Hands down my favorite superhero comic over vacation was The New 52 Bat Woman series, starting with “Bat Woman Elegy,” followed by “Bat Woman Vol 1: Hydrology” and “Bat Woman Volume 2: To Drown the World.”
The first thing I noticed when I looked at these comics is the art:
Then I thought to myself, “…Sure it’s pretty but what about the writing?” This was the only book I read where I was self conscious over how fast I was reading it because I didn’t want it to end. My god what an amazing ride it was!
Frankly I was a little skeptical when I saw these comics were written by dudes. Sometimes men (myself included) have no idea how to write women. So you often see “strong female characters” that just act like men, or women who possess super powers yet suddenly become weak and helpless and still have to be saved by men. Men’s depictions of lesbians are even worse.
Kate Kane is a lesbian, ex military bad ass. And I was surprised to find how well she was written. Surprised, then engulfed, then obsessed. She reminds me of Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in that her adventures tend to deal with the occult and supernatural (another risky genre but pulled off excellently).
Did I mention the art?
Every page from Elegy and Hydrology is a visual treat, in particular the layouts, which frankly are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Just look at this stuff!
Bat Woman is a scary lady when dressed for crime fighting and every step of the way she means business. Despite her hard-as-nails attitude they still couldn’t resist sexualizing her. As skillfully drawn as the crotch, ass, and nipply breast shots are drawn I felt (as I will always feel) that they weren’t necessary. If anything they clashed with Kate’s persona.
I’m not sure what Greg Rucka and JH Williams were doing at the time, but they got another writer/artist to assist with To Drown The World. I have to say it was a let down. A lot of the momentum was lost, the writing took a hit and frankly the art (after developing a thirst for Williams) was hard to look at.
Maybe they were busy with other projects? Maybe something came up? I’m not religious but I pray they get to make Volume 3 by themselves again.
I’m not usually a fan of spin off characters like Bat Girl, Night Wing, Super Girl etc etc. But what they did with Bat Woman was inspired. Fucking, brilliant.