DETECTIVE COMICS #854
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After much debating and struggling, I’ve caved in and finally gave a chance of Rucka’s Detective run with Batwoman as the heroine. With it being pick on this site a couple of weeks ago and having it the majority of everyone elses pick; I just have to try it out. Will this really be an amazing issue? Or is there a reason this superheroine hasn’t been brought out of the DC mold for over two years?
There are two types of Batwoman in this comic. Her superhero life and her civilian life. Instead of focusing on the pros and cons of the art and story. Let me explain the pro and cons of her dual life.
Anything involving Kate Kane fighting in Gotham is the best part of this issue. The way she acts as Batwoman is scary, but also a bit sultry at the same time. Just the opening with her chasing down a goon pretty much explains how she acts. But her interactions with Batman and the other villains is also pretty strong. She doesn’t take shit and she will kill someone if need be. What totally makes this issue at least a must see is the art by J.H. Williams. Let me state that while the panel layouts with Batwoman is amazingly to look at. I have seen these layouts before; in fact they are almost the same panels as Williams used during Morrison’s run on Batman (The Black Glove HC if you need reference). But that isn’t a slam on the art in this, seriously just great layouts and the action sequences are a sight to behold. Towards the end where Kane is kicking everyone’s ass in the church, amazing….simply amazing.
But we have to go to the other side of the spectrum. Or the worst part of this comic, which I have to say is Kate Kane’s social life. It’s like I was reading a comic about two completely different people. She is very strong and has a no nonsense attitude as Batwoman, when she’s just herself however; she is meek and takes all of this shit on her. Not only that but the way she is drawn in normal clothing is just off putting. Sure someone points out in the book she looks like she hasn’t slept well; but mainly she looks to be drawn of a Japanese Goth woman. In fact most of the people presented in the daytime hours are pretty ugly. The layouts of the scenes and the background are drawn really well. But Williams actual art on the characters are just ugly to look at.
Also, I have to point out a big problem for me with this. This Kate Kane is the same Kate Kane from 52. What I mean by that is, I have learned very little new things of this character other then the obvious. I’m introduced to her more military background with her father (or at least it’s new to me) and I do like it this is a father/daughter relationship then the obvious father/son you see in comics. Other then that aspect of her life, she is just the same character that was so controversial when introduced in the first place. Sorry if that makes me sound narrow minded, but she’s the same lipstick lesbian I read about so many years ago with 52.
I didn’t even get to the second feature of this book with The Question. Which was pretty good for the most part, at least good for how little story Rucka can tell with this. Overall as a Batwoman comic, this was pretty okay. While the art it is pretty good looking, except for the daytime scenes; it’s the character development and story that hampers my fun of this. It’s the same messages and the same character that I last read when she was first introduced. If anything I can say Rucka wrote this to make my stance from: “I will never pick this up” to “I’ll give this a try in trade”. Although that really isn’t a success cause with the DC trade program this could come out in late 2010 for all we know. Still as a single issue, this was good….but not worth the hype I was reading/listening to the past month.
Art: 4 - Very Good