I don’t know how often I can keep saying this, but Batwoman is simply the best comic book series… uh, EVER! Some issues have dragged and the overall story line has been lengthy, but the past few issues have ramped things up big time and have been ART! Not just a typical merging of prose and illustration, these issues have pushed beyond traditional comic story telling. I’m not kidding, as I read each (amazing) double-page spread, I just shook my head in awe. Every person who reads comics needs to be reading this series.
Ahem. So anyway, Medusa and her forces have converged on Gotham, in an effort to raise her mother, Ceto, the mythical “Mother of all Monsters” to claim the world. Of course their efforts are focused on Gotham as it’s probably the biggest cess pool ever envisioned.
Issue #14 was narrated alternately by Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Medusa. Things are cranked up this issue, with added naration by Cameron Chase and (huzzah!) Flamebird, Kate’s cousin Bette who was nearly killed by one of Medusa’s agents, Hook. She re-emerges in a glorious spread highlighted by a phoenix motiff, that is perfectly fitting. What’s really astounding is how well each character is written. Each has a unique voice that is fully realized, even if it’s just within two pages. These aren’t stereotypes or lazy comic tropes. These are well-rounded, human, multi-dimensional beings! It makes most other comic writers seem lazy in contrast.
And speaking of those two-page spreads (minus the first and last pages), they are breath-taking. J.H. Williams III is just so insanely innovated and creative! Most spreads are rendered montage style, with a lot of action taking place simultaneously, but he mixes it up on occassion, slipping in more traditional square panels. It creates a really unique rhythm, but he just KILLS it in a few of these, including Flamebird’s return, Ceto’s back history (rendered more in a storybook style than in the comic look) and the sequence of Wonder Woman battling the legendary Hydra. Gorgeous!
I hate that this wasn’t the culmination of the story, mostly because everything was just becoming so frantic and seemed to be building up to the big climax… next issue better really deliver, or I’m going to be severely disappointed!
C0-Writer, Artist and Cover – J.H. Williams III
Co-Writer – W. Haden Blackman