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Batwoman #23

Writers: J.H. Williams III & Haden Blackman

Artist: Trevor McCarthy

Colorist: Guy Major

Review by Suzanne Nagda

Batwoman #23 delivers another solid issue as Kate Kane prepares to take on Batman. If this were a different kind of series, Kate would be training tirelessly and her personal life would take a backseat to big action sequences. This is a superhero comic after all. Instead Kate spends most of the issue developing her relationship with Maggie Sawyer outside of the cape.

The Batwoman team integrate Kate and her cousin Bette’s motivations and relationships into the plot in a way that feels completely natural. Kate ponders her dual-identity while tackling her problems with Maggie. Meanwhile, Bette (newly-dubbed Hawkfire) tries to justify her actions in the larger mission to take down the D.E.O. Williams III and Blackman contrast Bette and Jacob Kane’s methods in a way that highlights her intelligence.

Bette Kane’s growth and resilience as a character is one of the hidden gems of this series. Her origins as a Teen Titan, former tennis champion border on making her feel irrelevant. She did become a hero because of a crush on Dick Grayson, of all things. Now she feels like a hero on a mission to save her family and (finally) a character to be taken seriously.

In terms of the art, Trevor McCarthy has the unenviable task of following Williams III on this series. The nightmare sequence in this issue doesn’t look as ghostly and dark as it could have. Also, a few of the faces look a little strange or out of proportion.

Verdict: Buy It! Williams III and Blackman are not only doing some strong character work, they are building toward an epic battle with Batman! I would not recommend this issue for new readers though, as it hinges on plot points from almost a year ago.

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