Sunday, November 23, 2014

Batwoman #36 Review

Written by: Marc Andreyko
Art by: Georges Jeanty
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 19, 2014

Better Left Unknown?

Last month, Marc Andreyko started his new Batwoman arc with a very cold Space.  It was fun, if not a bit confusing, with Kate teamed up with Clayface, Alice, Ragman and Etrigan.  The ending promised that we'd get to see how it all came together and that's just what we get this month.  The issue is aptly titled, "How In The Hell Did We Get Here?" and while most of it is setup (it is only part one), I'm intrigued to see more of the "Unknowns".  Unfortunately, I really didn't like anything that happened with Kate.  I'd say that's a pretty big problem.

It's been months since we have seen Batwoman in the present day, so it is a bit of a shock to see her dealing with the after effects of Nocturna.  Is she or isn't she a vampire was a hot question in August, but at the end of November it feels like an afterthought. Marc Andreyko hasn't forgotten and brings us up to speed by making Kate act horribly and talk (or hiss?) in a Nocturna font. Meanwhile, a Cult is busy preparing a sacrifice somewhere near.

The sacrifice goes terribly wrong as Kate snaps out of her "being awful" haze and she ends up investigating a bunch of charred bodies.  Of course, the Gotham PD are there as well which leads to an awkward exchange between Kate an Maggie.  Okay, I loved the Kate and Maggie relationship, but I also understood why Andreyko wanted to get away from it.  Now we get this? Could Kate's personal life get any worse?

The answer is a big YES when Natalia comes a knockin'.  Yep, Nocturna is in the house and while it makes sense, I was somehow hoping to never see her again.  She demands that Kate go to dinner, tells her they are going to Paris sometime soon and insults Kate's doctor.  All this before making out with Kate for shock value.  I hated Nocturna before, now I despise her on the level reserved for Joker's Daughter and Melissa McCarthy.

Remember, I said that not everything was horrible this month so let's get to the good stuff.  We get an usual, but interesting present day origin of the Jason Blood./Etrigan "relationship".  It starts with the sacrifice and ends with a pretty naked Dr. Blood lying on the floor at the feet of Etrigan.  I know that sounds odd and it is.  I still enjoyed it and am looking to see how these two "get together".

While Jason Blood and Etrigan get the lion's share of the pages, we also get a bit of Ragman and Alice.  Alice only gets a few panels of her arriving in Gotham, while we get the very beginnings of Ragman's story.  I love Ragman and am so glad he is part of this book and hope we get a lot more of him next month.

Georges Jeanty is on art this month and things look a bit off.  It is more of a cartoony look that I don't think fits the book or the story.  I hated the way Kate looked throughout and if you ask me, she looked a different age every panel.  I did like how Jeanty draws Etrigan, but it's a matter of too little too late when it comes to the look of this issue.  On a side note, I loved Rafael Albuquerque's cover.

Bits and Pieces:

After last Month's issue, I was really looking forward to see how and why Batwoman joined up with such a crazy team.  While this issue is mostly setup and offers little in answers, I liked the bits we get of the "Unknowns".  Unfortunately, I hated everything about Kate in this issue.  I also was not a fan of the art and thus, cannot recommend this issue.  After such a promising start to this arc, I still hold out hope that Andreyko can pull things in and right the ship.  We'll see next month.


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