Batwoman certainly has a popularity amongst DC Comics fans, and has had a few critically acclaimed series. However, whenever she headlines a book, it never seems to last very long. This has lead her into comic book limbo a few times. Detective Comics has provided her a home these past few months, but now she’s ready to headline her own series again. So, how does her “Rebirth” issue hold up?
Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV are cowriting this series together; Bennet will take over Batwoman after the first arc. The two writers crafted a very strong reorientation comic for Batwoman, AKA Katherine Kane, that visits key moments in her life, and sets up an engaging cliffhanger for future stories. Bennet and Tynion have a fondness for the character, and give her even more depth in such a few panels. The comic is designed to give readers a full map of Katherine Kane, and the two writers do so in a way that feels effortless. If you’ve never read a Batwoman comic, don’t worry. This will give you all the information you need. But it leads our heroine down a path for her future comic. That being said, some of the dialogue comes off as a tad stilted, and Batwoman is oddly a little passive. Those are nitpicks however, they don’t bring down the comic at all.
Steve Epting and Ben Oliver bring a unique aesthetic to Batwoman. One that is somehow both slick and gritty at the same time. The character designs are smooth and crisp, but the backgrounds have a grainy, dark effect to them. It creates an unsettling mood around these characters. The use of red in particular is handled well to highlight key memories and moments. One scene toward the beginning is especially brutal. It all adds to a fantastic Noir motif. It’s visually fantastic, and creates the right tone for a Batwoman comic.
Batwoman Rebirth #1 is the perfect comic for fans who have never read a comic featuring Katherine Kane. For long time fans it may feel like retreading old territory, but if we can see Krypton blow up a thousand times then we can see Batwoman’s origin one more time. Really what makes the comic work is how much they explore very specific moments in Katherine Kane’s past. There a few cracks, but overall it’s a fantastic story that I’m excited to see more of in the future. Another must buy from DC Rebirth.