Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Batwoman #7 Review and *SPOILERS*

Down Here, We All Float


Written By: Marguerite Bennett
Art By: Fernando Blanco, John Rauch
Letters by: Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 20, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Another month has gone by and that means it’s time for yet another issue of the dumpster fire that is the Batwoman book. However, this time is slightly different. We have got a new art team on this book and James Tynion IV has (at least for the time being) left the book to be written solely by Marguerite Bennett. Now, I know that Bennett has a great love for this character but honestly, I can’t help but think this might have been better left in Tynion’s hands. Sure, his run on Detective Comics isn’t the best thing in the world, but I find it to be legitimately interesting every single issue. There’s always something that intrigues me and has me come back for more. Batwoman, on the other hand, has robbed me of my moral and despite my better judgement, I keep hoping for a new direction to get me excited for this book. Will this new storyline continue bring that to me? It’s unlikely but what the hell? Let’s just jump right into it.


Our issue begins with Kate in the middle of the Sahara desert with her Batwoman suit torn up as she calls out for Safiyah (goddamn it… we’re still on this?). We immediately flashback to a few hours ago when Batwoman was in an aircraft above the desert. We then get an wrap up of things that have gone this far. Batwoman has been tracking down the members of the Many Arms of Death since we saw her last and by the flashback, it would seem that all of those stories at least had awesome action scenes that probably were better than anything else we’ve seen in this book but why would we want to see those when we could just watch Kate walk through the fucking desert? We get back with Kate in her aircraft and her dialogue reveals that she is tracking another member of the MAD (Many Arms of Death. Please get used to this acronym). This one is called the Needle. However, he time in the sky is short lived as Kate is suddenly shot out of the sky by anti-aircraft fire.

After crashing in the desert, we get a flashback of Kate with Safiyah during the Lost Year. The two are waking up in bed and share a romantic moment when they are interrupted by Rafael. He informs Safiyah that one of the warlords is here to see her and that he is worried that his daughter is going to murder him to take her place. As she leaves, Kate looks out to see a fox that has many cuts on it’s body and is bleeding quite a bit. We go back to the present and Kate has finally left her aircraft which has been completely totaled. However, she isn’t alone long when two beasts seem to come out to attack her. Upon closer inspection, Kate realizes that these are Colony soldiers but that they have been changed into oil vomiting gorillas (yes, really). Kate gets into a fight with them and during that time she hears her father’s voice coming from the Colony soldiers comms. We get no information from Jacob Kane as his communications are completely cut off by a sandstorm.

Caught in the sandstorm, Kate is suddenly flung 100 feet in the air until she is thrown back to earth. This is when we get a flashback (or what is supposedly a flashback) where Kate wakes up in snowy Switzerland about 6 months ago. She is there with her sister Beth and the two are simply having a conversation. It would seem that Beth is being held there but not against her will. She feels safe there and happy. During this time, Beth mentions that she wants to start a garden and Kate tells her to watch out for foxes because the thorns on the plants can cut through their skin terribly. Kate tells her that she and her friend had to kill all the foxes because of it. Suddenly, the flashback turns sour as Beth suddenly becomes whiter than usual and a bullet hole shows up in her forehead before she slips away. We return to Kate after the sandstorm has passed (thank god it must have only been a minute or two) and she sees the two bodies of the Colony soldiers. She looks for pulse but can’t find one and she tears off her mask out of frustration. She immediately retrieves it and starts walking to the near shelter she knows of.

Kate then walks for the next eleven hours before she assumingly succumbs to radiation poisoning from the sun. She begins to hallucinate an oasis with plenty of water. Kate comes to the conclusion that she has to drink the water in order to survive and as soon as she does things get 1970’s trippy as Kate goes into a deep hallucination and finds herself in a rose garden full of dead foxes. It is during this trip that we suddenly realize who is behind what Kate is seeing. She is hallucinating her fears and nothing says fear quite like Batman’s classic foe—The Scarecrow! This is where the issue leaves us.

Okay… This is fucking stupid. I know I may change my mind later and I may regret giving this issue such a hard time but I have to speak my mind. I am sick of this goddamn MAD storyline. It’s so freaking dumb and I continue to question what is even happening. We begin the issue in the middle of a desert with Kate torn up but there isn’t enough there to make us question how we got there. It just ruins the next couple pages by making us completely aware that Kate is going to be shot down. It completely removes the tension from the beginning of the story (not that there’s much tension to begin with). Then we get more useless flashbacks that add nothing to the story with Safiyah. But we did learn that she killed a bunch of foxes for some reason. Seriously though… Animals aren’t stupid. Foxes live in the wild. They know to avoid bushes with thorns. But not only that, Safiyah was apparently like, “one isn’t enough” and went about making sure foxes went extinct on Coryana for some reason. Then Kate gets attacked by Colony which creates a mystery but the conversation with Jacob does absolutely nothing and then she gets hit by the shortest sandstorm in history and survives it somehow. Then she takes off her mask, revealing her identity for no reason in the middle of enemy territory. Kate isn’t this stupid of a character! Bennett must have made an incredible career for herself to get to this position but for all her love for this character, she cannot write her for shit.

Bits and Pieces

Batwoman continues to be a dumpster fire but now it’s set in the desert. The ending is a bit interesting and has me interested but I know exactly what kind of book this is and it’s a book devoid of fun or intrigue or anything else that would entice readers to pick it up. The book is sloppy, it doesn’t make sense most of the time. I don’t want anyone to read this book. I don’t want anyone to buy this book. I want you to save your money and spend it somewhere else. The Batwoman stock is dropping fast with this book and you need to abandon ship.

2.6/10

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7 comments:

  1. Man, I completely disagree on almost every single point. I'm also not sure why you think the Beth scene was a lie. The timeline doesn't conflict in any way I'm aware of.

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    1. I'm sorry you disagree with me on every single point. However, I did check into the continuity and I realized that I was wrong and it does match with the current timeline. I apologize for that aspect and I have removed it from my review and slightly changed the score to reflect that. However, I still hold onto my overall opinion of this book. Though we disagree, I hope you can respect our differences in opinion

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    2. I do, don't worry. :) But man, the massive discrepancy just strikes me as a little bit odd, y'know?

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  2. God damn you! I love Batwoman and I keep hoping to FINALLY read a good review on ONE issue so I can jump back on (I left on issue #3), but NO! Still Safiyah. Still The Many Arms of Death. Well, at least your brutally honest reviews keep me from wasting my cash, so thanks for that.

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  3. I like the new art team and I'm willing to give Bennett some time here now she's on her own. I thought the issue was a little slow and not really action heavy. However I do think there's potential here. I disagree with your score being so low. I would have given it around a 6.5 to a 7. But that's only because this could be the start of something good.

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    1. I completely get where you're coming from. There is new potential in this issue as we have a new art team (though I don't think art was the issue with this book) and Bennett is on her own (though I would argue that Tynion's name was on the book out of ceremony rather than contribution). That said, that potential could go either way. It could elevate this book or it could continue to disappoint. So, I would argue that you have to look at the book by itself and not for what it could be. What we do have so far is a bad story that leads into this one. We are dealing with the same people and the same situations just we are off of Coryana and are now in the Sahara. A majority of this book is dealing with what is to come so it's hard to give it much weight at this point as it is up in the air where that will lead. Overall though, the reason I chose to give it such a low score is because of the continuing story line that fail to entertain most readers, the scenes that didn't make sense whether they be a sandstorm that is non-lethal, Kate taking off her mask in enemy territory, or a culling of foxes for seemingly no reason, and finally the fact that most of this book seems to just be stalling for time. The conversation with Jacob Kane is a perfect example. All it tells us is that Jacob knows where Kate is. No other information is given in that scene and yet instead of taking a panel or two it is nearly two pages. That is why I chose my score. Like I said though, I completely understand why you would give this book a higher score.

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  4. One of my favorite characters, and I was so happy when I heard her book was coming back. I keep buying it every month...but I'm not happy anymore. :(

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