Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Batwoman #1

Since I don't read everything, I occasionally miss a really great comic series - and judging by the reviews of her past appearances, I did just that with Batwoman.

The only other appearance of the character I've read is the recent issue #0 - but months later, I have to admit that I remember almost nothing about that issue.

So I arrive at issue #1 not knowing much about the character, and now that I've finished the issue... I still don't know much.

Look, the art by J. H. Williams is wonderful (kudos also to color artist Dave Stewart) - it's lush, evocative and visually arresting, with some amazing page layouts. That part of the package gets top marks.

It's the story that struggles - or at least I struggle with it. The writers (also J. H. Williams, with W. Haden Blackman) seem to assume I'm already familiar with the title character, her secret identity and his friends.

But I'm not. We meet Kate Kane (Batwoman's secret identity), her partner in crimefighting (Flamebird, whoever that is), and some friends and relatives.

There's a beautifully-rendered page that I assume is supposed to illustrate her history, but since I don't know any of the characters pictured, I'm not sure what I'm looking at.

The main storyline has to do with a mysterious, ghost-like woman who is kidnapping children. So are Batwoman's adventures mystical in nature, or more like mainstream mysteries?

No answers in this issue, so perhaps the next issue or two will help clear these things up (assuming I can stay patient that long). The story just seems to drag very slowly, and nothing is resolved here - so if you pick up this series, be ready to be patient.

The old adage in comics is that every issue is someone's first issue, so the creators should make some effort to bring those readers up to speed (though I'll grant that it's a trick to do that without boring the long-time readers).

So, great art, weak story (so far) - I'm still not convinced that I was mistaken to pass up this series before.

Grade: B


1 comment:

Brian said...

I agree that the story was weak. Overall, this first issue was a mess. I won't be back for the second issue.