Batwoman has always been a compelling character in part because she’s so mysterious. This Rebirth series has aimed to shed some light on her past and they’re surprisingly filled with fond memories. There’s a romantic nature to the story that is fleshed out even further this issue that ends up developing the character and adding to her mortal enemies’ reasons for revenge.
Writer: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Artist: Steve Epting
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“The Many Arms Of Death” finale! Batwoman’s been following the trail of the deadly weapon Monster Venom, while simultaneously trying to discover what became of her lost lover, Safiyah…but what happens when those two roads meet? And how does it all connect to the death of Batwoman’s mother? A terrifying new threat is unleashed on the world when the true nature of the Many Arms Of Death is revealed!
Why does this book matter?
With the aid of Steve Epting’s noir style art, Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have added an espionage feel to a character who used to only be about the supernatural. Now she’s kicking butt overseas, and uncovering secrets of her past that include ex-girlfriends and jealous assassins. The story has had a cinematic quality that I could easily see turned into a film, especially if DC can continue to flesh out their movie characters.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
These two really creep me out.
This issue is more about Tahani than Batwoman, which is fine by me as she’s been the most striking new character in Batwoman’s life for some time. Opening with the creepy twins, Bennett and Tynion reveal Tahini’s childhood and eventually where she was at before Batwoman arrived on Coryana. This cuts to Tahini trying to slash Batwoman’s throat and makes for a visual explanation of her hatred for Kate. This buildup leads to an excellently choreographed fight sequence between Kate and Tahini which adds an emotional element to their battling.
Rounding out the issue, there’s some good setup for what’s to come that continues to use the creepy twins and hints at a new mysterious character running everything from the shadows (literally and figuratively!). There’s also some good mystery involving Batwoman’s backup and a good wrap up of the Desert Rose.
Epting’s art continues to look fantastic and it’s a surprise he hasn’t been given a primo superhero book. The fight sequence is great as mentioned above, with some crazy moves and exciting battling. In a great full page spread for instance, the use of fire helps ramp up the climactic battle and make it feel all the more dangerous. There’s also a short sequence where Batwoman uses the shadows to full effect and her costume looks great in how it pops.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Given the synopsis, I was expecting a heck of a lot more answers. Hell, given how the series has been so good at teasing, I was expecting a lot more, but instead we’re left very much in the dark by the end. Maybe it’s telling of how good the story is if I wanted more, but this issue ends up shaking out as some character work for the villain, a big fight sequence, and then a wrap up of the arc.
With 10 or so pages of action–and Kate jawing with Tahini–the book moves at a fast clip and feels done a bit too soon. This only increases the fact that not a lot is revealed as far as mysteries go.
Is It Good?
A good, but not great issue, with a lot of great looking action, but not many answers. The assassin Batwoman has been chasing down gets some good character work, and the cliffhanger is interesting, but you’ll be left wanting more.
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