Flying rodents seem to be popular this month on The Wednesday Run.
Throw in a heroine with a dash of fiery red hair, a bunch of monsters, an urban legend and a certain Amazonian princess, and you’ve got a can’t miss hit of epic proportions.
And that’s just the story! I haven’t even started on the artistic merits of such a comic book! The twelfth issue of the monthly Batwoman series is the one comic you must run out and pick up today!Batwoman #12
Written by: JH Williams and W. Haden Blackman
Illustrated by: JH Williams
Published by: DC Comics
For a sort of tongue-in-cheek, Batman-loving character that first appeared within the pages of Detective Comics in 1956, Kathy Kane, the Batwoman, sure has undergone some changes this past decade.
The most notable once occurred in DC Comics’ 2005’s ret-con (continuity-altering) series, Infinite Crisis. In that storyline, and ones that followed, Kathy Kane became Katherine Kane, ex-military soldier, rich socialite, and out-of-the-closet lesbian. She dresses as a midnight Gotham City hero, adorned in the imagery of the legend that inspired her to fight crime.
But the crime that this Batwoman fights is a strange kind indeed! Over the last year, she’s battled serial killers, cults, shape-changers, monsters and ghostly entities. It’s been a pretty crazy run – not your normal “superhero” book. And the one thing that’s been able to tie these dark and somewhat disparate and out-of-the-norm elements together into a coherent and highly enjoyable series is the emphasis by the writers, Williams and Blackman, on character – and, of course, the art.
JH Williams, you see, is also the main artist on Batwoman, exchanging arcs with other illustrators in order to give him a bit of a break or get ahead on the next storyline. For my money, Williams is the greatest draftsman in sequential storytelling today and it shows in every page and every panel he does. He’d an obvious student of the medium, but he’s distinctly his own artist too, constantly pushing the boundaries of the visual medium. There’s no mistaking a JH Williams page layout for anyone else in the business. Not now. Perhaps not ever. But not only are they visually full of story and character information, they are also absolutely beautiful to behold works of art, deserving of a museum wall for all to see – not just comic book readers.
I find it amazing that in DC’s New 52 (one year on now, and counting) that Batwoman has been left to it’s own devices, avoiding any of the editorial constraints that some of DC’s other comic book publications have had to experience. Batwoman exists firmly within the larger DC Universe, but it’s running its own race – and that has been for the better. In this Wednesday’s issue, for example, Wonder Woman, seemingly free of any current continuity encumbrance, makes her appearance, as the Amazonian joins Batwoman in hunting down the urban legend, Bloody Mary, at an abandoned carnival.
Under the pencil and pen of Williams, our heroes (along with the carnival’s hall of mirrors) will surely be a beautiful (and frightening) thing to behold!
Make the run and pick up Batwoman #12 today!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!