Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SPOILERS: Batwoman #32

A new arc in Batwoman begins, formally introducing Nocturna and Night-Thief to Batwoman's rogues, and throwing an ex-girlfriend into the mix, as Kate's love life remains on somewhat shaky ground. Full write up after the jump.

The Spoilers:

While Maggie is away in Metropolis dealing with her custody battle, Kate and Bette attend a carnival where Kate comes across an ex-girlfriend named Sophie, who stayed in the military and is now working in Gotham. Kate gets out of the awkward situation when Maggie gives her a call, but the two seem miles away (in a metaphorical sense) as Maggie ends the call before Kate can tell her she loves her. Elsewhere in the carnival, the daughter of a recently acquitted Nocturna's latest dead husband watches as her former stepmother searches for husband #5. Daughter of dead husband #4 isn't too pleased, and seems to know someone who may be able to "take care of" Nocturna, once and for all.

Before heading on patrol for the night, Kate stops in at her therapists office unannounced, and briefly talks about Maggie and Sophie with him. She tries to play off that there's no lingering feelings of any sort towards Sophie, but clearly there are. That night Kate just wants to go out and hit someone, but it's relatively quite for Gotham... Not making things better, Bette apparently gave Sophie Kate's number, and there's a voicemail waiting for her, asking about dinner. Good thing Nocturna and her real (young, and slightly jealous) lover planned an art museum heist, as Kate finally has something to occupy her wandering mind. 

When Kate enters the museum, she sees guards that look as if they've been bit by a vampire, and it's not long after that she comes across Nocturna, who looks more monstrous than pretty this time around, and a fight is had. After getting surprised by Nocturna's abilities, Kate ends up getting a few good hits on her, like a batarang to the eye, but is knocked out by a sucker punch delivered by Night-Thief, who arrived after the fight started.

Places unknown (some hotel), angry daughter of dead husband #4 has got her hit man, who she seems to know personally, and is slightly confused by his attire. Knowing that Gotham is all about the theatrics, this dude has given himself a costume and a name: Killshot.


The Review:

Batwoman isn't reinventing the wheel, that's for sure, but despite it playing things a bit safe, I did enjoy the start of this new arc. Nocturna seems like the perfect rogue to add to Batwoman's gallery. Sure, technically Nocturna is a Batman villain, but a very obscure one at that, and one that nobody else is really interested in using. Nocturna fits pretty well in-between Batwoman's past mystical/spooky/whatever outings, and your standard Gotham bad guy, so it'd be nice to see Batwoman sway back towards the supernatural, a bit. Jeremy Haun also illustrates Kate's new(ish) foe quite well, striking a great balance between being sexy/sultry (maybe a little too Catwomanish now that I think about it) and being plane creepy when she goes into vamp mode.

There's were a few things that didn't rub me the right way, so to speak. First, I mentioned this in my preview post about the issue, but man, I really could not go for the "I feel distant from my lover and now the ex is back in town story," it's just too clich├ęd, so hopefully it doesn't end up that way. Then there's a lot of talk about Kate and the military in here, and... I don't know, it seems like there's a lot of tiptoeing around the subject. The way things are worded, it seems like this issue would like you to think that Kate left the military and possibly sees Sophie as the life she left behind, with potential jealousy because Sophie stayed in the military and blah blah... Well now, Kate didn't exactly leave on her own, she was straight up kicked out, and that's not even once mentioned. I know don't ask don't tell isn't a thing anymore, and with real life time and comic book time, there could be a disconnect, but still, that's a very big part of Kate's character, and it just seems like this issue was kind of washing over it. 

The Bottom Line:

Like I said above, Batwoman is definitely a book that has been playing it a bit safe since the creative team switch, but I've still enjoyed it, and despite that ex-girlfriend drama I could do without, I feel like I'll enjoy this arc more than the last. As mentioned, Nocturna is a villain that just makes plain sense to be one of Batwoman's rogues, rather than Batman's, so I enjoyed her introduction here, and I'm looking forward to how her relationship with Batwoman will play out (because there's been quite a few teases in the solicitations). Overall, it was a solid issue and a good start to this new arc.

(NOTE: Reminder, I'm not doing actual number scores anymore, because I think they're stupid)

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