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Batwoman Annual #1 - This Blood is Thick, Conclusion: Brothers and Sisters Review

3

Let’s go back to that little unresolved matter of Batwoman VS Batman, shall we? Note: This review takes place directly after Batwoman #24.

The Good

One of the things that longtime Batwoman fans were clamoring for after the changing of the guard on the title was an explanation to what, exactly, had happened at the climax of Batwoman and Batman’s throwdown as well as what had happened with Alice and Bette. The former two seemed very evenly matched, and this issue picks right up after the cliffhanger of issue 24, and I have to give Marc Andreyko some credit: he picked up a very difficult storyline and ran with it. There was no way everyone was walking away from this fight happy: either Batman fans saw their guy beaten by someone else wearing his mantle or fans of the book and Batwoman saw some interloper take down their star, and I’m honestly impressed with the direction it went. The fight itself is amazing to watch and they really give the impression that both combatants are holding on by their nails and being pushed to their limits. Meanwhile, the mission to rescue Beth/Alice is fairly compelling in its own right, giving Firehawk something to do and giving us more of the Murder of Crows.

Trevor McCarthy handles the Batwoman/Batman interactions and he lives up to his previous work on the title. The fight between the two of them has a glorious fluidity and epic scale that would be hard to capture or get invested in, but McCarthy’s eye for detail and subtlety allows the reader to dive right back in. His visuals are sharp and dark, giving everything an air of almost supernatural mystery and wonder. Moritat handles the Bete sections as well as when the storylines come together and his visuals are very different from McCarthy’s, giving a much muddier, stylized look at the characters, but it’s an interesting aesthetic that works a great deal of the time. The sole colorist credited is Guy Major, but the two styles are incredibly different, and the colors change as well, so either someone’s uncredited or Major is absolutely stellar at adjusting his colors to two very different styles. Either way, the colors on the issue look great, with a darkly diverse and popping palette despite the issue taking place only at night.

The Bad

A lot of the dialog in this issue comes off as stilted, particularly in the scenes involving Bette and the union of the two storylines. Not only is there a potentially amazing twist that winds up going absolutely nowhere, but we lose track of the Murder of Crows, who get relegated to background figures, and Mr. Bones vacillates between steadfast strategist and barking madman. There's also a TON of text during the breakneck, intense fight that grinds the pace of it to a halt. There are also some moments where Batman is written as far, far more confrontational or even arrogant than he should. Batman's always been a very straightforward person, but there are times he comes off as a completely egotistical jerk in this.

Moritat’s art is good, great even, but it doesn’t fit the tone that McCarthy establishes at the beginning, and throughout this book. His art’s very horror-pulpy in the same vein of someone like Richard Corben, and that doesn’t fit terribly well with the air of mystery and kinetic force that the rest of the story operates on. Ironically it would have been perfect for one of the strange, one-off issues that used to crop up in this series from time-to-time. There’s an odd weightlessness to a lot of it that lessens the impact of both what we’re seeing and the action taking place on each page. The transitions from one to the other are also incredibly jarring.

The Verdict

This answered most of the questions I had leading into the current run of Batwoman, but I still found myself somewhat disappointed in a creative team that I have seen capable of great things separately. It’s by no means a bad issue, and I actually highly recommend picking it up if you were a fan of the previous team if, for no other reason, than to get SOME kind of closure and to be able to move into the new run with greater continuity, but there are definitely problems. Characters are overly-expositional and major plot points are quickly discarded, but that battle is most definitely a sight to behold and the reckoning of the D.E.O. is still satisfying to watch unfold.

8 Comments
Posted by SupBatz

I miss Williams and Blackman :/

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@supbatz said:

I miss Williams and Blackman :/

Me too. :/

I haven't read this annual yet though.

Posted by fables87

@supbatz said:

I miss Williams and Blackman :/

I do too. Just don't want to read the comic anymore since DC decided not to do their story.

Posted by KingsCastle

I would have rated it higher Corey. It could be that I was really psyched to see this storyline resolved but I really enjoyed this issue tremendously. There was a lot of ground to cover from the previous writing team's departure and the team who replaced them did an amazing job. So much happened in this issue and even for an annual story it felt like a lot. There were some really great action scenes and intense moments to read. It was really fun.

I liked Batman's depiction in this. I actually thought he was less arrogant than in other depictions I've seen him. A lot of other interpretations give him a "this is my city and what I say goes" type of mentality but in this issue, he was very reasonable even taking a knock out blow from Batwoman in an attempt to work together with her. It was definitely a really enjoyable storyline and my number 1 pick for this week.

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

So, how did the fight turn out? I am a trade waiter, but I need to know now. If she really knocks Batman out I wouldn't know if I liked that. As cool as Batwoman is, she doesn't have the skills and training to do that to Bruce.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

I'm going to start trolling all the bat-fans with this.

Side-note. I yeah I miss Williams, but the book is still solid. It only feels bad trying to make comparisons.

So don't do it :p

I'm still gonna support the character. Though the art felt very schizophrenic in this issue.

Posted by SupBatz

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

@supbatz said:

I miss Williams and Blackman :/

Me too. :/

I haven't read this annual yet though.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad. Andreyko does a good job covering loose ends. And I liked a lot of the issue. But some of the dialogue was just awkward. The art was all over the place (I'm assuming it is due to there being two artists; McCarthy was solid, but the other artist was jarring). And there were a lot of quick fixes to long-time issues. Alice, for example, is a character I've been looking forward to getting some information on. But she disappears so quickly, and without even a hint of her history and what turned her from Beth to Alice over the years. I'm hoping the storyline is picked up again at some point.

I liked Batman's depiction in this. I actually thought he was less arrogant than in other depictions I've seen him. A lot of other interpretations give him a "this is my city and what I say goes" type of mentality but in this issue, he was very reasonable even taking a knock out blow from Batwoman in an attempt to work together with her. It was definitely a really enjoyable storyline and my number 1 pick for this week.

Agreed. I was pleased with Batman's depiction and with the fight between him and Batwoman. Though the art was kind of weird wherever Batman was involved, in my opinion.

So, how did the fight turn out? I am a trade waiter, but I need to know now. If she really knocks Batman out I wouldn't know if I liked that. As cool as Batwoman is, she doesn't have the skills and training to do that to Bruce.

If you're sure you want to be spoiled: There's no real victor. Batman allows himself to be captured by Kate so that he can try to convince her to let him help her against the DEO. But as it turns out, Bruce was free the whole time and ready to beat Kate down if she didn't listen to reason.

Side-note. I yeah I miss Williams, but the book is still solid. It only feels bad trying to make comparisons.

So don't do it :p

I'm still gonna support the character. Though the art felt very schizophrenic in this issue.

Agreed on the art. And true, Andreyko did a pretty good job with what he had to work with. I felt like some of the resolutions were unsatisfying (Alice and Chase, primarily. And while Bones' backstory was solid enough to pass, I felt like it could have been handled better.), but I'm hoping those storylines get picked up again later on in Andreyko's run.

Posted by LeGrouch

I was really hoping for more from the Murder of Crows. Maybe a spin off called Hawkfire and the Murder of Crows, like Aquaman and The Others.