Detective Comics #948
Written by James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett
Art by Ben Oliver
Letters by Marilyn Patrizio
Review by John Dubrawa
Ever since Detective Comics relaunched under DC’s Rebirth banner, it’s been one of the stand-out titles on the stands. Now, with issue #948, it’s time to set one of the series most prominent players–Kate Kane aka Batwoman–out on her own wild, monster-filled adventure. Aptly-titled “Batwoman Begins,” this first of two chapters from regular series writer James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett serves to steer Batwoman out of current role as the defacto leader of Batman’s assembled team of crime fighters and into her own solo adventures (which are being written by Bennett). Detective #948 is a wonderful showcase of what we can expect from Bennett moving forward, and it proves something we all kind of knew when the Batwoman solo title was announced late last year: the character is in great, great hands.
Bennet has already done wonders for Batwoman over in Bombshells; here, though, she and Tynion IV are able to add a bit more nuance to the character. Utilizing a brief flashback sequence to one of Batwoman’s first cape-and-cowl outings, Tynion IV and Bennett give us a triumphant moment of Kate being coached by her father, Jacob, that becomes poignant given all that has transpired recently within Detective Comics. Kate’s relationship with her father has always been an integral part of her character so to see that that won’t be abandoned when she moves to her own series is reassuring. What’s also encouraging about this issue is the prospect of Batwoman operating in a monster-infested, quarantined section of Gotham and fighting weird seagull-man hybrids. There’s a line in this issue about Batwoman needing to be “something different,” and the setup we get here is sure to deliver on that decree moving forward.
For as much praise as I can bestow on Bennett and Tynion IV’s writing, the art in this issue from Ben Oliver is absolutely astonishing. Not since the start of DC’s New 52 has Batwoman looked this good. Oliver renders Batwoman in a way that seems to be channeling JH Williams III (who first drew the character back in the New 52 days) in all the best ways possible. She looks sleek and gorgeous and gothic at the same time, and when she flies through the air in this issue, it’s stunning to behold. While Oliver won’t be moving on to Batwoman’s solo title, knowing that he’ll be drawing her again in two weeks has me pumped for that next issue already. If anything, check out this issue for the interior art alone.
Buy! Detective Comics #948 puts a pin in the grenade that was the end of last arc to start a prelude of a solo title that’s been desperately needed since the start of DC Rebirth. Regular series writer James Tynion IV and upcoming Batwoman writer Marguerite Bennett show why this character is so deserving of the spotlight with an issue that guarantees weirdness to come. And if that’s not enough, Ben Oliver’s art is something to behold as he makes Batwoman look just as great as she’s written.