In honor of BlueStreak's first week I did something I haven't done in months, I went to an honest to goodness funny book shop on a Wednesday. Batwoman #0
I re-read Elegy last night in anticipation of this issue. Of the superhero stories I've read this year it's at or near the top of my list of favorites. Great character development by Greg Rucka that set up Kate Kane as I character I want to continue reading for a long time which is something I wasn't expecting. Honestly, I bought the book for the art. In Elegy JH Williams III displays more skill and diversity in 6 issues than most artists exhibit in a lifetime. Obviously I love Elegy, this isn't Elegy though, this is blend of a continuation and a new beginning.
Can Kate Kane still be Kate Kane without Greg Rucka? From reading this, it's kind of hard to say. The issue is told completely through the perspective of Bruce Wayne, in a mix of captions and excerpts of his research notes, as he investigates Batwoman to determine not only her true identity, but also her worthiness of the mantle she has taken upon herself. As an introduction to the character, Batwoman #0 succeeds even if Kate does always feel at arms length. For existing readers it not only gives you a picture of what Kate has been doing since we last saw her, but presumably also lays hints for the stories ahead.
While any comic with JH Williams III art is bound to be a treat, this issue had the added intrigue of seeing how the art of Amy Reeder (looks like she dropped the Hadley) would be integrated into it. As it turned out, Williams handled the art for the Batwoman sections and Reeder took the Kate Kane portions with the art from each being split on the page starting with Williams on top and gradually transitioning to Reeder being on top in the second half of the issue. It's something of an impossible task to put someone in a position where their art will be compared to that of Williams, but I think Reeder performed admirably. If nothing else the endearing cuteness of the last panel on the library page won me over. Williams for his part continued the same style of layout and design that he previously established on the character's Detective Comics run. On colors, Dave Stewart continues to prove himself to be the greatest colorist in the history of comics.
While this issue doesn't delve deep enough into the character to alleviate any concerns that the loss of Rucka will be debilitating, the artistic collaboration made for a fun and interesting comic book experience.
Art: 9Overall: 8