Review: Batwoman #1

At last – Batwoman is back in her own ongoing series! On the island nation of Coryana, anything goes for members of the criminal underworld… and during her lost years after being drummed out of the military, Kate Kane found a kind of refuge there. But now, a deadly new bioweapon is available in the markets of Coryana, and Batwoman will have to face up to the things she did in those days… and the people she left behind, some of whom would be happier to see her dead than alive!

Batwoman #1 is an interesting one for me in that I thought the Batwoman: Rebirth issue was a bit of a letdown, but this “first issue” written by Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV somehow redeems it with callbacks that aren’t vital to know to enjoy the read. This issue takes place post “Night of the Monster Men” storyline with Kate Kane running around initially trying to find out who’s dealing Monster Venom which is exactly what it sounds like, it turns people into monsters. Think suicide bombers… but monsters.

But, Kate is really trying to figure out who’s dealing the drugs and gets a clue from the action that kicks off the issue. Overall, there’s not a lot in the issue beyond set up. Basically, the whole issue revolves around finding a clue and exploring that. But that’s the point of the issue. It’s goal is to get the story arc going. We don’t hit the ground running here instead it lets readers know a bit about the various players and what they should expect going forward. It’s all building and as I said, it makes me rethink the Rebirth issue due to the inclusion of Coryana which takes up a few pages of that prologue issue. It had me going back to it and you’ll notice some visual things presented there that didn’t quite make sense but make a bit more now.

What really stands out is the art by Steve Epting. There’s been some amazing artists on previous Batwoman comics, so Epting has some big shoes to fill, but he puts his own spin on it all. What I like about Epting’s style is that it reminds me of his work on the female-led spy thriller Velvet. You can see a lot of parallels between the two and thinking of what he brought to that series, I’m really looking forward to seeing more of his art after this first issue.

The first issue as I said is a decent read. It has a goal of getting things moving and introducing us to what makes Batwoman stands out. It does that all and then some. I think the issue was missing a bit of meat, because as I got to the end it felt like a quick read. This is one that might have been helped with an expanded first issue or this specific issue will read better as a trade. It’s a good start though. We get a good sense of the key characters and mixed with the art it has more of a spy/action film vibe standing out from current takes on Batman. A good start that has me looking forward to the second issue.

Story: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV Art: Steve Epting
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review