COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Batwoman: Hydrology
By The Masked Medic
So I’ve been doing this for a while now, reading and reviewing comic books and I’d say that I’m fairly well versed in the DC universe. I’ve been reading their comics since 2011 and recently, with the start of this project, I started reading series that I wouldn’t have normally just in order to educate myself. So imagine my surprise when it turned out that there was one series that I hadn’t started at all; Batwoman. Despite knowing about the character due to the TV show on the CW, I’d never actually sat and read Kate Kane’s adventures in comic form. But of course, that all changes now!
The first novel in the New 52 run of Batwoman is ‘Hydrology’. The story starts with an introductory issue in which Batman is keeping Batwoman under surveillance in order to discover who under the cowl. Meanwhile, Kate is having issues of her own as she attempts to continue to train her sidekick Flamebird, who happens to be her cousin Bette and at the same time she’s actively trying to stop her father from having any role in her life. But Kate’s activities have garnered the interest of the D.E.O. who want to recruit her after having failed to recruit Batman. When a paranormal threat is starting to take children from Gotham, Batwoman jumps into action to identify the villain and stop kids from going missing. Naturally, this provides the D.E.O. with the perfect opportunity to approach Batwoman with an offer. What will Batwoman decide to do? Go with the very well equipped D.E.O. or turn to the Batman and take up a role within Batman Inc?
Batwoman as a character is quite interesting if done right. As a member of the LGBTQA community, she opens the doors for representation which is something that I’ve always believed is important. The novel itself isn’t very long and I feel that whilst I appreciate that I’ve not had to trawl through a massive story *cough* Hawkman *cough* it actually doesn’t leave very much material for you to go on. I think that the choice to have a paranormal aspect of the novel was interesting, but not something that I personally would have done. The novel is simple enough to follow and provides enough of a backstory for you to pick up quickly where you are, but as I said, leaves you wanting more interactions between certain characters!
The artwork was interesting, to say the least. I wasn’t particularly a fan of all the panels that involved Kate in her civilian alias, but all the panels with her as Batwoman were fairly fascinating. It was clear that several artists collaborated on some of the issues which made for some abstract styles. The covers all reflected the paranormal plot and this one above I really liked. Overall, not a bad novel, but its length meant that I wasn’t able to enjoy it immensely!
Families. They’re always so complicated. Hahaha!
Hmmm, since the story isn’t largely character-focused, the obvious choice here would be Batwoman, but I’d need to see more, to be honest!
Story Arc: ★★½
Character Development: ★★★