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Batwoman, Volume 1: Hydrology

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Batwoman's new series finally begins! The creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman launch the ongoing Batwoman series, as Batwoman (a.ka. Kate Kane) faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City's underworld–and new trials in her personal life.Wh A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Batwoman's new series finally begins! The creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman launch the ongoing Batwoman series, as Batwoman (a.ka. Kate Kane) faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City's underworld–and new trials in her personal life.Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this long-awaited series! This deluxe hardcover colllect issues 0-5 of Batwoman, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Batwoman's new series finally begins! The creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman launch the ongoing Batwoman series, as Batwoman (a.ka. Kate Kane) faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City's underworld–and new trials in her personal life.Wh A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Batwoman's new series finally begins! The creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman launch the ongoing Batwoman series, as Batwoman (a.ka. Kate Kane) faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City's underworld–and new trials in her personal life.Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her new sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this long-awaited series! This deluxe hardcover colllect issues 0-5 of Batwoman, part of the DC Comics—The New 52 event.

30 review for Batwoman, Volume 1: Hydrology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (B+) 76% | Good Notes: It effuses poetry in luscious, evocative art, yet loses lucidity and form in the ethereal gloom of its smoky dreamscape.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Batwoman (not to be confused with Batgirl) is a pretty interesting character. I love that she isn't affiliated with Batman...or at least not yet. As much as I enjoyed the plot, what really made it stand out so much (to me) was the incredible artwork. Every page was absolutely beautiful in it's own way. Truly. I only have one complaint. Or maybe it's just a question? Why the hell is Kate Kane so freakin' pale? No. Pale is not the right word here. White. And not like, "Hey look at that white girl dan Batwoman (not to be confused with Batgirl) is a pretty interesting character. I love that she isn't affiliated with Batman...or at least not yet. As much as I enjoyed the plot, what really made it stand out so much (to me) was the incredible artwork. Every page was absolutely beautiful in it's own way. Truly. I only have one complaint. Or maybe it's just a question? Why the hell is Kate Kane so freakin' pale? No. Pale is not the right word here. White. And not like, "Hey look at that white girl dance!". No. As in, she looks like the Joker had an illegitimate daughter. White. Everyone else in the book is a normal human color...and she looks like someone colored her in with a crayon. WHY?!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Three and a half stars Yes, the art is wonderful. Fabulous. It pushes the boundaries of comic art. It’s outside the box. At times, the styles are even mixed from page to page.* Too bad it’s at the service of an incomprehensible plot that involves (view spoiler)[ghosts, I hate ghosts (hide spoiler)] . I like the new Batwoman. Troubled Kate Kane makes a welcome addition into the crazy Bat pantheon. But for me this begs the questions: Why did she name herself Batwoman to begin with? Why would she set Three and a half stars Yes, the art is wonderful. Fabulous. It pushes the boundaries of comic art. It’s outside the box. At times, the styles are even mixed from page to page.* Too bad it’s at the service of an incomprehensible plot that involves (view spoiler)[ghosts, I hate ghosts (hide spoiler)] . I like the new Batwoman. Troubled Kate Kane makes a welcome addition into the crazy Bat pantheon. But for me this begs the questions: Why did she name herself Batwoman to begin with? Why would she set up shop in Gotham City, home of Batman? What really happened with her sister? Why is she so damned pale? A word to Bruce Wayne/Batman: While you’re out stalking Batwoman night and day, those creepy Owl villains are overrunning Gotham City. Priorities, sir, priorities. *Whatever happened to those helpful arrows, that helped guide shallow morons like me through the proper panel sequence? Are they passé?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Batwoman is Kate Kane, the wealthy daughter of a retired army general, discharged from West Point Military Academy because of her homosexuality under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and turned to a life of vigilantism after the untimely deaths of her mother and sister. Artist JH Williams III turns his hand to writing with co-author W Haden Blackman and the results are pretty good. The book opens with an interesting introduction to Batwoman through the eyes of Batman before introducing the book’s villai Batwoman is Kate Kane, the wealthy daughter of a retired army general, discharged from West Point Military Academy because of her homosexuality under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and turned to a life of vigilantism after the untimely deaths of her mother and sister. Artist JH Williams III turns his hand to writing with co-author W Haden Blackman and the results are pretty good. The book opens with an interesting introduction to Batwoman through the eyes of Batman before introducing the book’s villains and plot. And here’s where the book for me falls down. Like the last Batwoman book I read, “Elegy”, she is still chasing after a criminal organisation called the Religion of Crime and thrown into this mix are the were-animals where human and animal DNA are fused to create some strange looking creatures. New for this story arc is the main villain, a female murderer ghost avenging the deaths of her drowned kids and a talking skeleton called, imaginatively, Mr Bones. The problem I have with Batwoman is not the extensive macabre and supernatural elements that go into her story but the lack of a strong nemesis. She doesn’t have a Joker and the dull villains she fights aren’t that well-constructed making for a weaker story overall. I mean, ghosts and talking skeletons – what is this, Scooby Doo? As with other “New 52” titles, I take issue with DC claiming they have rebooted the franchise. It doesn’t really introduce the character to a new audience so much as it assumes the reader has prior knowledge and goes from there. This book is best read after reading “Batwoman: Elegy” which explains her current relationship with her father in “Hydrology” as well as who the doll-like girl haunting her is. In fact, “Hydrology” could well be “Elegy”’s sequel. JH Williams III’s artwork is as always the highlight of the book. His imaginative layouts and stunning art lifts this book up immeasurably and makes it stand out from other comics. Superb artwork and serviceable story aside, I’m still waiting for Batwoman to become the series it has the potential to be, it’s just missing some key elements like a strong main villain and defining storyline. As it is, “Hydrology” isn’t bad but it’s not the masterpiece some reviewers are making it out to be, nor is it particularly the best place to start with this character. Check out “Elegy” before coming to this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jedi JC Daquis

    The Batwoman run of JH Williams III in the New52 is hugely unappreciated, taking a back seat behind powerhouse series like Snyder's Batman, Azzarello's Wonder Woman and even John's Aquaman and Green Lantern. But once you get to read this Kate Kane Batwoman, you cannot get enough of it. Hydrology starts the four-volume series written and drawn by Williams. And this I am very serious about: these four volumes is as good as it gets. Batwoman is awesome, powerful, broken and again, awesome. Damn cool The Batwoman run of JH Williams III in the New52 is hugely unappreciated, taking a back seat behind powerhouse series like Snyder's Batman, Azzarello's Wonder Woman and even John's Aquaman and Green Lantern. But once you get to read this Kate Kane Batwoman, you cannot get enough of it. Hydrology starts the four-volume series written and drawn by Williams. And this I am very serious about: these four volumes is as good as it gets. Batwoman is awesome, powerful, broken and again, awesome. Damn cool Kate Kane is. J.H. Williams III's panels are beautifully constructed! The first thing that you will notice here is the artwork. Williams sure has the talent to draw unconventional panels that perfectly complements the occult-supernatural story of this arc. The way he draws Batwoman, she's super sexy, yet not objectified. There is grace and sensuality in all her movements, a stark (yet equally effective) contrast to Batman's sharpness. Kate Kane's lesbian sex aspect is seen here, yet it is not overemphasized that I saw it as a natural and grounded part of the story, instead of being pretentious and preachy. I don't know really if her personality is gender-accurate but all I can say is she's a damn strong woman. I recommend Batwoman Hydrology if you want to a good story with some great artwork.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Tale opens with Batman watching a new superhero of Gotham named Batwoman and it's a good narrative flow because all the Gotham veterans have some familiarity with the structure. Not surprisingly, Batman figures little into this and we focus on Katherine Kane and why she became a crimefighter. Kane deals with her somewhat lame sidekick (Flamebird), a ghost like woman stealing children and whether to join Batman's organization or stay solo. Amazing artwork. I especially liked how a page or two had Tale opens with Batman watching a new superhero of Gotham named Batwoman and it's a good narrative flow because all the Gotham veterans have some familiarity with the structure. Not surprisingly, Batman figures little into this and we focus on Katherine Kane and why she became a crimefighter. Kane deals with her somewhat lame sidekick (Flamebird), a ghost like woman stealing children and whether to join Batman's organization or stay solo. Amazing artwork. I especially liked how a page or two had one panel with several smaller panels scattered over it. The x-ray version of attacks and the bones hit was a nice touch.Artwork by J.H. Williams and written by him as well as W. Haden Blackman. A great start for the 52 reboot. I am not entirely certain why Kane is super pale with red hair. Is she just Goth or is this some indication of her having some similarities to the Joker? The vote is still out. ARTWORK PRESENTATION: A minus to A; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus; ACTION SEQUENCES: B plus to A minus; STORY/PLOTTING/PANELS: B plus to A minus; GOTHAM MYTHOLOGY: A minus; WHEN READ: early October 2013; OVERALL GRADE: B plus to A minus.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Solid 3 stars. Not much to say about this one, except "Meh". The artwork was fantastic, and I really like the contrasts with the red/black color scheme Ms. Kane chose for her costume. I'm not sure about the whole ghostly white skin, though. Wouldn't that give her secret identity away? The story was okay, but I have one question. When did the Bat-family of books start moving to outright mystical/paranormal mysteries? the main storyline in this volume dealt with trying to find a couple of children ab Solid 3 stars. Not much to say about this one, except "Meh". The artwork was fantastic, and I really like the contrasts with the red/black color scheme Ms. Kane chose for her costume. I'm not sure about the whole ghostly white skin, though. Wouldn't that give her secret identity away? The story was okay, but I have one question. When did the Bat-family of books start moving to outright mystical/paranormal mysteries? the main storyline in this volume dealt with trying to find a couple of children abducted by a ghost. It was all very "out there", and well beyond what I remember the "World's Greatest Detective" handling. I'm not sure I'll continue this series, unless it's on sale or on a deep discount.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    For the longest time I wanted to read this series because of the things I heard about it. "This will make you a Batwoman fan" and yeah...they were right. So Kate Kane is Batwoman. You didn't know that? Got confused about Batgirl and Batwoman? Don't worry, this book will fix that. So this Batwoman is dealing with hunting down someone, or something, who is taking children and kidnapping them. ON top of that she is also training a girl to be a warrior, a fighter, and of course things get a bit conf For the longest time I wanted to read this series because of the things I heard about it. "This will make you a Batwoman fan" and yeah...they were right. So Kate Kane is Batwoman. You didn't know that? Got confused about Batgirl and Batwoman? Don't worry, this book will fix that. So this Batwoman is dealing with hunting down someone, or something, who is taking children and kidnapping them. ON top of that she is also training a girl to be a warrior, a fighter, and of course things get a bit confusing there. Then we also have the cops/detectives hunting down Batwoman while Batman tries to recruit his cousin to his Batman INC. Good: The dialog is pretty great. Everyone feels human, with major flaws, that make them super interesting. The art is beautiful as well as the fights themselves. The main villain is a sad one, and not the typical shit you expect. The ending is both intriguing and interesting lead to the next part. Bad: I'd say sometimes the panel layout is a bit confusing. I also have issues with Kate's skin tone. It makes her look like a zombie, it was distracting. Overall great first introduction to Batwoman. Makes me want to read a lot more. A 4 out of 5.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

    My brother loaned me a few books to introduce me to The New 52, a massive relaunch of DC's titles that seemed crazy at the time but has actually, I've heard, led to some really good stories. After reading this collection of Batwoman stories, I do not feel in any way introduced to the new status quo of the DC Universe, but I love this book. Even though The New 52 was supposed to create a great jumping-on point for new readers, this book is a direct continuation of the story in Batwoman: Elegy - th My brother loaned me a few books to introduce me to The New 52, a massive relaunch of DC's titles that seemed crazy at the time but has actually, I've heard, led to some really good stories. After reading this collection of Batwoman stories, I do not feel in any way introduced to the new status quo of the DC Universe, but I love this book. Even though The New 52 was supposed to create a great jumping-on point for new readers, this book is a direct continuation of the story in Batwoman: Elegy - the fate and secret identity of the villain of that story have huge impacts on the way this story goes and the emotional places it reaches. I don't recommend opening this book without devouring Elegy first. Once a reader has that experience with Batwoman, though, this book becomes terrific. There is.. a story.. kind of... But this book is about art and emotion, not so much about plot comprehensibility. Kate Kane is trying to forge her identity as Batwoman, pressured by multiple parties to join organizations when she's more of a loner, pestered by her overconfident cousin for sidekick training, navigating an intense new romance with a GCPD detective, and pursuing a lethal urban legend to find some missing kids and stop more from disappearing. The art, though, is the real star of this book. Silky painted images, mindblowing panel layouts, distinct visual styles for each subplot... The book is simply a joy to gaze upon as you flip the pages. Gorgeous. J.H. Williams also takes great advantage of his water-based villain to play around with panels that look like splashes of water, and his fire-based sidekick character to play around with panels that burn at the edges. In most cases, I like reading books that have stories I care about, but when the art is this phenomenal, I'm fine with the story just existing to give more emotional weight to the images. Hydrology is a visual triumph.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I have mixed feelings about this. It was different and really artistic, but I wasn't that enamored with the story and Kate as a main character. I'm not familiar with Batwoman, so this is a very new character for me. I think that people interested in GLBT characters will really appreciate it. It's a favorable profile of a strong, empowered lesbian woman. However, at the same time, Kate has some issues. She's got major survival guilt and an anger problem. She's dealing with her angst in some ways I have mixed feelings about this. It was different and really artistic, but I wasn't that enamored with the story and Kate as a main character. I'm not familiar with Batwoman, so this is a very new character for me. I think that people interested in GLBT characters will really appreciate it. It's a favorable profile of a strong, empowered lesbian woman. However, at the same time, Kate has some issues. She's got major survival guilt and an anger problem. She's dealing with her angst in some ways that aren't healthy. I picked this up because I saw the La Llorona storyline. As a folklore enthusiast, I'm familiar with the Latin urban legend of a woman who comes back as a ghost and haunts and lures men/sometimes children to their death due to her need for vengeance on a lover leaving her and her subsequent drowning of her children and suicide by drowning. It was an interesting take on the legend. There is a twist at the end that sets up a continued story. I'm not sure right now if I will continue this. I'm not that in love with Kate as a lead character. The artwork is interesting and visually arresting. The characters are drawn in a very distinctive way. I liked that about it. It's a dark story, so you have to be in the mood for it. Pretty good. We'll see if I get back to this series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    William Thomas

    I hate when I'm not in the proper mood to write the kind of review a book deserves. It just doesn't seem fair to the book, or the reader of the review, because it just can't get across all of the lovely things I want it to. I'm very distracted right now. Lethargic. But I'll do my best. JH Williams has written the best book of the Nu52. No bones about it. Everything about this book is phenomenal. What makes it brilliant is that it stands completely on its own, unlike other Bat-books, it doesn't u I hate when I'm not in the proper mood to write the kind of review a book deserves. It just doesn't seem fair to the book, or the reader of the review, because it just can't get across all of the lovely things I want it to. I'm very distracted right now. Lethargic. But I'll do my best. JH Williams has written the best book of the Nu52. No bones about it. Everything about this book is phenomenal. What makes it brilliant is that it stands completely on its own, unlike other Bat-books, it doesn't use Batman as a crutch or borrow his villains just to see higher sales figures. Batman does appear in the book, briefly, and his appearance is of little consequence. Instead, the focus is purely on Kate Kane and her alter ego Batwoman. What we get in this book is a relatively new hero building her own mythos. JH Williams interweaves so many different strands here that act not as cliffhangers, but as lures. Its a brilliant mix of personal life and superheroine life clashing with one another in a mad battle with one another for rights to Kane's life. The best part is her personal life moments are filled with drama, but we don't get the feeling of a soap pera or the stilted dialogue other writers sometimes fall into. Everything seems sincere. The injection of a new villain and the incorporation of the old continuity is great. We aren't seeing the same arch-enemy from the previous books, even though there are some haunting scenes using Kate's twin. An eerie, supernatural storyline is a great backdrop and a nice change of pace for a superhero book with a military-trained superhero. Honestly, the book could have been a brilliant creator-owned title elsewhere and probably fantastically, even in this saturated marketplace. Williams and Blackman are a perfect writiing duo and I hope we see this creative team and this book last for years to come. With the way DC is clear-cutting a lot of the titles and replacing them, it may not. The art chores are done by Williams as well and are definitely right on the money. The color and paneling are highlights of the art, although sometimes the composition makes me scratch my head. Stylistically, Williams really can't be compared to any other artist in the field right now. The fact that the style changes, or shifts, when the book is focused on Kate's personal life, is brilliant. Like glass separation in a film. There are clearly defined lines in her life, and the styles aren't drastically different, but just enough. Thicker lines and more bold colors in the Batwoman pages, and thinner, more detailed lines for the day-to-day. Ok, maybe I did do it justice. I don't know. Grade: A's all around.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Okay Messler, I finally got this one read and: uhgh. Whatever. I was like disappointed from page 1, when Batman's Spooky Inner Monologue does a totally unnecessary information dump on Batwoman's backstory, and the rest of the book doesn't do much better. Proof that yes, you actually do need writers who know how to write to make superhero stories unboring. It's not that JH Williams III isn't a totally serviceable writer; it's just that the Greg Rucka-scribed Batwoman: Elegy was so awesome, with t Okay Messler, I finally got this one read and: uhgh. Whatever. I was like disappointed from page 1, when Batman's Spooky Inner Monologue does a totally unnecessary information dump on Batwoman's backstory, and the rest of the book doesn't do much better. Proof that yes, you actually do need writers who know how to write to make superhero stories unboring. It's not that JH Williams III isn't a totally serviceable writer; it's just that the Greg Rucka-scribed Batwoman: Elegy was so awesome, with this really evasive, slippery story that jumped around in time, had a political charge AND was full of beast-monsters, to boot. And while Hydrology retains the monsters (and adds a new one, a water-ghost that makes for some amazing visuals), otherwise there's nothing that makes me feel like I'd read this again. The pages are still amazingly beautiful, but the plot and characters sort of baldfacedly explain themselves in no uncertain terms on every page -- there's nothing to chew on, and what plays out isn't quite clever enough to be all that engaging or fun. I feel like I can justify owning Hydrology as a part of a collection of JH Williams III art, but it's not enhanced with a page-by-page reading. Further, all the sexual politics are gone, unless we've replaced "What It Means to Be a Gay Superheroine in a Hetero-Supermale World" with "Hey Look, Lesbians! Let's Draw Lots of Boobs." I guess this continues to be a popular series and further volumes are already set to follow this one, but now Williams III isn't even on art duties. So farewell, Batwoman -- your queer-politics-meets-Scooby-Doo iteration of the familiar Batdrama has been one of my recent favorites, but that ship may have already sailed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    I'm on a graphic novel winning streak!! Yippee! My knowledge of anything DC is admittedly almost nonexistent. I know there's a superhero named Superman and one named Batman and that's almost it. But when I was poking around in my local comic store, the artwork and story stood out - along with featuring an adult superheroine not called "girl" (not saying Batgirl and Supergirl are automatically bad because of their names). I honestly didn't know what to expect; I didn't really bother to get my hope I'm on a graphic novel winning streak!! Yippee! My knowledge of anything DC is admittedly almost nonexistent. I know there's a superhero named Superman and one named Batman and that's almost it. But when I was poking around in my local comic store, the artwork and story stood out - along with featuring an adult superheroine not called "girl" (not saying Batgirl and Supergirl are automatically bad because of their names). I honestly didn't know what to expect; I didn't really bother to get my hopes up, knowing my horrible luck with comics. This was a most pleasant surprise! A strong female character, independent, a mentor to a young female protege. Kate Kane aka "Batwoman" knows when to be tough as nails but also isn't an a-hole to everyone she meets (unlike Anita Blake...). And the artwork! Gorgeous! I love the focus on red, black, white and turquoise. About the only thing I found weird was Kate's vampire white skin. Kinda creepy. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for more in this series!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    This art in this is really imaginative, particularly in its use of panels. Batwoman is a character that I don't know that well, but I could get a sense of who she was from this volume. Having said that, this book focuses on the supernatural, and it gets really weird very quickly. I had to reread some pages to figure out what was going on. However, if you have the patience for that, it can be very rewarding. This art in this is really imaginative, particularly in its use of panels. Batwoman is a character that I don't know that well, but I could get a sense of who she was from this volume. Having said that, this book focuses on the supernatural, and it gets really weird very quickly. I had to reread some pages to figure out what was going on. However, if you have the patience for that, it can be very rewarding.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    It's incredibly rare to find a comic book artist who can pull off both writing and art, and unfortunately, if this book is any indication, J.H. Williams III is another casualty in that search. Truly, this book is beautiful. Genuinely some of the finest comic artwork I've seen in a mainstream book in a very long time. Probably the last time I felt this drawn in by the art of a comic was Sandman: Overture, which was also Williams. His flare for creative design, for upending traditional panel flow, It's incredibly rare to find a comic book artist who can pull off both writing and art, and unfortunately, if this book is any indication, J.H. Williams III is another casualty in that search. Truly, this book is beautiful. Genuinely some of the finest comic artwork I've seen in a mainstream book in a very long time. Probably the last time I felt this drawn in by the art of a comic was Sandman: Overture, which was also Williams. His flare for creative design, for upending traditional panel flow, his intentional mixture of styles to shift tonally between Batwoman's civilian life and her life as a crime fighter, his deep attention to detail and even lettering; all of this is unparalleled by most other modern artists. But it can't make up for a bad script. This is a book that feels written specifically to get us to these big moments, so that Williams can show off his artistic flare. There's very little development of Batwoman or her allies, whose names I can't even remember thanks to how little they're attended to. The main villain is never really explained or investigated, she just kind of shows up here and there to be weird and spooky. The introduction of extra villains and characters is done with blunt force, just injecting them into the proceedings out of nowhere and without a clear reason for their arrival. The writing is just, unfortunately, sloppy. It's a shame, especially since this is essentially a sequel to the incredible Batwoman: Elegy, which Williams provided pencils for (though it was written by the more seasoned Greg Rucka). That book was beautiful and haunting and new, and promised us a fresh addition to the Bat Family. This entry, however, feels like a step in the wrong direction, while simultaneously relying heavily on Elegy as a lead-in. In fact, I'd go so far as to say if you haven't read Elegy, you're going to be very confused by a lot of this. Williams visually references characters from that story quite a bit here, without ever reminding the reader who they are. Batwoman's father and the villain from Elegy are shown with little context, and considering that Elegy ended a full year before this new series started, a refresher would've been nice. So, honestly, this book is worth flipping through for the art alone. It's that good. But I'm afraid its lack of narrative momentum and clarity drag it down too much to make it truly shine.

  16. 4 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    So, I loved Elegy and decided to give Batwoman's ongoing a try and well... here's what I think of it. What's it about: Uh... that's hard to explain and I'm gonna skip it for this review. Pros: The awesome panel layout from Elegy is in this too which is great. I really like this layout and I'm glad they decided to keep it. The art is (mostly) good. I really like the action scenes in this comic. I really care what happens to the characters of the story. I can never stand reading a comic with horrible ch So, I loved Elegy and decided to give Batwoman's ongoing a try and well... here's what I think of it. What's it about: Uh... that's hard to explain and I'm gonna skip it for this review. Pros: The awesome panel layout from Elegy is in this too which is great. I really like this layout and I'm glad they decided to keep it. The art is (mostly) good. I really like the action scenes in this comic. I really care what happens to the characters of the story. I can never stand reading a comic with horrible characters which is way too common. Cons: The story's really confusing which is not something I often say especially since I tend to like weird stuff. This story despite being weird is fairly predictable. No big twists that really shocked me this time. For some reason Kate is drawn as being really pale which... if she was a character that's meant to be pale I wouldn't mind but she's not meant to be pale so it bothers me. The fan service is pretty excessive to the point that it becomes mildly irritating. I normally don't care, it won't make a book any better or worse for me but it's almost a page or two of each issue is taken up with it so it feels kinda like sexualized filler. Overall: It's not a bad comic, hell, I'll probably read volume 2 at some point. This one is just very flawed, though there are some things in this book that are definitely praise worthy. 3/5

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Batwoman is missing just one element to become a truly dynamic superhero: a compelling villain. She is herself a strong, compelling character with realistic motivations and voice, surrounded by a cast as interesting as she is. I especially love how she and Batman deal with each other. He recognizes her abilities, skills, and motivations and wants to work with her. Score. Except that she has her own agenda, and isn't willing to be his employee. I love her for this, even if I might not make the sa Batwoman is missing just one element to become a truly dynamic superhero: a compelling villain. She is herself a strong, compelling character with realistic motivations and voice, surrounded by a cast as interesting as she is. I especially love how she and Batman deal with each other. He recognizes her abilities, skills, and motivations and wants to work with her. Score. Except that she has her own agenda, and isn't willing to be his employee. I love her for this, even if I might not make the same choice myself. The artwork is simply stunning. Just take a look at the cover. This isn't one of those books where the cover is the best art in the book by far. That's representative of all of the interior art. You'd be hard pressed to find a single ugly panel. Kate is, somewhat oddly, given chalk-white skin. I'm not exactly sure why, but it does make her stand out and give her an iconic look on her own. And it probably does make sense that somebody who rarely sees the sun and gets little sleep would be ghostly pale with dark circles around her eyes. But she's still lacking a great villain. Sure, the story is good, but we're left without a truly compelling adversary for her. The Religion of Crime ongoing arc is ok, but it needs a great figurehead to oppose her. This is about the one thing that Batwoman needs to be a truly fantastic comic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    As an artist, Williams does an amazing job - composition, choreography, line work, panel design, As a writer, I think Williams needs a little practice. "Crime fighter's notebook"? Not exactly subtle. Doesn't give the reader enough credit to notice the little things in panel, like putting money in the bum's cup - so he adds it to the narrator's notes. In issue 2 the action art gets muddled, confusing. It looks dreamy, sure, and maybe dreams aren't supposed to make linear sense - but is that really As an artist, Williams does an amazing job - composition, choreography, line work, panel design, As a writer, I think Williams needs a little practice. "Crime fighter's notebook"? Not exactly subtle. Doesn't give the reader enough credit to notice the little things in panel, like putting money in the bum's cup - so he adds it to the narrator's notes. In issue 2 the action art gets muddled, confusing. It looks dreamy, sure, and maybe dreams aren't supposed to make linear sense - but is that really the best use of page real estate? JH, how many costume changes are you going to indulge in for a superfluous flash of partial nudity? Is that really the kind of book we set out to make here? And what was the point of the x-ray gimmick in issue 3? If it didn't inform any deeper understanding of the damage done in the fight, was it just cheap distraction from a lack of real ideas? Y'see, this is why it's troubling to let the artist also write their book - no one to call out dumb bullshit that detracts from any storytelling momentum. I'm glad Williams and his co-writer got their shit together by issue 4 and carried the book forward. Emotional believability and dimension with the girlfriend definitely helps. I wish it was enough to elevate the book - maybe it was for this stretch, I dunno.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    This was not as good as I was expecting it to be, but still not bad. I think it has some potential, especially with the characterization and plot. But the paneling needs some work. I feel like I couldn't appreciate the art fully because the paneling was so difficult to follow. And because the plot was a little dry for the most part. The villains weren't cliche, which was reassuring. Even though they weren't awesome villains, at least they weren't the generic drug-traffickers that minor vigilantes This was not as good as I was expecting it to be, but still not bad. I think it has some potential, especially with the characterization and plot. But the paneling needs some work. I feel like I couldn't appreciate the art fully because the paneling was so difficult to follow. And because the plot was a little dry for the most part. The villains weren't cliche, which was reassuring. Even though they weren't awesome villains, at least they weren't the generic drug-traffickers that minor vigilantes are usually relegated to. I think my favorite thing (probably one of the only things I genuinely liked about this) was the diversity in the comic. I mean, Kate Kane is a "proud lesbian." Mad props. But I wish the book had been better. I also liked the patches of Spanish dialogue and those really minor Latino characters throughout. Overall, it was pretty good. I will probably continue this series unless the reviews are horrible. P.S. Everything the reviews say about the disgusting pastiness of Kate's skin is absolutely true.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Interesting. I liked this more for the art than the story. The story wasn't bad, just didn't excite me. Despite this being volume one, you pretty much have to know who Batwoman is already to get much out of it. Fortunately, I read the first BW graphic novel some time ago. Anyway, as I said, what's really impressive about this book is the art. These are some of the most interesting and creative page layouts I’ve seen in a long time. The pages drip atmosphere. Panel borders get all loose and liqui Interesting. I liked this more for the art than the story. The story wasn't bad, just didn't excite me. Despite this being volume one, you pretty much have to know who Batwoman is already to get much out of it. Fortunately, I read the first BW graphic novel some time ago. Anyway, as I said, what's really impressive about this book is the art. These are some of the most interesting and creative page layouts I’ve seen in a long time. The pages drip atmosphere. Panel borders get all loose and liquid-y when Batwoman is fighting La Llorona, but become sharp and firm in the daylight scenes. The series has promise, and I like the feel of it. I just wish the writing were on a par with the art.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    This is very much not my type of story, but I enjoyed it. I’m a little lost as I have 0 background knowledge of Batman and Arkham and Gotham and alll that other stuff, but I liked it as it was.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Callie *Fights Censorship*

    Wow, this comic had a very unique feel to it and the artwork alone makes it worth the read. The art is beautiful but also organized into creative panels that aid the story and set the tone and flow. The first issue is brilliant, we watch as Batman investigates Batwoman trying to decide if she is Kate Kane and if she is worthy of a Bat Inc invite, spoiler, she is. This was a fantastic way to introduce the reader by giving us a character we already know and love and letting us see this new charact Wow, this comic had a very unique feel to it and the artwork alone makes it worth the read. The art is beautiful but also organized into creative panels that aid the story and set the tone and flow. The first issue is brilliant, we watch as Batman investigates Batwoman trying to decide if she is Kate Kane and if she is worthy of a Bat Inc invite, spoiler, she is. This was a fantastic way to introduce the reader by giving us a character we already know and love and letting us see this new character through his eyes. As for the character of Kate Kane I am still undecided. I think that I like her but her back story felt a little murky with a twin sister, a dead mother, and a father she hates. There should have been more recap, this was the first I've read of Batwoman and I think it relies heavily on Elegy despite being VOL 1. The big talking point is that Kane is a lesbian, that's what everyone focuses on which is kind of a shame because it makes it sound kind of gimmicky and it really isn't. You hear people go on and on about that aspect and it makes you think that maybe the comic is just a PC crap nugget, but it's not. It's actually got a lot going for it beyond the main character's sexual preference. Kane's sexuality was included in the story but not overdone or forced, however there was a scene in particular that made me uncomfortable. I know I'm going to sound like a dork but I actually don't really like to see my superheroes in sex scenes, I feel like it degrades them some how. Of course I love to see Catwoman flirting with Batman, the back and forth is great, the sexual tension is all good.....but I don't want to see them get it on, it just makes me feel a little awkward. So Kate Kane's prolonged sex scene was not my favorite. I liked the contrast between the sex scene and the violence happening elsewhere, I think it was symbolic and artistic and all that junk but it also felt like a bit much. I mean the moaning... Too much for me. Overall, I enjoyed this comic, it is definitely one of the better first volumes that I've read. However, the overarching plot with the ghost woman, while visually stunning, was a little boring. However, I was captivated by the characters and hypnotized by the beautiful artwork.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Randolph

    My daughter actually hipped me to this book since she is a brilliant student and quite the comic aficionado. Little did I realize that DC had already screwed the pooch by running off the writer/illustrators when they tampered with their lesbian story line. DC made some weak (as in hypocritical) response about superheroes never having healthy and happy lives, maybe another stereotype that should go out the window as well. The whole thing reeks of the comics-are-bad-for-you stigma that I thought t My daughter actually hipped me to this book since she is a brilliant student and quite the comic aficionado. Little did I realize that DC had already screwed the pooch by running off the writer/illustrators when they tampered with their lesbian story line. DC made some weak (as in hypocritical) response about superheroes never having healthy and happy lives, maybe another stereotype that should go out the window as well. The whole thing reeks of the comics-are-bad-for-you stigma that I thought the genre of "graphic novels" had shaken off decades ago. Well we here at goodreads all know what happens to free speech when the big corporations get involved now don't we. DC hired a gay scab/stooge to continue the comic and smooth the whole thing over starting with issue #25, so as far as Dr. Pangloss and I are concerned this world is once again a the best of all possible worlds. Excuse me, I have to move this soap box out of the way now. So it is with a tinge of bittersweetness that I have to tell you this book is just marvelous. It is everything a reboot should be, new persona, tastefully updated milieu, new baddies, old baddies, reconnection with some old friends, new friends, and artwork that will knock your socks off. I have gotten used to the Fables series of books so I had almost forgotten how gloriously free the artwork could be in a pretty mainstream superhero story nowadays. Not that this is a mainstream story by any account; we have real ghosts, demons, and skeletons and that is a tall task for a superhero without any superpowers (one reason I always liked the Bat family best). Anyway, even if you don't like the story, go out and steal, er, I mean borrow, this graphic novel for the artwork. I don't want to line DC's pockets now, for obvious reasons. Oh, and they've hired Orson Scott Card to do something too, which is another reason to keep them off the invite list. I'm glad the Ender movie tanked. Talk about inviting the flag;D.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    A shame that writer J.H. Williams left the title because of editorial interference from the company that owns the character. Williams makes me care about Kate Kane, her father, and her supporting cast. While I know the main stream press covered the title because of Kate's lesbianism and her relationship with Gotham City Police Detective Maggie Sawyer, Williams doesn't feel the need to hit the reader over the head with Kate's sexuality. Her sexuality is part of who she is. As is combat training, h A shame that writer J.H. Williams left the title because of editorial interference from the company that owns the character. Williams makes me care about Kate Kane, her father, and her supporting cast. While I know the main stream press covered the title because of Kate's lesbianism and her relationship with Gotham City Police Detective Maggie Sawyer, Williams doesn't feel the need to hit the reader over the head with Kate's sexuality. Her sexuality is part of who she is. As is combat training, her drive to fight crime, and her now estranged (see a prior volume) relationship with her father. The crimes are incidental, and if anything this volume sets up many story lines to be finished off down the road. Kate is smart competent and an excellent edition to the so-called Batman Family. For me as a fan of the cancelled series Chase it is nice to see DEO agent Cameron Chase back in a title. While I disliked how she was portrayed here, if I get an opportunity to catch up on the more recent volumes it will be interesting to see if Chase's portrayal has changed because Batwoman's new writer is Chase's co-creator.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I really enjoyed this New 52 volume and would have easily given it five stars if it had felt like a whole story. I found Williams' art excellent and really enjoyed the creative page layouts, particularly the ethereal splashes that started each issue. Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman, brutally enforces her brand (or maybe it's Batman's brand) of street justice in a blood-red wig and cape. Kate's tragic background is summarized, though some elements regarding her current relationships with her co I really enjoyed this New 52 volume and would have easily given it five stars if it had felt like a whole story. I found Williams' art excellent and really enjoyed the creative page layouts, particularly the ethereal splashes that started each issue. Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman, brutally enforces her brand (or maybe it's Batman's brand) of street justice in a blood-red wig and cape. Kate's tragic background is summarized, though some elements regarding her current relationships with her cousin Bette and father are largely unexplained, likely due to this being a continuation of a previous Batwoman story (Elegy). Kate works against a child-kidnapping ghost in this story, a supernatural threat which I found to be an odd introductory choice for a Bat-hero. The case is wrapped up but somehow felt incomplete and the supernatural elements seemed unfinished. Still very entertaining, and it left me a solid (though still curious) fan of Batwoman.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    So here I am, jumping into another New 52 title. I was mostly interested in Batwoman/Kate Kane because I know she's a lesbian, but I knew very little else about her, so it was a bit tough to just jump right in here, even though the New 52 is supposed to be a reboot. I enjoyed it, though; I like that in contrast to what I normally think of when I think of the Batfamily, without supernatural elements, here we've got Kate Kane basically going through an episode of Supernatural. It's interesting read So here I am, jumping into another New 52 title. I was mostly interested in Batwoman/Kate Kane because I know she's a lesbian, but I knew very little else about her, so it was a bit tough to just jump right in here, even though the New 52 is supposed to be a reboot. I enjoyed it, though; I like that in contrast to what I normally think of when I think of the Batfamily, without supernatural elements, here we've got Kate Kane basically going through an episode of Supernatural. It's interesting reading that at the same time as I'm getting into Batgirl -- and I like that there's plenty of stuff around in Kate's normal life, too. More than Batgirl's, maybe; I got more of a sense of the wider world surrounding Kate, anyway. The art looks really cool; I love the red/black look Kate's got going on.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lex

    Somewhere between a 3 and a 4. This was good, a lot better than I was expecting, but it didn't blow me away or anything. The art, though, was absolutely beautiful. Somewhere between a 3 and a 4. This was good, a lot better than I was expecting, but it didn't blow me away or anything. The art, though, was absolutely beautiful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~

    Review of Volume 0 Kate Kane becomes progressively more likable and bad-ass in this volume and the villains have become progressively more stupid. I like to think that I have an open mind, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the first arc-villain that Kate will face as Batwoman will be a (view spoiler)[ghost (hide spoiler)] . Once I got over that trauma (which took a full minute of internally chanting "are you fucking kidding me?") I was able to yet again enjoy the most beautiful super Review of Volume 0 Kate Kane becomes progressively more likable and bad-ass in this volume and the villains have become progressively more stupid. I like to think that I have an open mind, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the first arc-villain that Kate will face as Batwoman will be a (view spoiler)[ghost (hide spoiler)] . Once I got over that trauma (which took a full minute of internally chanting "are you fucking kidding me?") I was able to yet again enjoy the most beautiful superhero comics that has come under my nose. Reading it was as frustrating as the last one due to the immense amounts of abstractions on the illustrator's part but the story is engaging enough for me to continue reading the series. PS: That Cover though <3

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    So this is an excellent urban fantasy. Give me Kate Kane over Batman any day of the week.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Batwoman: Hydrology (Batwoman Issues, 0-5, to be issued as a Trade Paperback in June 2012) After a couple of successful story arcs in 52 and Detective Comics, DC finally got around to launching the Batwoman series as part of their revamp/re-launch of all their titles late last year. The Batwoman series starts immediately after Elegy, carrying over the events and aftereffects of that story arc. Issue 0 is kind of a standalone where Batman is stalking Batwoman in order to figure out who she is a Batwoman: Hydrology (Batwoman Issues, 0-5, to be issued as a Trade Paperback in June 2012) After a couple of successful story arcs in 52 and Detective Comics, DC finally got around to launching the Batwoman series as part of their revamp/re-launch of all their titles late last year. The Batwoman series starts immediately after Elegy, carrying over the events and aftereffects of that story arc. Issue 0 is kind of a standalone where Batman is stalking Batwoman in order to figure out who she is and whether she’s an ally or a menace. It serves as an introduction and transition for Batman fans who may not have warmed up to the idea of Batwoman The actual Hydrology story arc starts with Issue 1, with Batwoman confronting a ghostlike woman who has been stealing young children from their homes. There are six children who have drowned and thirteen more that are missing. The only clue that Kate and the Gotham City Police Department (actually Maggie Sawyer, Kate’s romantic interest) is an urban legend of La Llorona, or Weeping Woman, that tells of a woman who drowned her own children and then herself, only to return as a vengeful spirit who steals children. There are quite few more plotlines being woven together in the series – some which will be resolved in this arc, others that will carry on through the rest of the series and this gives the writers a chance to further develop both the characters and the arcs to make some interesting reading. Kate’s main goal is to solve the kidnappings and return the children to their parents, but at the same time she is struggling with the guilt and anger over what happened in Elegy, her ambivalence around training her cousin Bette as a sidekick, developing a relationship with Maggie, the arrival of a new and unknown crime cartel setting off underworld massacres, being approached by Batman and being hunted by the Department of Extranormal Affairs. Sounds like a lot, but the writers balance it all quite well, and things dovetail quite nicely with the impact of one subplot affecting the others. At times, Kate can be a bit of an asshole, especially with her cousin, but at the same time you can see the pressure she’s under as she takes on more responsibility and risks. The art is great – all my positive comments from Elegy still stand – fantastic action scenes with some mesmerizing panels. I’m happy to see that Maggie is being drawn a bit less stiff and stilted and the artwork lets you see a bit more of her character in some of her scenes. Together, Maggie and Kate have a much better flow and they seem much more comfortable on the page (if that makes any sense). In the first few issues, Kate (out of costume) is portrayed as pale … vampiresque pale … which I found a bit distracting especially in a club scene where she all but glowed in the dark. This appears to be resolving in the later issues and the colourists are starting to pink her up a bit so she looks a bit less like she should be in the Twilight series. Overall reaction: I’m enjoying the series more than Elegy arc that was featured in Detective Comics. Kate has more room to grow in her own series and the plots are allowed to expand and intertwine. The artwork is still stellar. I’m going to be visiting the comic shop on a monthly basis now.

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