Batwoman #18 – Marguerite Bennett, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The final issue of Marguerite Bennett’s Batwoman run is also the end of her regular series work for DC at the moment, and that’s something DC needs to fix ASAP. Her Batwoman and Bombshells series have both been extremely strong. This final installment focuses on Kate’s relationship with Renee Montoya, as they team up to take on the Clock King. This obscure Batman/Green Arrow villain has been using mobile robot drones to deliver a mysterious drug that apparently gives people a glimpse of the future, and Kate and Renee’s attempt to infiltrate his gala has gone south in a hurry. Clock King picks Kate out of a crowd and sets the mob of criminals against her, but she quickly escapes and defeats the giant clock robot he has as a bodyguard as well. This is a good, exciting segment, but it’s not the meat of the issue. This comic has largely been about Kate confronting the trauma of her past and finding a way forward, and she easily fends off Clock King’s attempts at psychological warfare.
The second half of the issue is much more personal, as Kate looks back at the events of the series and her time in Batman’s employ, and finds a way forward. The issue is somewhat of an artist showcase, as Fernando Blanco (whose gorgeous art hasn’t gotten enough attention due to having to follow Steve Epting) gives us a series of double-page spreads that show Kate’s past and present. This is the first reference we’ve gotten to Maggie Sawyer in this book, and it feels like that relationship (and the massive controversy over the wedding that wasn’t allowed to happen) overshadowed the passionate, troubled relationship she and Renee had. The ending of this issue doesn’t put all the pieces back together – Kate and Renee are way too complex for that – but it does set in motion the beginning of something new. Batman won’t be thrilled about Kate’s last words on killing, but it makes a lot more sense for her character than Batman’s hard line ever did. This is a gorgeous, character-driven issue that I wish didn’t have to end – and will hopefully get a high-profile relaunch next year when the character heads to TV.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.