Comic Vine Review

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Batwoman #25 - Zero Year: ...Or High Water Review

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We take a moment to explore where Kate Kane was that fateful night when the lights went out in Gotham.

The Good

I’m going to try as hard as I can to judge this book on its own merits and not let how we all got here affect my viewpoint because I, of course, don’t know the entire story. What I still CAN do is base the quality of the book on previous issues and in that way I think Marc Andreyko has had a solid introduction to the title. He’s gotten to the heart of what makes Kate Kane such a determined, focused and strong person and he writes the supporting cast very well. There's a lot of very nuanced, interesting dialog. Like many Year Zero tie-ins, Kate has a good reason to be in Gotham, and in fact has a better-than-most reason to be there, so her presence doesn’t feel forced or too convenient. We even see some glimpses of Maggie Sawyer and the kind of person she was six years ago, which is actually quite delightful.

As for the art, take a deep breath, the pencils are handled by Trevor McCarthy, Andrea Mutti, Pat Olliffe and Jim Fern while Jay Leisten and Tom Nguyen tackle inks and Guy Major unites everyone under the banner of coloring. The fact that there are so many artists on this title is apparent, but the quality is good across the board. The coloring by Guy Major deserves a special mention as it really does help create a cohesive tone across a LOT of different hands.

The Bad

First of all: the solicitation for this book is wrong, but not in the way it often is: this is definitely a Zero Year tie-in. The solicitation made it sound like the fight between Batwoman and Batman was to continue. Not the book’s fault, but worth mentioning. I’m just going to come out and say it: this issue feels like it has no reason to exist. Not only are we being left on a MASSIVE cliffhanger from the previous issue, but there’s nothing here that wasn’t covered in the #0 issue. I mean SERIOUSLY, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be taking away from this. Maggie is only on a few pages and she and Kate barely even cross paths, we don’t learn anything of significance about Batwoman’s past (she was always determined and focused...SURPRISE!) and this feels like padding. And as well as Andreyko writes Kate, he doesn’t have that same biting, sardonic wit in the inner-monologue, though I’m hoping that changes next issue.

I mentioned the art being good across all the changes, and while that’s true, it doesn’t make the changes any less jarring. They happen arbitrarily (though sometimes they occur when a scene changes, but not always) and small things like the lighting and character blocking are different from one page to the next. It’s never a major thing, but it definitely permeates the entire issue.

The Verdict

I’m not ready to write off Andreyko yet (see what I did there?...huh?...WRITE...off...HUH?) as this issue doesn’t feel like it was well planned, and that’s not necessarily the creative team’s fault, I honestly think they did really well with what they had. Still, I have to review the issue I read and I really can’t recommend this book, even to fans of Batwoman as it’s simply a retread of content and characterization that we’ve already seen.

17 Comments
Posted by dreamfall31

I'll give Andreyko a chance despite my problems with how DC caused Williams and Blackman to leave, but I'll probably skip this and see how the rest of the series goes on.

Posted by lifeboy

Schroeder, noooo........ :(

Posted by 2cool4fun

I want to get into this series, but i hear that the book just started sucking, most people say they will spot reading after issue 26 or have already stopped, so my question is what went wrong? Should i just read the first 26 issues ( including #0 ) or should i just jump in after issue 26 when the batwoman batman fight ends?

Posted by Kraya

@2cool4fun: What happened was that the previous creative team left the title over editorial issues. The editor(s) always changed things at the last minute and forbade the writers to have Kate and Maggie (aka Batwoman and her girlfriend) get married - which would have been a realistic thing to picture after they let them get engaged in the book. Additionally, Didio stated that DC's heroes should not live happy private lives, so I expect them to somehow dissolve the engagement in one of the future issues and drive the two apart again.

The fight with Batman will be resolved in the annual, according to Andreyko.

If you do want to read Batwoman, I can recommend buying the Batwoman: Elegy trade and Batwoman Vol. 1-4 (4 is scheduled for May next year, I think). Vol. 2 is not that good, but the quality picks up again with Vol. 3.

Edited by manwithoutshame

Maybe we'll get a Batwoman annual or something that completes the previous arc.

Posted by bladewolf

I want to give Andreyko a shot, but think I'll start reading with next issue.

Edited by Kraya
Posted by RaggedScarecrow

Not exactly a promising start, but hopefully it gets better.

Posted by 2cool4fun

@kraya: Wow the editors really suck, and didio makes some very stupid decisions...

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

wow that's a shame. And another Tie -in -__- Zero Year. Can't wait until it's over.

Edited by asjmooney

I didn't think it was that bad. I especially enjoyed the interaction with the Kanes and Waynes. Very interesting stuff. This was one of the less forced zero year tie ins I've read. Batwoman is one of my favourite characters and I just hope people continue to support the character irrelevant of all the gossip.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

This was disappointing, but I'm not really surprised. The art is inconsistent, and some of it wasn't very good. It seems to only exist to tell us that Kate is related to Bruce(which I dislike), and they just threw in a pointless generic story to pad it out. Not sure why Maggie had to be in it either, or why they named the storm "Rene". Was that supposed to be a joke or something. Also there's the problem of the timeline, as in the timeline we're used to, Kate would have left West Point almost/around 8 years ago, so her still being their 6 years ago means she now either hasn't been Batwoman as long, or her time before her training adventure has been shortened.

They had to rush this issue, and the end result doesn't seem worth it. For me, they could have got the same result by just having Kate make a cameo or even just be mentioned in a Batman Zero Year issue.

This was the first series I chose to read monthly, and has been my favourite ever since, and it's sad to see it come to this. :(

Edited by LordoftheNorth

my problem with the book is that bruce and kate are now cousins which is stupid

Posted by Solomonwreath

Honestly I thought the issue was unremarkable. I didn't take issue with them making Kate and Bruce cousins but that's because of her last name and all of this two batwomen with the same name thing that I have been trying to figure out for a while now (but that's a story for another time). Overall the issue is worth a read between your more preferred comics.

Posted by Canderia718

Andreyko was put in a tough position and he did what he could. The end result being a needless tie in that added nothing to the character or storyline. Hopefully in issue 26 he'll start making his own (and hopefully positive) impact on the character. Also I cant wait for the Annual.