Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batwoman #16

Comic Review: Batwoman #16

Batwoman #16 by J..H. Williams III Wonder Woman World's Finest Medusa

With Batwoman #16, it’s tough to decide which return is more spectacular: Batwoman’s return to Gotham City, or J.H. Williams III’s return to art.

Williams took a break from art duties and a break from the main story in issue #15, but he returns with full force this month to hit the climax of his World’s Finest Batwoman/Wonder Woman team up.

Batwoman and Wonder Woman come back to Gotham in time for an all-out war. The hydra is tearing the city apart, and it’s started with Kate Kane’s apartment. Meanwhile, Medusa’s army is tangling with the cops, and Medusa herself is ready to bring the long-awaited Mother out from the shadows.

If this comic lost any narrative momentum from Batwoman #15, it gets its second wind right away. Williams uses gorgeous two-page spreads and jumps between character monologues to show all of his secondary characters in action and remind us where everyone is in the story. Flamebird makes a triumphant return, Bones gets some action, and Abbot shows up with his motley crew to make a weird battle even weirder.

Even Medusa and Ceto, the Mother of Monsters, get some well-deserved attention, as we get a glimpse into their motivation and their history.

Williams and co-writer W. Hayden Blackman give the definite impression that they’ve had this issue in mind all along, as they bring in plenty of references to earlier stories in the arc and make it feel like the culmination not just of this storyline, but of the whole run thus far.

The Wonder Woman crossover is particularly enjoyable in this issue because it lets Williams shift between styles. There’s plenty of painted Batwoman art, but some of Williams’ best pages are Wonder Woman-inspired. He draws a particularly fantastic backstory for Ceto, the Mother of Monsters, using a classic Greek style, and his two-page spread of Wonder Woman battling the hydra is magnificent.

And, while it’s easy to rave about the art, there’s some great character work in here, too. When Kate’s home is destroyed, she sheds some very human tears that betray the tough facade of her costume. It’s a brief, fleeting moment of hesitation in the battle, but it’s the perfect pause to remind the audience of the vulnerable woman behind Batwoman.

Batwoman #16 goes big, but gets all the little things right, and that’s where it goes from good to great.

For all the comics that came out this week, Batwoman #16 may well be the World’s Finest.

9.5 out of 10

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