Comic Review: Batwoman #16 (DC Comics)

It’s the moment of truth!! The Fall of The House of Kane arc concludes here!! In order to stop the toxin that is spreading throughout the city, Batwoman will have […]

It’s the moment of truth!! The Fall of The House of Kane arc concludes here!!

In order to stop the toxin that is spreading throughout the city, Batwoman will have to make a choice. She will have to either side with Beth who has been corrupted by her evil persona Alice or side with her cousin Batman. Ties will strain and foundations will crumble as Batwoman struggles to make a choice. Batwoman must choose between families, but who will she side with?

Marguerette Bennet does a splendid job at writing a family triangle of a conflict. Despite the fact that Batman and Batwoman are cousins, that family element was never explored as often as it should have been. By far Tynion and Bennett are the only writers that have taken the opportunity to explore that family dynamic. It always struck me odd that there was never any exploration of Martha Wayne’s side of the family. But to see Bennett expand on some of that history, and weaving it together throughout this arc is enjoyable to see unravel.

The plot is strong in this issue, and while I hate to admit it, Batman being in this issue really struck a chord, but not because it’s Batman. This is largely in part due to Bennett diving deep into what the symbol of the bat means to Kathy Kane (Batwoman). It’s interesting seeing that someone who is a military veteran, who has seen war and applied those kills towards her war against crime, would still feel the need to cling tightly to the symbol and its ideals that feels humanizing. Kathy Kane feels more believable of a character than Batman surprisingly due to her ability to want to do good, but knowing that sometimes, doing good means having to make the most unappealing route. And that’s something that Bennet does a great job portraying not only in this issue but throughout this entire arc. Being torn apart by family is something that many can relate to, but that is one of many aspects about this issue that I liked. The dialogue is solid, the pacing is good and the overall conclusion and execution of the story leave you with a bittersweet sense of relief.

In regards of the artwork, Fernando Blanco does a fantastic job with the pages. His page layouts display a sense of foundation and pace, laying pages out for the right scenes to be properly displayed in unity with the writing. There is never a page that feels excessive or wasted, it all feels perfectly placed.

There are some great scenes that are beautifully drawn, such as the fight scenes that occur in this issue which are well choreographed. But what makes Blanco’s artwork pop out more is John Rauch’s colors, which fits appropriately with the tone of this issue and overall arc. At times it’s minimalist and other times it’s vibrant with art nouveau inspired imagery and colors that trickle throughout the book in all the right places.

Batwoman issue 16 is a strong conclusion to a great arc that adds more depth to not just Batwoman but the legacy of Batman as a whole. It offers a new direction for Batwoman and possibly the bat family as a whole that could be further explored. I definitely recommend adding this issue to the pull list, but I also recommend reading this in trade. It adds a new layer to Batwoman and Batman in more ways than people realize. I definitely suggest checking this issue out along with the title.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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