Saturday, January 24, 2015

Batwoman #38 Review

Written by: Marc Andreyko
Art by: Juan Jose Ryp
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 21, 2015

Fear of the Unknowns

It's a shame that this book is ending.  I was one of the few that didn't mind Marc Andreyko taking over after the controversial exit of the former creative team.  In fact, I really enjoyed the first bunch of issues of his run.  Unfortunately, things went a bit off the rails and we are left with this final arc.  Sure, it's a crazy team-up that is bound to infuriate longtimeBatwoman fans even more, but I'm going into each issue for what it is...the last couple of times I'll get to spend time with one of my favorite Superheroes.

This month's issue starts with Kate, Etrigan and Ragman all crashing Morgaine Le Fey's coming out party.  As in, coming out of Clayface.  While I was glad to see most of the Unknowns in one room fighting their villain from issue #35, I was more impressed with the art.  I usually wait until the "appropriate" time to talk art, but Juan Jose Ryp deserves some early kudos.

Now, I said that everyone was in the same room, but that doesn't mean they are a team.  While Etrigan and Kate fight Morgaine, they quickly introduce themselves to Ragaman who "protects" the confused Clayface.  Morgaine proved to be pretty overpowered for the ragtag group (sorry about that) and Etrigan hits the panic button, seemingly blowing himself and everything around him to Kingdom Come.  Kate, Ragman and Clayface get thrown from the explosion like an 80's action team and then Etrigan walks out of the fire like the badass he is.  We then get a quick peek at the last member of what will be the Unknowns...Alice.

I have to admit, I really enjoyed the beginning of this issue.  The fight itself was good and I really liked the back and forth between Etrigan and Morgaine.  They have a history and Andryeko uses it to great effect.  I am also a sucker for trial by fire team formation.  I was worried about how such a crazy group would get together, but I can accept what we get here.  I know it would have made for a really tiny book, but I almost wish it ended here.  Because...

Kate then goes off to talk to Maggie and I'm still confused why.  The best I can tell, it was to remind us that Kate is being controlled by Nocturna and believe me, that's something I never want to be reminded of.  It also managed to make Maggie look like a pathetic ex-lover and Kate look like a complete bitch.  Oh how my favorite couple has fallen.

We then see what looks like a bit of Nocturna's handy work before yet another awful scene with Kate and her new love.  I can't be the only one who thinks this scene felt forced.  I was a huge fan of Maggie and Kate being a couple and wish that DC didn't put the kibosh on their wedding.  That being said, I hate everything about Kate and Nocturna.

It's no surprise that Morgaine Le Fey survived the explosion and we get to see her "recover" as Ragman and Clayface get better acquainted.  I really like Ragman and hope he is more than just a prop in the final two issues.  The issue ends with Alice, now Red Alice, paying a visit to her Sister.  The Unknowns are complete and almost ready for space travel.

I've already said it, but I liked almost everything Andreyko gave us in regards to the Unknowns.  I love a crazy team and this is a very crazy team.  It still feels weird in this book, but I'm willing to have a little fun with it.  When it comes to the other stuff, I didn't have as much fun.  I have been an Andreyko supporter from the start, but he officially has destroyed what made this book great.  The worst thing about it is that with the book ending in two issues, I can't see any way to pick up the pieces and make things right.

I'll say it again, I really enjoyed Juan Jose Ryp's art.  Everything had a detailed, but cartoony look that I really liked.  My favorite panels were when Morgaine Le Fey came back from the explosion.  They had a disgusting and creepy look like an old Tales from the Crypt issue.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a hard issue for me to rate.  I liked everything about Kate and the Unknowns, but hated everything else.  Marc Andreyko is giving readers an action filled action movie and also destroying everything that made this book great.  Talk about multitasking! Juan Jose Ryp's great art shoots this issue out of mediocrity, but just barely.  If the last two issues just concentrate on the Unknowns, I'll be a happy man.



  1. Ragman could totally carry his own book.

    1. Personally I say add him to the JLD

    2. I love Ragman and I agree that he'd be great in the JLD

    3. or in the words of the Taco Shell commercial... "why not both?

    4. Gotham by Midnight would be cool...I agree with Jody, he should be in both...and Constantine

  2. With any luck, everything after #24 will be retconned out.