BATWOMAN # 32 hits the stands this week and starts off a new story arc. Kate’s rogues gallery continues to grow as Nocturna and Night-Thief are fully introduced into the series. Kate’s problems only get worse an ex-lover returns as she tries to deal with the ramifications of the last arc. This issue acts as a great jumping on point for new readers and has plenty of action to keep fans both new and old thoroughly entertained.
Writer Mark Andreyko has been doing a great job at combining the supernatural tone of the series with super heroics. This issue goes on to further support that opinion by developing Kate’s rogue’s gallery. Last arc’s Wolf Spider is now joined by Nocturna and Night-Thief, who are fully introduced in this issue. It will be interesting to see how these new characters act as foils to Batwoman in the issues to come. If you’ve read the solicitation for BATWOMAN’s FUTURES END issue, then I’m sure you would agree it’s safe to assume it won’t be good.
Adreyko also does an excellent job crafting a scene of awkward small talk as Kate runs into an old flame (Sophie) at the carnival. The wording and subtle pauses allow the reader to perfectly visualize the situation as if you were watching this scene in a movie. We also see some tension in Kate’s relationship with Maggie, as Maggie deals with work from a far. It will be really interesting to see how the newly introduced Sophie further complicates things for the recently engaged couple. Artist Rafael Albuquerque does an amazing job on the cover, and perfectly captures the books’ paranormal tone. Interior artist Jeremy Haun also does a stellar job on this issue. Haun does a great job of drawing Kate out of her uniform, by giving her a very realistic and modern look which helps ground the story. Occasionally a cover artist has a completely different style than the interior artist, which leaves the reader feeling tricked. Fortunately these two artists have a very similar style which results in a book that is both beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
While there aren’t many bad things to say about this issue I do have a few minor gripes. Firstly, it’s a bit of a cliché to introduce characters’ ex while they struggle with a long distance relationship. In recent issues this series has been playing it a bit safe. Hopefully writer Mark Andreyko is able to put a new twist on this old troupe, and breathe new life into the series. Secondly the scene in Kate’s therapist’s office was a bit slow. I understand the need to have Kate express her feelings to the audience, but it would have been more entertaining if it was through internal dialogue while beating up thugs.
Overall this was a great issue. Nocturna and Night-Thief are wonderful additions to Kate’s rogue’s gallery and provide plenty of action in this issue. The action is balanced out with a couple slower sequences and even includes a little drama for Kate’s love life. Batwoman continues to be one of the better Batman related series of the New 52 and this issue is no exception. I would definitely recommend picking this issue up.