I have to start this review, my first in a while, by approaching a subject uncomfortable for some. But seeing how this book features a lesbian as it's hero, I'm sure most people reading this will be fairly open minded, so here we go. Unfortunately, for far too many gay character's, especially superheroes, sometime's a tragic backstory can backfire. Looking at Stryker from Avengers Academy, many felt that him being the victim of sexual abuse as a child and then winding up being gay later in his life could be seen as pretty insensitive, even though I felt the subject was dealt with with a great amount of tact. The problem is, many LGBTQ people take things like this pretty seriously because many straight writers seem to have the urge to make their gay characters the victims of some kind of abuse, be it physical abuse, a strained relationship with a parent of the opposite sex, or any other sort of event that could have "turned them gay", an idea that is terrifyingly inaccurate, and obviously insulting to people of different sexual orientations.
Batwoman, on the other hand, completely bucks this trend in the most beautiful of ways. It's almost sort of tear jerking.
The main focus of this issue is Batwoman's relationship with her father, which is probably one of the few times I've seen a father-daughter relationship that just felt so loving, so heartfelt, so REAL in ANY kind of media. Nowadays, you tend to only see on tv the dopey dad completely unable to even deal with his child's first period, let alone some of the heavy themes in here. Not only that, when Kate Kane finally does drift from her dad, her sexuality is completely established. That alone is such a rarity that it deserves every LGBT friendly award this issue will undoubtedly earn.
The rest of the story focuses on the events surrounding Kate's rise as Batwoman, and while there are some similarities to Batman's motivations, unsurprisingly, it always manages to stay fresh and unique, fitting in perfectly with the theme and tone the rest of the series up to this point has taken. Despite going to some far out places, the central relationship between Kate and her dad is never forgotten, and the last moment really hit me hard.
And the art. Holy **** the art. Williams is back, and in top form. The biggest complaint about this series as a whole has been the dip in quality in the story that happened at the same moment as the art duties changed hands, so seeing these wonderful pencils back in action were a pretty good indication on how much I would enjoy this book as a whole.
Batwoman is EASILY my favorite issue this month, nothing even comes close. Every page, every scene is flawless, and I would highly recommend that anyone skeptical after the second lack-luster arc just shut up and buy this book. It's fantastic.