To gather Intel on Batman for the DEO Batwoman goes face-to-face with Bane and speaks with a few of the Caped Crusader’s Rogues; meanwhile The Murder of Crows and Bette prepare for the fight to come.
After last month’s interlude we’re back following everyone’s favorite redheaded heroine, second if you prefer Barbara Gordon, as the DEO amps up efforts to take down and unmask Batman. Batwoman #22 begins when the DEO sends Kate Kane and her cousin Bette to an island just off the coast of Alaska to track down one of Batman’s greatest enemies: Bane. Though the encounter between them is on the short side the goal isn’t to arrest Bane, but simply subdue him so that they can learn how he beat Batman. We also get treated to a new DEO gadget in Kate’s arsenal, the python coil.
Bane isn’t the only source the DEO seeks out though, as Chase and Batwoman speak with a few other members of his Rogue’s gallery: Black Mask, The Mortician, Fright, and Professor Pyg! They give their insight into the Batman, how he operates, and who he is. But at the same time their insight also is tainted slightly by their own reflection. The psychopathic surgeon believes that Batman is pumped up on drugs or is some kind of robot while Black Mask believes that he could be a cop, and The Mortician thinks him a Revenant or a Wraith. But it’s Fright that gives the most accurate insight into Batman, calling him a masochistic computer, insane, psychotic but not chaotic, with a set of rules. With the information they’ve learned Kate Kane gives the word that she’s only thirty hours away from the confrontation this series has been building towards.
But that isn’t the only story building up here. While Kate is gathering information about Batman, Bette is being trained by her uncle Jake Kane to help rescue Beth, Kate’s twin sister, from the DEO. They set up a mock version of the DEO headquarters in a warehouse for Bette to practice in and Jake even brings in The Murder of Crows, his black ops team who he’d sent Kate to for training, to help get her ready. Though the Murder of Crows only gets a few sentences each, Williams III and Blackman give a rundown on each character that gives them a lot of personality. They’re an interesting and diverse group of people who I hope stick around for more than a couple of issues.
Williams III and Blackman are doing wonders in this title. They’ve carefully balanced the action, the drama, the relationships, and storylines with near perfect execution and this issue is no exception with a story that drew me in from the first page and kept my eyes glued until the final panel. I also love what they’ve done with the Kane family. Throughout much of this series the Kane family has been a broken mess. They’ve come a long way from that and it was truly great to see them working together.
The art is also a contributing factor to my love of this title. While McCarthy’s art isn’t as breathtaking as Williams’, it’s still amazing in its own right, and the colors in this issue, especially the reds and oranges, really popped in a way that catches your eyes.
The few problems there were in this issue revolved around Bane. Currently Bane is appearing in the book Talon, on the tropical island of Santa Prisca, so why is he on a little island off the coast of Alaska? A second issue I had was that Kate and Bette handled Bane too easily. The fight was both shorter than I wanted it to be and shorter than it should have been. These aren’t problems that took away from the issue but it’s things like this when I wish comics still had 24 pages.
I had a lot of fun reading through this issue, especially the parts with Bette, Jake, and the Murder of Crows. In fact, aside from its few problems, Batwoman #22 is possibly my favorite issue so far this week. Williams III and Blackman have given us another great issue and, with the big showdown just on the horizon, I look forward to what they have in store for us next month.