Batwoman #11 – K. Perkins, Writer; Scott Godlewski, Artist; John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Liked the Insight Into Batwoman
Ray: Batwoman #11 is a fill-in issue by Superwoman writer K. Perkins that pits Batwoman against my least-favorite Batman villain, but is somewhat saved by a few nice character beats that help to humanize Kate in one of her most brutal stories. When the issue opens, Julia Pennyworth is missing, having been taken in a bloody kidnapping by one of Professor Pyg’s dollotrons. She’s not the only one, as a young tourist is also snatched up by the sadistic minions. They find themselves in a cage overseen by Pyg, who plans to use his special process to create twisted masks out of human bone and flesh. Kate, meanwhile, is on the hunt for her friend but is also hunted by her memories of the people she couldn’t save – especially Beth. A sweet flashback to a past Halloween shows how far Kate would go to make her sister happy, and that reminds me we haven’t caught up with “Alice” in a while.
This is a very horror-influenced issue, with many scenes taking place in Pyg’s laboratory as Julia is forced to watch as her fellow captives are experimented on and turned into Pyg’s twisted minions. Of course, she manages to stall him long enough for Kate to arrive and ambush Pyg. The final battle is bloody, a close-quarters fist-fight with a hero who has no tolerance for Pyg’s usual tactics – unlike other Gotham heroes, Kate doesn’t seem to talk before she punches, and that works here. But overall, the plot here is lacking the nuance of Bennett’s run. It’s just a straight-forward supervillain-focused issue, perfectly readable but doesn’t really set up too much. I imagine someone with a lot more tolerance for Professor Pyg will enjoy it more than I do.
Corrina: Pyg is one of my least favorite villains as well but I object to Ray’s asssertion that this issue lacks nuance or depth. While Bennett’s work allows the art to carry the emotions of the story, this sometimes has the disadvantage of making Kate seem remote. But the Kate in this issue is anything but remote. Yes, there is the flashback with the sisters, which is cute, but there is also Kate’s doubt about dealing with her past, including pushing past trauma. This is a change from Bennett’s Batwoman, who has regrets in her past but no doubts in her ability to handle the challenges of the present.
It felt good to peek under the ultra-confident facade, especially as Kate’s doubts were triggered by letting down a close friend who counted on her for protection, something that obviously has parallels to what happened to her sister. I viewed Pyg as somewhat incidental to this exploration of self and thus didn’t mind his presence as much as I usually do.
I wondered in my Superwoman review what Perkins might do with more of a free hand. This fill-in issue obviously doesn’t show off her skills completely but there is great promise in her writing nevertheless.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.