Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SPOILERS: Batwoman #29

FLASHBACK! Back in lat 20s Gotham, that Eisenstadt is painting a picture for the guy who hired him, Grantham, who as it turns out, is kind of a dick. So once Eisenstadt starts looking around Grantham's office, he finds something in the safe that's shocks him.

In present day, Kate goes to her first therapy session... it doesn't go well. Kate pushes back, is combative and ultimately just not very receptive to the entire idea, storming out early. While all this is happening, Wolf-Spider plans his next heist in Arkham Asylum.

That night, Kate perches outside Maggie's office, and is eventually noticed by Maggie, who tells her to come in. Kate was under the impression that Maggie wanted her space, but Kate is misinterpreting a whole lot of stuff lately, like how Maggie's worrying about her mental health apparently means Maggie thinks she's crazy... It doesn't. The two decide to switch the topic to Wolf-Spider, and Kate decides to head to Arkham once she learns of the next painting's location.

Sure enough, Kate catches Wolf-Spider in the act, and they enter round 2, which Kate is better prepared for. Unfortunately for Kate, round 2 is being held in Arkham Asylum, which gives Wolf-Spider an easy way out via the old "Let's open the cells distraction." Hey man... clichés are clichés for a reason!


The Good:

If there's one thing I enjoy most about Marc Andreyko's time on this book so far, it's that the characterization is extremely solid, and very believable. Even if an issue's story is really straightforward like this one, you can count on it being packed with good, natural sounding dialogue and great characterization.

On the art side of things, Jason Masters fills in for a majority of the book, and while I'm not a fan of fill-in generally speaking, I think Masters does a pretty good job, especially during the Arkham scene where he participates in this title's well documented use of interesting and unique layouts. 

The Bad:

While I think Masters did a generally good job, I think his characters look a lot better in costume than out. Wasn't digging some of the faces he had going in that first scene he illustrated. 

The mystery isn't really a mystery at this point. Unless I'm completely off base, which I'm probably not, it's pretty obvious that Wolf-Spider is Kate's friend Evan, but it seems like they're going for the reveal to the audience at the same time Kate learns of it. Probably would have been more effective if the audience learned of Wolf-Spider's identity before Kate, but who knows... I could be wrong.

The Bottom Line:

This was a pretty straightforward issue, but doesn't suffer from a lack of content. As is the case with the rest of Andreyko's issues of Batwoman, the great characterization is what really sells the book. Kate's personal problems are portrayed convincingly, as is how projects them towards other characters, such as Maggie, who I kind of feel bad for, as she's just trying her best to help Kate, who doesn't really get it. So while the arc may be stretching out the thin mystery a bit too far, and there was some fill-in this month, Batwoman #29 still manages to be a very compelling read from a characterization standpoint.


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