Last issue, Batwoman had caught up to Fachion, the leader of the crime organization Medusa and his grotesque group of operatives, including a newly mutated Killer Croc and La Llorona.  Batwoman ripped Rush’s hook from his arm and then they stood around talking while some back story was filled in.  This issue, following a blow from Croc, he and Batwoman trash talk a bit before she whips out one of the techno gadgets she was given by the DEO last issue to try out for them.  It’s a tiny voice-controlled arrowhead that responds to her commands.  She shocks Croc with electricity, then defeats Bloody Mary with a sonic attack before combating La Llorona with fire.  Falchion threatens one of the children they have kidnapped and orders Batwoman to “deactivate the device.”  She obeys.

Cut back to a month ago, Maro and his allies, including Croc are decimating a pack of Church of Crime operatives, including Rush, whose hand he severs and to which he affixes the symbiotic hook.

One week ago, Cameron Chase gives Batwoman surveillance photos of Maggie Sawyer out and about, doing things without Kate.  Chase stresses that Sawyer is the lead on the Sune transfer and orders Kate not to let their personal relationship fall apart, as they need her to basically gather intel for them!  Kate retorts that they aren’t breaking up, they’re both just busy with their cases.  Chase makes a dirty comment, “I don’t know whether she’s dating Kate Kane or Batwoman.  Maybe you don’t know, either,” before departing.  Kate begrudgingly agrees and calls Maggie and asks her out.

The police seem to lay a trap, leaking that Sune was supposed to be on Harvey Bullock’s boat, but Batwoman finds out the truth and has her hands full with a boatload of cops.  She then leaps about Maggie’s boat.  The police open fire, but her new suit is bulletproof, so they don’t deter her one bit.  She has to taze Maggie in order to obtain Sune.  Maggie is relentless and goes after her, tackling her from behind and slamming her head into a door.  Instinctively, Batwoman attacks her assailant with the weapon in her hand, a hypodermic  needle with a sedative intended for Sune!  Batwoman is distraught!  “That wasn’t meant for you!”

The story then, bewilderingly, jumps back to two weeks ago, and Jacob still standing vigil with the badly injured Bette.  He’d felt her hand move before, but it won’t again.  The doctors pessimistically tell him it was a fluke and her brain still needs time to heal.

One week ago, Cameron Chase sets up a distraction and they hijack a truck to transport Sune.  When Batwoman arrives with Sune, she angrily confronts Chase.  “I will never hurt Detective Sawyer or any of her people again,” she states, before punching Chase in the stomach!  (She’s had that coming for a while!)  Chase tells Batwoman to relax and that the drug Maggie was injected with causes the victim to “”experience a month’s worth of nightmares crammed into eight hours.”  Sune asks if the drug was intended for her and Chase says “Yes.”  Sune demands immunity.  Maggie tells her to get in the truck.

Batwoman confronts Falchion and he attacks her with a blade bathed in Amazonian blood, strong enough to slice through Batwoman’s fancy new armor!  He slashes her leg and nips a tip off her mask.  But then, there’s a surprising person to the rescue, who may hold the key to turning the tides.

This book is excellently written and the characters are all excellently deep and fleshed out.  There aren’t really any cyphers or stereotypes in the bunch.  If you’re looking for excellently written female characters, this is definitely the right book for you.  Batwoman/Kate, Maggie, Chase, even Bette and possibly Sune are all real, thoughtfully crafted female characters, each with their own personality and appeal.  And overall, the book itself is excellently written.  The dialogue is interesting.

That said, it’s still bugging me a little.  I once couldn’t get enough of this title.  I gushed that it was a game-changer.  The most unique book out there!  I can’t say that anymore.  I was disappointed last issue and I am again.  The time jumps… I guess they’re leading to something.  But it’s a tad excessive.  I really didn’t need to learn Rush’s “Secret Origin.”  The hook thing is unique, but I’m starting to consider these villains disposable.  La Llorona was built up so much in the first act of this title, but now she’s just a random thug in Falchion’s army.

I don’t blame the drop off on artist Amy Reeder!  No one can live up to J.H. Williams III’s brilliant work at the start of this series!  I think maybe I’m just finding her work too traditional.  It’s good, but I think this book needs someone more unique and different.  The tone and writing on this title are certainly those things, so I think the art should be as well.

So ditto last month’s verdict…

Verdict: Borrow

Written by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
Art and Cover by Amy Reeder