In the 1920s, some guy in Gotham wants to get back at an artist, or maybe he's the artist… I don't know, this guy wants to get back at someone, and to do so, decides to hang himself, making the guy he's trying to get revenge on "wonder in despair at what happened." It'll probably be relevant at some point. Moving to the present, that guy on the cover, who is probably Wolf Spider, is in the process of stealing some paintings, and old man walks in and opens fire, but Spider sticks him with some poison darts, and reminds the dying man that he fired first.
At some point later, Kate is at an art gala with Maggie, which is being held by one of Kate's old friends, Evan, who is some sort of hotshot in the art world. Maggie has to leave for work, Evan tells Kate she's a keeper, and then they chat for bit. Evan asks Kate if she knows anything about the Hollis (the dude who got killed) case, overhearing he was poisoned. It's at this point Bette shows up, she speaks with Evan who eventually excuses himself, then she convinces Kate into having a little "fun."
As Kate and Bette are patrolling Gotham, they intercept a security alert about a break-in, and sure enough come to find this Wolf Spider character attempting another art heist. Wolf Spider has some moves, as he disposes of Bette pretty easily, but let's be honest, it's not her book, so whatever… Hawkfire is still a stupid name. Kate puts up a better fight, but ends up getting stuck with the darts and kicked out a window anyways, because CLIFFHANGER!
Well, let's address the elephant in the room. Yes, this is the new creative team, and they are not Williams or Blackman, but they did really well. Andreyko wrote all the characters well, and came up with an interesting premise for the new arc. Meanwhile, I've always been a big fan of Haun, and his art definitely fits a character like Batwoman, who has a little darker edge to her compared to say Batgirl. It was an entertaining first issue, and much more of a stronger start than say the Zero Year issue.
Can we please stop ending issues with someone being kicked out of a window? It's become such a cliché at this point. Not a huge deal, but I'm just tired of it.
I thought the issue could be a little tighter, the scenes with Kate and Evan seemed to go on a bit more than (seemingly) necessary. I say "seemingly" because I feel like there's a good chance that Evan is probably Wolf Spider, but we'll see.
While I said I was a fan of Haun's work, I do think his faces to sort of all blend together. They express and emote well, so there's that to balance it out.
The Bottom Line:
Yeah, what happened to this title was kind of fucked up, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend I thought it was perfect before, or that Andreyko and Haun don't deserve a fair shot. If you're willing to get past the drama, you'll find that Batwoman has been left in very capable hands, but is also going in a direction unique to this creative team. It's important that this title went in a different direction, because if DC had this team immediately follow up on the plot that was left dangling, it'd be insulting to the previous team and readers alike… It'll be an interesting Annual to review in April, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Regardless, aside from a few small blemishes here and there, overall this was a very strong issue for the new creative team that accomplishes what it needed to in order to establish a new direction.