Batwoman 12 – The Wonder of the Bat

It is rare that people buy comic books purely for the art. JH Williams III has been working on Batwoman since it took the mantle of Batman during his death. It was excellent. The artwork phenomenal and the story intriguing and a little disturbing. Also credit is due because his protagonist is homosexual which is incredibly rare in comics, especially given the recent stir caused by the new male gay hero with the launch of Earth 2. It became very popular and JH Williams continued with his run on the title. With the relaunch Kate Kane (Batwoman) continues her more fantasy and mystical adventures.

This issue bridges the previous arc related to a gritty real life child kidnapping to a more mythical and gothic story and is co written with Haden Blackman. This comic has certainly changed theme, especially with the involvement of Wonder Woman and we will have to see how well it adapts. I imagine it would be incredible difficult to make this transition and I feel you need to commit to one or the other for it to truly work. On the whole the plot can be difficult to follow and the writing is spread over the page in different formats. Kate talks in normal speech bubbles, the fantasy characters talk in yellow scratchy bubbles and Kate thoughts are placed in background red boxes. This does not make for easy reading.

The artwork is gorgeous. I dont think there is a more unique artist with a range of styles. JH Williams has incredible double page spreads where the panels defy convention. There is a stunning spread where Batwoman and the werebeast run around a maze with central column and it is drawn from above. The perspective is well drawn and the central column is a circular panel with Wonder Woman slaying a serpent. They are drawn in two different styles and both are of high quality. There is another double spread with the panelling laid out on spread out eagle’s wings. The art style emphasises aspects of the scene, as Kate is often drawn similar to the other characters but Batwoman is always shaded with depth distinct to other characters in the panel. This book has two distinct styles separating the Wonder Woman and Batwoman background stories until they eventually meet. The issue maybe a little confusing but the art is visually impressive and as long as JH Williams III is drawing, I will always be buying his work.

Gorgeous 9/10

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