Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SPOILERS: Batwoman #28

So Maggie's daughter saw a beat up and bloody woman in her mother's bathroom late at night, and it scared her. Everyone's sort of freaked out, Kate tries to apologize to Maggie, who doesn't say anything, just brings Jamie back to bed. So some time later, with the beating Wolf Spider put on her interfering with her personal life, Kate puts the beat down on some thugs, looking for anyone who knows who Wolf Spider is, as a form of stress release... It doesn't work.

Kate, still a little beat-up, decides to talk to Maggie at work, and heads down to the GCPD, where she sees her old friend Evan, who also looks like he got beat up. Turns out Evan got some of his art stolen, and was beaten and tied-up by the thief. Evan mentions his krav maga training didn't do any help, evident by his broken nose... hey, remember that time Batwoman broke Wolf Spider's nose in issue #26? Yeeeeeah... Anyways, Evan looks away for one second to ask a police officer something, and Kate disappears to go find Maggie.

Unfortunately, when she approaches Maggie's door, Jamie walks out, and the two meet again. Jamie isn't dumb, and knows Kate is her mother's girlfriend, but tells Kate that she scared her. Kate tells Jamie that they scared each other, after properly introducing herself, but then Maggie shows up, and tells Jamie to go get some food with another police officer while they talk.

So Kate and Maggie have big relationship talk, which ends up with Maggie wanting Kate to see a psychiatrist, believing she's dealing with post-tramatic stress. Kate does the whole "you think I'm crazy now?" and "is this an ultimatum?" bit, but Maggie corrects Kate by saying she's suggesting it because she loves her, but also protecting herself from her ex-husband who is looking for any reason to gain full custody of Jamie. Kate understands, but leaves the office struggling not to cry.

Elsewhere, we see Nathan Grantham, the guy who hired Wolf Spider in a lab, trying to find something under the paintings that were stolen. Frustrated, Grantham just rips up the painting, which he believes to be worthless, to find a map of Gotham underneath the image.

Kate continues to work steam off in her base when Bette finally gets in touch with her over the computer. Turns out Bette has some broken ribs and is sidelined as Hawkfire for a bit, but has done some research into the paintings that were stolen, finding out that they're all from one artist named Alden Eisenstadt, whose work isn't all that acclaimed. That said, while Eisenstadt's paintings were the only ones taken, Wolf Spider could have taken much more valuable paintings within the vicinity of Eisenstadt's, but didn't... which means there's something to Eisenstadt's paintings that they need to figure out.

Kate and Bette are going to need to figure it out soon, because there are only two paintings left for Wolf Spider to get... One of them is located at Arkham Asylum, and the other one is held within the Kane estate.


The Good:

This issue was a great mix between Kate's personal life and "nightlife." The Wolf Spider mystery progressed nicely, we learned why (sort of) he's after the paintings, and we basically learned that Wolf Spider = Evan. How much you want to bet Evan comes knocking at the Kane door asking if he can buy the painting to replace the one he had stolen? ...I bet that's gonna happen. But anyways, stepping into the personal side of things, everything between Kate and Maggie feels very natural and believable. The problem with a lot of comic book romances are that often times, characters are just thrown together because... The key current example of this should be pretty obvious, but I digress. Kate and Maggie on the other hand feel like they truly should be together, and Andreyko portrays Maggie's care for Kate very well. But what I also liked about Maggie's suggestion towards Kate, is that there was another deeper element to the notion that Kate should get some help, and that's the fact that Maggie is also a mother, looking to protect her daughter. So there's actually true motivation behinds these characters, their relationship and why they act certain ways towards each other... Rather than "WOULDN'T IT BE COOL IF THESE TWO SUPER HEROES DATED?!"

Finally, let's not forget Jeremy Haun's work on this issue. He's been killing it since taking over the book, just really nailing the look of Batwoman both in and out of costume. I might even say I prefer the way Haun draws Kate as a civilian to her as Batwoman, he just really had a great sense of unique details in Kate's civilian appearance, like unique wardrobes that really fit her personality well. I continue to be really happy Haun is back at DC, working in Gotham specifically.

The Bad:

You know what, not a whole lot to complain about this issue.

The Bottom Line:

This issue was probably my favorite issue of Batwoman in quite some time. Andreyko and Haun hit that perfect mix of personal and vigilante drama, not relying too much on Kate's life as Batwoman or vis versa. While the ratio between personal life to hero life was great, it all wouldn't mean much without reason for the reader's to care, and the scenes between Maggie, Kate and Jamie in this issue really felt like a natural and authentic relationship, which is sort of rare in superhero books these days. Aside from a seemingly rushed Zero Year issue, I'd say Marc Andreyko's run on Batwoman so far has been really strong, this issue being his best yet.


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