Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SPOILERS: Batwoman #21

Remember how Killer Croc turned into giant beast during that arc with Wonder Woman? Whatever happened to that? Well, he did major damage to the city, but in the chaos, he was overlooked, and instead of ending back up in Arkham, he was taken in by those animal creature members of the Religion of Crime... He also showed up in Katana? But screw that noise. While under the protection of the RoC, while he healed, Croc took a liking to scaly lady named Claire, who took a liking to him too.

Once Croc is finally healed, one of the RoC members speaks with him, about the people who now lives with, how they can transform into their animal shapes. Croc doesn't think he's like them, but this guy manages to convince Croc that he is, that he's much greater than them all, that the Hydra is his transformation. He wants Croc to lead the sect of the RoC, but first, he must kill Batwoman with a ceremonial blade.

Croc gets a tip that Maggie Sawyer has Batwoman's scent all over her, so he thinks that Maggie could possibly be Batwoman, and stakes her out, and is quite a bit surprised to find Maggie lock lips with Batwoman. Nevertheless, he spots his prey, and attacks. Unfortunately for Croc, he things Batwoman will just protect Maggie, but Maggie doesn't quite need any protection, and opens fire on Croc, but her handgun bullets don't do much... but the shotgun in her car does.

The blast to the back/neck of Croc wakes something up inside of him, the Hydra. The beast inside him has once again awakened, as he starts to hear his name "Waylon" called to him over and over again. Croc struggles to repress the Hydra, and starts to lose it, but nevertheless continues to attack. Croc finally comes to his senses once Hawkfire shows up, and he realizes if he kills Batwoman, it's not going to stop, there will be a reckoning, and more heroes will come after him. Croc comes up with a distraction, and makes his escape, all while flashing back to his first kill as a boy.

When he returns to the RoC's base, the guy who gave him the task of killing Batwoman asks if he was able to accomplish his feat, but Croc has a beter idea, and impales the dude, claiming he's going to get them all killed. Croc then embraces his new love Claire (with quite the belly) and tells her that they're getting out of Gotham.


The Good: 

Francesco Francavilla, perhaps you've heard of him? He's a spectacular artist, who just so happened to draw this issue. Francavilla's pulpy style fit perfectly for a story starring Killer Croc. Francavilla gave off a pretty big old Universal Monsters vibe, which was just great. I'd pretty much read anything by Francavilla at this point. 

On the story side of things, Williams and Blackman did Croc a lot of justice. Croc's an odd character, he can be treated as pretty much just what he is... a big dude with scales and nothing more, or he can be treated like a three dimensional character with some actual meat to him... Williams and Blackman hit that last mark. The contrast between what Croc says out loud and what he's thinking offers up a depiction of a character who is a lot deeper than he seems, and gives him quite a bit of weight. Killer Croc isn't a character with a whole lot of great stories to back him up, but this is definitely one.

The Bad: 

Can't say there was anything I disliked about this issue.

The Bottom Line:

I knew I was going to enjoy this issue simply for the fact I'm a huge fan of Francesco Francavilla's art, wasn't quite sure what to expect with Croc, but knew it could go in one of the two directions previously mentioned. I don't want to say I was surprised that it went in the good direction, but nonetheless, I was very pleased. Killer Croc is a character who when used well, can be quite the compelling villain, and I'm glad that's what we got in this interlude issue.



  1. Francavilla's art reminds me more and more of Hugo Pratt's later work... If you don't know him, he's the creator of Corto Maltese. You should check out some of his comics, especially "the golden house of samarkanda" or "fable of venice".

  2. Damn shame that JHW3 and company had Killer Croc stolen from them for some reality-punch in the Villains Month issue. I would much rather see JH3, Blackman, and Francavilla in September (but I'm sure I'll pick it up anyway because I'm a Bat-sap).