Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SPOILERS: Batwoman #25

Six years ago, Kate Kane is still a cadet at West Point when she gets an unexpected phone call form her father, informing her that her Uncle Philip has died. Yes, that's Bruce's Uncle Philip too, so once and for all, that family connection has been made.

Kate isn't a fan of Gotham, as she associates it with death, and being that she's back for a funeral, her feelings about it still stand. While the funeral ends, Alfred spots Kate, the two speak a bit before Alfred leaves for the reception at Wayne Manor, hoping to see Kate there as well.

At the reception, Kate steps out to get some fresh air, and is later found in the grave yard by Bruce. The two speak a bit about their family and death, until a young, and fairly immature Bette interrupts them. The two go inside where Bruce gives a final toast to his uncle, and tells everyone they should get back to their homes to prepare for the oncoming storm.

At Kate's house, she speaks with her father about potentially doing her duty and helping those in the city, but he reminders her that she's home as a civilian, but that doesn't stop Kate, who sneaks out, jacks one of Bruce's motorcycles, and goes into the city.

It doesn't take long for Kate to find some trouble brewing, as she spots a jewelry store robbery with the help of a young kid (whose parents own the store being robbed, but have had their flight home delayed) making a "help" sign out of tape on a window.

Kate sneaks her way up to the kid, trying to get him away quietly, but is eventually noticed by the robbers. One of them rushes her with a gun, but she disarms him, takes the bag of jewels, and jump out a window into a pool below, where a bullet fired at her grazes her arm.

Kate plays dead in the pool, and surprises the robbers when they drag her out and after beating on them a bit, the police arrive, one of which is Maggie Sawyer, in from Metropolis to provide aid to the GCPD.

Kate's father later picks her up from the hospital, after getting her gunshot wound tended to. Kate tries to say she's sorry, but her father doesn't feel like it's the right place to have the discussion. After sharing a passing glance with Maggie on her way out, Kate soon falls asleep in her father's car, leaving him to only say: "Good soldier."


The Good:

I like that we finally got the Kane/Wayne connection. It's been flirted with for quite awhile, and I'm just glad that trigger was pulled. If Kate ever discovers who Batman is, that could lead to some very interesting stories to be told. Marc Andreyko also has a good grasp on who Kate is, and how to write her, so that should hopefully settle a few people down going forward.

The Bad:

This issue was slapped together at very short notice, and it shows. Aside from the couple of pages Trevor McCarthy drew, the art is inconsistent and underwhelming. I don't know if you could "blame" anyone involved with the actual production of this issue, but at the very least, you can call it a product of bad circumstances. 

Consistency issues aside, like Batgirl and Nightwing before it, there just isn't much to the story when it comes to the Zero Year setting. City is dark, storm is coming, would be hero does something heroic. The end. It's just rather plain.

The Bottom Line:

Given everything surrounding this book and how this issue came to be, I can tell you, they could have done a lot worse. There are consistency issues, the Zero Year story is rather uninspired, but writer Marc Andreyko does demonstrate that he knows this character, cares, and respects what came before, rather than being someone who treats this as a just another job. It'd be a mistake to use this issue as a gauge to predict where the title will go from here, as its particular problems aren't necessarily indicative of anything in the longterm, but the positives that were presented do provide some hope that everything is going to be okay with Batwoman



  1. While this one, along with Nightwing and Batgirl, weren't really special to each character, I do believe they highlight the everyday heroism that this event is based around.

  2. As to the Wayne-Kane connection, the best I can understand it, Martha (Bruce's mother) and Bruce's uncle Phillip are unquestionably siblings, children of Bruce's grandparents Roderick and Elizabeth Kane. Jacob (Kate's father) was either sibling to Martha and Phillip, or a child of Phillip or another Kane sibling (making Bruce and Kate either first or second cousins). There is apparently at least one other Kane sibling or child, Nathan (either Bruce's uncle or cousin) who was married to Katherine Webb (Kathy Kane), the first Batwoman, later Batman's partner/lover. (The Kathy Webb/Kane parts of the story, as well as the parts about Bruce's grandparents assumes that Grant Morrison's Wayne/Kane family history from Batman & Robin, Return of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, Inc. are all canonical in the New 52.) Confused? Me too.