Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Batwoman #5 Review and *SPOILERS*

Fill in the Blanks


Written By: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Art By: Stephanie Hans
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 19, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Just when I thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I read the solicitation for this issue and realized that it was not the beginning of a new story arc but rather an epilogue issue for the first story arc. Needless to say, this entire series so far has been a major disappointment and I’m desperate to move on to the next story arc but I’m forced to remain on the island of Coryana for what seems to be an eternity. However, I must come into this issue with an open mind and judge it accordingly but when I think of this series so far, the word that comes to mind is lazy. For most of the first arc we saw the same fight over and over again with a list of unmemorable characters and some vague flashbacks thrown in. At least we’ve had Epting’s art up to now but even that has begun to decline in quality. That said, lets just jump right into this issue and see if it can surprise us.


Our issue begins in the aftermath of Kate’s accident off the coast of Coryana. She suffered a blow to the head against a coral reef and Safiyah was able to save her. In the aftermath, we see Tahani warning Safiyah that Kate is dangerous for her but Safiyah laughs it off and places a kiss on Tahani’s cheek. Afterwards, Safiyah approaches Kate and the two talk for a moment. Safiyah introduces herself and takes ownership of her role on the island as the Lady of the Island. She also explains what Rafael did to save her life and confronts Kate on her self destructive tendencies, even suggesting that Kate was trying to kill herself in the storm. Kate then gives Safiyah a letter addressed to her father and says that she is allowed to read it to confirm it doesn’t give their location away and then the question comes up whether Kate is a prisoner or not. The answer is left very vague.

We then enter a quick little montage of Kate’s life with Safiyah. Safiyah focuses on her role as the Lady of the Island but notices Kate’s interest in her. Kate watches her when she thinks Safiyah isn’t looking and questions the people of the Desert Rose about her. As Kate heals, she and Safiyah get closer and closer. Kate begins to leave gifts for Safiyah. However, at this time, one of the warlords raises some concerns about Kate’s place with Safiyah and how it can bring ruin to them all. Later, Safiyah is given a bottle that an employee found in Kate’s room. Safiyah sees through the ruse immediately and confronts Tahani about placing the bottle in Kate’s room. Tahani insists that when given temptation, Kate will fall back into her usual ways. Safiyah breaks the bottle near Tahani’s head and demands that she leave immediately.

Safiyah and Kate become even closer and it seems that things turn romantic for a moment when Safiyah stops it. The next day, Safiyah comes up with a new plan to make all of the warlords thrive by ripping off an oil shipment in the middle of a storm. The warlords are a bit hesitant so one demands that Kate come with them. If Safiyah allows Kate to go with them, it would mean she thinks it is a safe operation. The operation begins but the heist is stalled and the warlords contemplate going back. Their boat is damaged in the chaos but Kate is determined to succeed in the mission. 

Meanwhile, Rafael is able to find where Tahani has been hiding and he contacts Safiyah immediately, letting her know that Tahani has schemed with one of the warlords to kill Kate during the operation. Safiyah immediately gets in a boat and goes after them. Safiyah catches up with them and confronts Sixth (the warlord) about his scheme. We see Tahani jump Kate and the two get in a wrestling match until they are interrupted by a massive wave crashing down on them. Safiyah sees Kate floating in the water and attempts to go after her but Sixth attempts to talk her out of it. Safiyah doesn’t listen and swims to shore with Kate and performs CPR on her until she is able to breath again. The two then kiss and embrace each other and Safiyah asks Kate to say with her on the island. This is when we see another body on the shore. It is the body of Sixth and blood is pouring out of him. This is where the issue ends.

While this issue is better than the last, the only reason it is so much better is because its slightly different. Last issue we got the same thing we got from every issue. This one attempts to teach the audience more about Safiyah and Kate’s past. Here’s the thing though… we already kinda know all about this stuff. I mean, we got a few more details that we didn’t have before but I don’t care enough about this storyline to want more. I doubt most readers do care enough. I haven’t been reading this series wishing I could get more of “the lost year” with Kate and Safiyah. I’ve been reading this wishing I wasn’t reading this. I’m begging for this series to be good but it lets me down every time. Honestly, while this issue is slightly better than the previous one, I’d have to say that it still suffers from the same thing the entire series has dealt with—Laziness.

Bits and Pieces:

This run on Batwoman continues to disappoint and I wanted it to be the best book that I read but it’s honestly in the running for the worst book that I read. We get a more in depth look at Kate and Safiyah’s relationship during “the lost year” but ultimately, if you haven’t bought into this story at this point, this issue will feel slightly different but mostly the same. This series suffers from chronic laziness and clearly nobody is looking at this and saying, “Let’s try a different angle.” Does this book even have an editor at this point? What a mess…

5.1/10

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