As I mentioned in my recent Nightwing review, the main Batman book will be sidelined from my rotation for the time being, and as such, I've been experimenting with other Bat-Books to fill that void. That brings us to Batwoman. The only thing I know about Batwoman going into this is that she was originally created back in 50's for the sole purpose of making Batman and Robin seem not gay and now she herself is a lesbian. Essentially, she is a tremendous F U to homophobes and conservatives everywhere. As a great supporter of LGBT equality, I find that both hilarious and incredibly awesome.
As cool as all of that is, foreknowledge of the character proved to be less of a factor than I anticipated as this issue does not focus on it's title character, but rather, on Killer Croc. Background's a tad hazy, but from what I've been able to piece together, Croc was possessed by Medusa and turned into a mindless monster. Batwoman and Wonder Woman took out Medusa, and Croc fled, only to be discovered by a cult of sewer dwelling animal people who think Croc is their Messiah.
With that in mind, we open with Croc in bed with his new squeeze, a lizard woman named Claire. In a moment I particularly like, we learn that Claire is actually Croc's first, and he does genuinely care for her. Things seem to be going well for Croc, but the catch is that he has to kill Batwoman in retaliation for her having killed one of their people or something. Croc's search for Batwoman leads her to Maggie Sawyer, Batwoman's lover. Also, Croc's reaction upon learning Batwoman's sexual orientation when the two kiss is quite entertaining. Croc fights the two, and while Croc acts like he normally does, his narration gives us much deeper insight into his character, an excellent touch.
Croc has an opportunity to kill her but thinks about it. He has finally found a place where he is happy and a woman he loves. If he kills Batwoman, her allies will hunt him down until he's either thrown in arkham or killed. His love for Claire being too great, he flees the battle and goes back to Claire, saying that they must leave Gotham and go somewhere that they'll be safe and at peace.
I gotta say, this issue was a very pleasant surprise. I've always liked Killer Croc and it's nice to see a little bit of what makes him tick. The narration is absolutely brilliant. As it's written we see that yes, Croc is a murderer, a criminal and a thug, and he makes no apologies for it, but by the same token, he's a bit smarter than most give him credit for and at heart, would give up that life if it meant he could be left at peace.
I was originally going to say the artwork left a lot to be desired, but now that I've had a chance to let it sink in, it's grown on me considerably. The style is very fitting for a character like Croc. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how that is, but bottom line, it works well for this story. Even the panel construction is brilliant, resembling Lizard scales.
Not Much, this issue was really good.
Seeing as how this is an interlude issue, I'm not sure if this is the standard to which the series is held, but nonetheless, I'll be keeping this title in my rotation for a while, just to see where it goes.