Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: Batwoman, Vol. 3: World's Finest (Batwoman Vol. II #3) by J.H. Williams III

Release Date: March 30, 2103
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Purchased
Author Links: Website | Goodreads

Batwoman's search for Medusa brings her together with the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, but even the teaming of the World's Finest might not be enough to bring down the mythological monster--leading Bones, the DEO, Abbot and the Religion of Crime all descend on Gotham City to take part in the fight.
Collects BATWOMAN #12-17, #0.

The only thing I think DC does consistently better than Marvel is female titles. I'm not saying that DC's female characters are better than Marvel's...just the titles. In fact, I would love to see some of the Marvel women get their own title, because I think there is some real potential to blow DC out of the water. As it is, I'm not really sure what Marvel has out there besides Captain Marvel (formerly Ms. Marvel).  On the flip-side, DC has Wonder Woman (seems to be progressively getting better), Batgirl (which has rocked since the start), Supergirl (not incredible, but decent), and Catwoman (which was very good...till Ann Nocenti killed it with her Demon-Pen).  I'm probably forgetting some, and I apologize if I did.
But I think you kinda see what I saying...there's just more females carrying titles in DC.

And then there's Batwoman.
On the face of it, you wouldn't think this would be such a great book. I mean, she's not even affiliated with Batman, and only wears the symbol in reference to the fact that he was her inspiration. In fact, she flat-out turned him down when he asked her to become part of his Batman Inc. project.
As if to prove the point, this title is not included in the Batman crossovers like Court of Owls or Death of the Family.
Kate is most definitely on her own.

Well, not quite on her own.
In this volume, she teams up with Wonder Woman to take out Medusa. And I gotta say this was one of the best team-ups I've read in a while.
I've had issues in the past with this title veering off into the realm of supernatural a bit too much, but it finally all seemed to come together in World's Finest. The blending of the supernatural bad guys that Kate's been dealing with, combined with the mythological villains that are more Wonder Woman's speed, really brought the ending of this story together in a good way.

Kate's twin, Alice, plays a small role in flashbacks for the majority of the book, but the ending leaves you with a nice crunchy conspiracy to chew on regarding her whereabouts. I'm really interested to see how that storyline pans out!

The art is still simply stunning in this volume. It is hands-down the most beautiful book I've read...well, since Batwoman Volume 2! If you're a fan of Alex Ross' stuff, then this would be right up your alley.

I know there's been a push in recent years to try to get a bit of diversity in mainstream comics, and I think the author finally managed to do it in Batwoman. Now, this isn't to say that she's the first openly gay character, far from it, but I like the way they handled it. It doesn't feel pushy or weird, and Williams doesn't try to make her into Saint Lesbian. She's gay....and let's move on. Yes, it's part of her story, but it's not the story. The story is the same as it is for every other superhero...but Batwoman has better art.

The only complaint I have is that Williams tends to get a bit wordy. Which wouldn't be so bad if everything on the page didn't get kinda crowded because of it. Honestly, it's just a minor annoyance, and it won't stop me from picking up the next volume.
Not sure when I got used to it, but I don't even mind that Kate looks so weirdly white anymore.
Guess this one has grown on me more than I realized.


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