Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Batwoman #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Doomed to Repeat Them

Written By: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Art By: Steve Epting, Jeromy Cox
Letters By: Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 21, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It’s no secret that I haven’t been the biggest fan of this series so far despite my love for the character. It’s been so overwhelmingly repetitive and has had readers begging for more Monster Men stuff. MONSTER MEN STUFF! This is how bad things have gotten! However, this month the first story arc of this series comes to an end. While we may have had ridiculous backstories that didn’t hold any weight and a fist fight that seems to start end and start again with every issue, we have finally reached the end of the story arc. I have to keep telling myself that something will legitimately happen in this issue to make me continue buying this book. I want to be recommending this book to all my friends but I just can’t do it because the book isn’t good enough. However, this issue could (hopefully) change everything. Let’s dive in and pray to whatever you believe in that it is good.

We begin with the twins that run the Kali Corporation who are fleeing the island of Coryana after getting ready to destroy it. They plan on demolishing it ahead of schedule so that it kills all of the unwanted people on the island that are getting in their way. They basically give us a quick rundown of what’s happening before we continue. We then get a page of flashbacks to Tahani’s background and how she grew up. We see how she learned to fight and ultimately how she returned to Coryana and Safiyah. It’s never particularly stated what the relationship between Knife and Safiyah is. It could easily be a mother-daughter type of dynamic but it could also be romantic. Ultimately, we know that Safiyah’s attention wavered from Tahani when Kate Kane came to the island.

We catch back up with the present where Kate and Tahani are fighting once again, except this time Batwoman is backed by the warlords of the island. The warlords immediately search the area and one determines that the bombs are already armed. Kate passes off a device to one of them before Knife tackles her, isolating her from the warlords. In this new area, Kate catches her breath and notices a rose on the floor. It immediately reminds her of Safiyah but she is interrupted by her fight with Knife once again. Kate tells the warlords over comms that they can use the device to detonate a E.M.P. which should give them enough time to get the bombs off the island or evacuate the people. However, this means that Kate will be alone in her fight against Knife.

The warlords activate the E.M.P. and the place goes dark. Kate walks through the darkness with the words of Tahani filling the silence. Tahani finds her first and attacks landing a few blows but Kate is quick to catch her bearings. The fight travels further down until they find themselves in a cove-type area with a boat on the shore. Tahani lands one punch on Kate and uses the momentum to make a break for the boat. This is when Kate ignites a flare which causes an apparently flammable substance in the water to ignite, surrounding Knife’s boat in flames. Knife has a grapple gun in the boat though and uses it to hook onto an ally’s helicopter and she escapes from Batwoman and Coryana, admitting that Kate can have Coryana but she will still be out there.

We cut to the Desert Rose where the group of warlords and Kate are celebrating their victory over the Kali Corporation. Julia joins them and informs Kate that while they were able to secure the island, the Kali Corporation is global and they need to leave at dawn if they are going to pursue them. Kate questions her about whether she is going to report back to Batman and while Julia doesn’t say that she is going to, she clearly is upset that Kate gave one of her weapons to a bunch of murderers. One of the warlords, named Tae-ree approaches and tells Kate that the island will no longer fall into the Kali Corporation’s hands and none of their deals are being honored except for one. Kate is now the owner of the Desert Rose. She gives Tae-ree the reigns of the island and clearly trusts her to take care of it. As much as she may want to, Kate has to keep pursuing her mission. Kate returns to the boat and offers Julia a bottle of booze as a peace offering, telling her that she is still on board with their mission. We learn that Julia was reporting to Batman and asking if she could terminate the mission but she doesn’t send the message. We catch up with the twins from the Kali Corporation one last time as they reach a new destination and an unseen figures reveals herself to be pulling the strings. We never see her face but the roses around her and the fox at her feet suggests that it is Safiyah herself. This is where the issue leaves us.

Are you fucking kidding me? We did ALL of this for that? The finale of this storyline is Kate and Knife get in ANOTHER fight which ends with one of them fleeing the fight. In addition, the bombing of the island which has been the whole plan of the Kali Corporation is dealt with off panel. We don’t even see how it ends, we just see the fight between Kate and Knife end the way it always does and next thing we know, Kate and the warlords are celebrating. This means that we will probably be dealing with Knife in the future of this comic as well which means we will probably get more fights between her and Batwoman which end with one of the fleeing to fight another day. We learn that Julia is mad at Kate for something that happened off panel too and it’s so frustrating to see all of these storylines that are just completely ignored most of this story and are brought up at the end. I’m supposed to care about how Julia’s stuff was taken by Batwoman when I wasn’t even told that until now? The ending wasn’t awful when we learned about Julia’s allegiance and the true person behind the Kali Corporation but it’s not enough to save this book. We basically ended where we began this story. Kate and Julia are still looking for Monster Men leads, the assassin Knife is still on the loose, and we don’t know any much more about Safiyah than we knew at the beginning. This book literally just wasted four issues on this story. Honestly, the only reason this book gets the score that it does this month is because of the art in this book which is a real pleasure to look at. I’m really struggling with this book now guys.

Bits and Pieces

We get more the same old song and dance from Batwoman as an all too familiar fight plays out the same way it has for the past four issues and the other major plot points of this story are wrapped up off panel. What little progress we actually had in this book is thrown out the window and we are basically where we were at the beginning of this entire story. It begs to question why I should even be so invested in a series like this that clearly just slapping a predictable fight scene in every issue and surrounding it with loose and barely readable story that has no consequence.



  1. Story-wise, this arc was on par with Andreyko's Wolf Spider arc. Andreyko's run didn't improve but got worse. While I don't think Bennett will follow the same course, I don't think she will improve either.

  2. Marguerite Bennett must up her voodoo charm, she's lost her juju. Tynion is so and so. I can trace their handprints.

  3. Tepid. The underlying plot seemed to hinge on a vague hint that Kate Kane unintentionally made a bitter enemy out of a former BFF due to a divergence of ideals. Maybe Kate's just too implicitly wonderful for her own good. Yawn.