Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Batwoman #24

Comic Review: Batwoman #24

Batwoman #24 J.H. Williams III Trevor McCarthy W. Haden Blackman vs Batman

With J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman getting yanked off Batwoman, you had to expect Batwoman #24, their last issue, to end on a sour note.

But this was worse – or better? – than a sour note.

Imagine getting punched in the head as you lean in for your first kiss.

Imagine going to a fancy restaurant and getting the fork slapped out of your hand just before you take your first bite.

Imagine getting your dream job, then getting laid off the next day.

That’s what the end of Batwoman #24 feels like.

As a comic unto itself, Batwoman #24 feels like a first kiss, a tasty dinner or a dream job. It’s beautifully drawn by Trevor McCarthy and Williams and Blackman have the plot firing on all cylinders.

The D.E.O. has Bane and some other Batman villains tearing the city apart to draw out the Dark Knight so Batwoman can take him down. Meanwhile, Firebird is trying to free Beth Kane from a D.E.O. safehouse so she can rob the D.E.O. of its leverage over Batwoman.

It all comes to a head on Bones’s boat when Batwoman starts kicking Batman’s ass in a way that would make Batman proud.

If Batman was the dirty, underhanded underdog against Superman in their famous The Dark Knight Returns faceoff, Batman has switched roles here. Instead, it’s the overmatched Batwoman who fights dirty, and you love her for it.

And this issue has so much to love. The opening parade of villains is quickly matched up with a roll call of Batman’s well-known and lesser-known allies, from Nightwing to Batwing and Batgirl to Katana. On top of that, Williams and Blackman continue to make Bette Kane’s fledgling Firebird alter ego a compelling secondary plot using only a few pages and some great internal monologue.

Panel layouts are fairly tame this time around, though McCarthy makes effective use of splitting the pages between Batwoman across the top and Firebird along the bottom to keep the action moving for both simultaneously. He’s also got a striking full spread for the moment Batwoman leaps out of the shadows to attack Batman for the first time.

The ending is a comic book cliffhanger – naturally – and it only emphasizes the loss this series will feel with Blackman and Williams leaving the title. This is their last issue, and they won’t even see the storyline finished by Marc Andreyko next month. The last page has Batwoman and Batman grabbing each other’s throats, locked in battle, and the last box simply reads: “Next: Zero Year.”

Williams and Blackman had Batwoman so very close to giving DC’s biggest badass a black eye – a move that would have reaffirmed her status as her own hero, inspired by Batman but standing defiantly outside his large shadow.

It’s awful to see this run end, but as far as unintentional final pages go, Williams and Blackman could do much worse. The story ends with Batman saying, “Kate… stop,” and Kate replying, “No,” while grabbing Batman’s throat.

Defiant. Determined. Uncompromising.

A perfect ending to an equally defiant, determined and uncompromising run.

Maybe it’s better to think of the ending like the final moments of the Liam Neeson movie The Grey, where Neeson is tired, injured, surrounded by enemies in the wolf den and facing down the alpha male.

The two run at each other and it cuts to black. Maybe Neeson wins. Maybe the wolf wins.

Maybe Batman wins. But maybe Batwoman wins.

Maybe it’s okay that we don’t know, and are left to just appreciate how we got here.

9.5 out of 10

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