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‘Batwoman #16’ (review)

Written by Marguerite Bennett
Illustrated by Fernando Blanco
Published by DC Comics


We come by Batwoman in the middle of a bigger story, this is the fourth chapter in “The Fall of the House of Kane”.

Kate is forced to choose between protecting her crazy sister Alice and her loyalty to Bruce as a member of the Bat Family and as a Kane.

Born Elizabeth “Beth” Kane, super villain Alice’s plan to infect Gotham with a super virus delivered via a storm of bats was thwarted, but not before Batman is able to appear on the roof of Kane Industries.

It was revealed in a previous issue that Kate has been infected by Alice’s virus and the effects of the drugging may have lingered.

Batman and Batwoman struggle for control over Alice, leading to an epic Batcycle chase through Kane Industries that ends with Batwoman chucking a giant letter “K” at The Bat.

Strike One?

I appreciate the nod to Silver Age giant props and Batman ’66 here!

After Batman is forced to stand down as sister faces off, he reminds Kate that he is running a tab and he CAN and WILL strip her of the cowl. He references the “Fall of the Batmen” storyline from Detective Comics #973 wherein (spoiler warning!) Batwoman is seen murdering Clayface (or at least, shooting him in the head, see Detective Comics #981)!

Batman urges Batwoman to bring Alice to Arkham Asylum for treatment, but Kate disagrees, saves her sister and begs Alice for forgiveness. Batman stands aside to let Kate work this out, but to what end?

Bennett, a former student of Scott Snyder, has written a Batwoman story compelling enough to stand up to modern volumes of Kate Kane from Rucka and Williams III. She can carry the legacy of how a Batman book should feel and the motivations of the characters in a very authentically DC Comics style, maintaining tradition while growing on seeds of twists she is bringing to the table.

Is the Alice and Batwoman relationship close to that of Batman and The Joker? No more than brothers of brothers are the same as sisters of sisters. Having a woman writing this book is the right move, as she is able to explore the depths of the sisterly relationship with the Kanes here.

I very much look forward to the conclusion, initially I was just reading this issue but for maximum enjoyment grab back issues or trades starting at issue #13.

Great art by Fernando Blanco, a clean and classic comic book style that incorporates the signature J.H. Williams panel grids to some extent without over doing it. The Dan Panosian cover with Batman vs. Batwoman is top notch. He should draw all of the Batman covers!


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