BATWOMAN #26 REVIEW
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Colorist: Guy Major
Review by Suzanne Nagda
I can probably count Batwoman as part of my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m going to accept that change happens, even to my favorite character. That’s better than shouting “IT’S NOT THE SAME!” as I open up each issue, right?
Moving on to the new…readers are given a glimpse into Kate’s life as a Gotham socialite. Maggie and Kate attend an art gala held by one of Kate’s childhood friends, newcomer Evan Blake. Then Kate and Evan have a heart-to-heart about her engagement to Maggie. Marc Andreyko cleverly integrates the public reaction to Maggie and Kate’s engagement into the plot and explains why wedding bells aren’t ringing quite yet. Enter Bette–who also shares history with Evan and reminisces with him about old times. Quickly Kate and Bette disappear into the night to (in Bette’s words) “find some criminal activity!” There’s a conflict involving an art thief called Wolf Spider, an addition to Batwoman’s limited rogues gallery. I can appreciate the contrast between all of these new elements and an 80-year-old mystery involving artwork.
Overall, the issue has a lighter tone than its predecessor and is less rooted in the supernatural. So far there’s not a werebeast or creepy cult in sight. Bette’s influence on the book is noticeable as well. She complements Kate as a bubbly sidekick this time around. I am looking forward to seeing her as a regular part of Kate’s supporting cast. The book also acknowledges and pulls together some of the plot threads from the previous run. The dialogue indirectly references Batwoman’s conflict against Batman. Readers will get more resolution in a future issue (Batwoman finally gets an annual!)
Jeremy Haun brings a more traditional approach to panel layouts in this book. I especially like the way he draws Maggie and Bette. The action sequences are clear and appropriately eerie. I hope Haun stays on as the regular artist to provide a bit of consistency to the title.
The Verdict: Buy. For new readers, there’s a new story unburdened by deep continuity and an interesting threat in Wolf Spider. Old readers may appreciate a more lighthearted take on a great character. My only concern is that the series may stray too far from Kate’s roots and the heavy source material that makes up her origin story. Let’s give Andreyko the benefit of the doubt though.