Note: we’re doing all our DC reviews in separate posts starting this week. To find the reviews of all the other issues from November 15 and previous weeks, check our index.
Batwoman #9 – Marguerite Bennett, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: A walk through Kate Kane’s psyche
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS RESIDE IN THESE REVIEWS.
Ray: Much like Nightwing this week, Batwoman pairs Kate Kane with one of her arch-enemies as they battle to survive a mutual threat. Unlike Nightwing, though, Kate’s struggle isn’t so much an action movie as a horror movie, as she and Colony Prime fight against their own minds. Scarecrow has trapped them in their own personal horrorscape, and new artist Fernando Blanco delivers some of the most terrifying scenes of the series. We see the issue entirely through Kate’s eyes (with a few exceptions for scenes for other characters), but what’s interesting is that Colony Prime is undergoing his own, different battle at the same time, that we only get hints of. Kate’s, though, is a battle against a giant Scarecrow in a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
Colony Prime as a villain hasn’t gotten quite the character development as Blockbuster, either here or in Detective Comics. But that changes this issue, as we learn about his family and what drives him – as well as what his greatest fear is. He’s an intriguing character, a militaristic villain whose bravado may hide that he’s far less sure about Jacob Kane’s dogma than he lets on. He and Kate never particularly like each other, but over the course of the issue, they begin to tolerate and understand each other. Where the issue really excels, though, is in the way it shows Kate’s personal battle against her demons, until she’s actually able to physically turn the table on Scarecrow. Scarecrow gets used a lot, but this is one of my favorite stories using him for a while.
Corrina: This issue provides a great showcase for what makes Kate Kane unique–namely that she’s generally free of the horrific angst that drives many heroes. Yes, she’s suffered as much tragedy–perhaps more–than Bruce Wayne but she’s faced it head on as an adult. True, that took her some time during her lost phase, but she grew up, perhaps more at home and with a sense of who she is than even her father, who clearly still blames himself for the losses in his family. Why else would Jacob Kane have tossed morality aside for convenience? Fear.
Fear is not what drives Kate, as the issue makes clear. “And I stand.”
Fear does still, sadly, drive Colony Prime, which is why he fails to see the truth. In that, he has more in common with Jacob Kane than his supposed “sibling” Kate, though she rejects that term. It appears with the cliffhanger, that we will be seeing a resolution of sorts to both of their relationships with Jacob.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this issue from DC Comics for review.