Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batwoman #18

Comic Review: Batwoman #18

Batwoman #18 cover with Mr. Freeze by Trevor McCarthy

Following the aftermath of Medusa’s defeat, Batwoman #18 is all about building something new out of the rubble. For Batwoman, that means incorporating a new sidekick and a new fiance into her life; for J.H. Williams, it means letting Trevor McCarthy step in on art duties. The result is a comic with all the nuts and bolts of a good Batwoman yarn, but suffering the hangover of a recently completed major storyline.

Batwoman #18 is a restrained jumping on point more than anything else. It establishes the current status quo in Kate Kane’s world and doesn’t challenge her with anything more than she can handle. We get a sense of her indentured servitude to the D.E.O., a taste of her family through Jacob, Bette and Maggie, and a sense of her place in Gotham City when Batman shows up to try to bring her in line. There’s no Big Bad to speak of, only seeds for trouble that won’t all sprout at once.

Much of the issue follows Batwoman and new sidekick Hawkfire as they take down Mr. Freeze. It’s a rocky start to a new partnership because each woman has a handler whispering in her ear: Jacob Kane is coaching Hawkfire, while the D.E.O. is trying to keep a tight leash on Batwoman.

The rest of the comic jumps around the various secondary plot threads. J.H. Williams offers a taste of the D.E.O., a touch of Kate’s squeeze Maggie Sawyer apartment hunting, and a few moments with the superhero maker Jacob Kane.

J.H. Williams III handles most of his characters quite well here, with the noted exception of new D.E.O. psychiatrist Asaf, who spends far too much time doing a character analysis on Batwoman. Asaf sounds like he’s speaking for the writer, making for an awkward scene altogether.

Bones and company at the D.E.O. look to be drifting toward villain territory long term, but the immediate future will no doubt focus on the mysterious woman presented on the last page of the comic.

Trevor McCarthy is strong on art, especially when he’s drawing Mr. Freeze (always a fun villain for artists), but with this comic, anyone other than J.H. Williams III feels like winning the silver medal. McCarthy does a good job of sticking to the comic’s creative paneling style, but he’s no match for the brilliant art longtime readers of Batwoman are accustomed to.

Batwoman #18 is an excellent jumping on point in terms of story, but when that story isn’t paired with Williams’ peerless pencils, it can’t be a true sample of how great this comic can be.

Killer cover, though.

7.5 out of 10

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