Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batwoman #19

Comic Review: Batwoman #19

Batwoman cover by Trevor McCarthy DC Comics New 52

Batwoman #19 by J.H. Williams III, W. Hayden Blackman and Trevor McCarthy is, in a word, about blood.

The Kane family keeps getting bigger, but so does the rift between Kate and the closest members of that family. Jake and Bette Kane are running their own show, and tensions are rising between Kate and her new fiancee Maggie. The only person she seems willing to acquiesce to is D.E.O. chief Bones, the brother she doesn’t yet know she has.

And then there’s Beth, a.k.a. Alice, the head of the Religion of Crime, whose on a collision course with the unexpecting Batwoman.

But Kate’s family isn’t the only one to take prominence in this story.

Agent Cameron Chase of the D.E.O. gets to reunite with some family of her own at the start of this issue in the form of her surfer sister Terry. Their conversation provides some great character moments that illuminate the superhero-touched history of a heretofore hard, one-note character.

Chase also benefits from the change in art style, as Trevor McCarthy’s cleaner lines make her softer and more sympathetic than J.H. Williams III’s more diamond-cut portrayals.

But not everyone is so well-served by the shift to McCarthy.

His Batwoman looks great – and the blood-drenched, melting costume on the cover is absolutely beautiful – but McCarthy flattens out and robs most of the non-costumed characters of much of their colour. Jacob Kane looks less like a battle-ravaged old soldier and more like a dirty redneck; Kate Kane looses the Goth look and takes on a healthier, rosy hue.

Still, McCarthy continues to rise to the challenge of drawing Batwoman in a Williams-inspired style. The Batwoman sequences looks great, and McCarthy is clearly willing to take risks and go for broke with his paneling. On the whole, McCarthy is doing well pinch hitting for this title’s regular artist.

In terms of story, much of this issue consists of character-driven one-on-ones. Williams and Blackman explore the various relationships in the world their building, all the while bringing the story along bit by bit toward Beth’s reintroduction.

And that’s not the only surprise in store. The D.E.O. has a very difficult ask for Batwoman, and it’s something that will challenge her position as the black sheep outlyer of the Bat family.

Batwoman #19 is all about fleshing out the characters in Kate Kane’s life, and that means it’s a family affair. The D.E.O. is clearly damaging all of Batwoman’s most treasured relationships – including her engagement.

Kate is going to start pushing back real soon.

8 out of 10

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