequence, with stunning, lush art by J.H. Williams II, and a look at the character's civilian side by artist Amy Reeder.

The technique works, and both artists are skilled, but Williams is the star here, and everything else suffers by comparison.

This issue is no doubt intended to introduce the character to those (like me) who haven't been following along. It succeeds, but there's not enough here to convince me to keep following the character's story.

The art by Williams could change my mind, though - it's exceptional. We'll see what the future holds.

Grade: B+


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