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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
This volume collects issues 0-5 and to clear up any confusion, due to different solicits, is NOT a deluxe hardcover but a standard hardcover. Sadly.

Batwoman issue 0 is a hold over from the old DCU. The dead give away is Batman's emblem, the yellow background with bat on top that Grant Morrison made the trademark for old DCU Batman Inc. It is Batman/Bruce Wayne scouting Batwoman/Kate Kane to figure out if the identity matches and if she is worthy to be one of Gotham's protectors. Almost a precursor to Greg Rucka's written and J. H. Williams drawn Batwoman: Elegy. A fanatic read and highly recommended before going into this story.

Issues 1-5 is the Hydrology arc and the intro of Batwoman into the new 52, but it picks up right where the above mentioned "Elegy" storyline finished. New readers do not fear, as all needed information is given. This is still a relatively new franchise. Kate is still at ends with her father and the tragedy that befell her sister. But a crimefighter has little time to rest in Gotham City as a watery ghost called "The Weeping Woman" is drowning children and leaving the authorities clueless. Kate also has her over eager yet not psychology ready cousin, Bette Kane, a.k.a. Flamebird, itching to go as her sidekick. Kate also has romance woes with Detective Maggie Sawyer of the G.C.P.D. And has gotten the interest of a supernatural division of the D.E.O. from an Agent Chase and Director Bones (it's a fitting name).

Let me talk about the art first as it's just too exciting. J. H. Williams III works magic on the page. His stylish and intricate layouts. His gorgeous styles. He draws a more mundane Kate Kane and then a vampiric Batwoman that haunts the criminals she engages. Also, a lot of credit to one of the best colorists in the business, Dave Stewart. Batwoman's reds are burning, her blacks deep as night, and the whiteness of her face is the palest of pales. Amy Reeder, who does the Kate sequences in issue 0 is pretty good. But when Williams is the featured artist, everyone else sharing the page looks inferior.

The story is gripping and intense. It gets away from the main focus of "The Weeping Woman" a bit too often as it juggles multiple plot threads, but this is not a frustration as each thread is entertaining and deserving of it's given time. Kate Kane lives her life. It's one of the appeals of this character. She is not too wrapped up in "the mission" to sacrifice her personal life but when she is Batwoman she is all business. She also is still relatively new to this, so there are those learning bumps that would be fatal for a lesser vigilante, but due to her military background and who she is and what she has dealt with she manages to overcome. You love to root or her.

I have no idea how much of the writing Williams does but it is a relief that a top tier illustrator knows their strength is in the art and willingly accepts the aid of a career writer. W. Haden Blackman is there to keep him honest and to tell a coherent story. That ideal was finally realized on "Batman: The Dark Knight", but sadly is still not accepted over at "Detective Comics". (I love Tony Daniels' art but the man cannot write!)

One of the main appeals of this series is although it's a Bat title, Batwoman operates on her own. Yes, she was inspired by Batman and realizes it's his turf but in this series they do not team up and she does not take orders from him. She wears his sign out of respect, respects the local P.D., does not kill, and has meets to chat but is not one of his agents. I loved the fact that when Scott Snyder was revving up to do the Night of the Owls crossover and asked all the other titles creative teams to join, Williams and Blackman said, "Thanks, but no thanks. We have our own side of Gotham to explore". That trickles down into this character as well.

Great story. Great character. GREAT ART. Great series. Cannot wait to soldier on to the next volume.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
Starting off, I'm a fan of Wonder Woman and have been reading that Batwoman was coming around with a new twist so I decided to give the comic a read. I have not been disappointed with the decision! I love the revamp of Batwoman. She's has so much character to her now that was never expressed before. The character that is portrayed is tough and vulnerable. I love the artwork; it was stunning to look at. The artwork pops and is new and refreshing looking for a style of comic book. I can't wait for the rest of her story to continue. It was an awesome read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 15, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've never been a big fan of Batwoman. She has always seemed a little flat and underdeveloped to me. So when the chance came around to give this re-boot a try, I decided to give it a go. Boy and I glad I did. This version of Batwoman is much more compelling to me. She has more warmth, more depth, and seems much more like a real person than previous incarnations. I work on the US border with Mexico, so I was familiar with the story of La Llorana as it is often told down here as a cautionary tale to keep children from wandering too far from home. The story worked on so many levels because certain elements of the stories of La Llorana echo in the life of Kate Kane.

The artwork is gorgeous and the collection is worth it for the art alone. Add to that art an excellent story with a well-developed character and you have a hit. Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
The heart in the storyline caught me by surprise. The characters were so real in their emotions that I was moved at every turn and didn't want the book to end. Loved the complicated relationships Kate Kane has, especially with herself. I don't usually like when a different writer takes over one of my favorite titles, but this New 52 Batwoman team faithfully live up to the character and story started by Greg Rucka, while putting their own outstanding stamp on it. Can't wait for the next volume to be released.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After many delays finally Batwoman is here, and it was well worth the wait. Fans of "Batwoman: Elegy" will not be disappointed in Kate Kane's return to the DC scene. The story effortlessly picks up after Elegy, and the art is as beautiful as ever and flows well with the more... metaphysical elements of the story.

As is the key in any Bat-comic, I love hat the story is not just about the 'case of the week' but ultimately ties to family and character. Kate's relationship with her father gets increasingly more interesting and complicated here, and I look forward to learning more about him and the shady black ops program he was involved in. Kate herself is a wonderfully flawed hero, whose evolution should be very interesting to follow in later books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
J.H. Williams III has produced the most visually dynamic book to come out of DC Comics in the last year; Batwoman has a distinctive look that pushes the graphic novel art form to new heights. The first five issues of the Batwoman series have been collected in Batwoman Volume 1 Hydrology.

On the surface `Hydrology' is the story of Batwoman's search for children who have been abducted by an urban legend, La Llorana, "The Weeping Woman". At its heart, `Hydrology' is defining who Batwoman is: an estranged daughter, a grieving sister, a proud lesbian, a brave soldier and a determined hero. Williams with co-writer W. Haden Blackman craft a story that interlocks all aspects of Batwoman and her alter ego Kate Kane into a hero unlike others in the world of fiction.

Williams' artwork sets the tone for this book. With stunning imagery that weaves its way across the page. Not confined by traditional comic paneling, Williams presents a radical change to the comic book format. The art flows across the page with brilliant layouts that tells the story in a new way.

Batwoman stands out on the page since Williams makes her costume glisten as the material has a shiny leather look that is like nothing else in the story. The heroine's costume is accentuated by her flaming red hair. It is breathtaking work that contrasts to the mysterious backgrounds that flow across the page as smoke wafts through the sky.

The color artwork of Dave Stewart is just as much a part of the story as William's art. From the bright red color of Batwoman's hair to the heroine's pale skin the colors play a huge part in defining the look of this book.

Williams and Blackman entrench Batwoman firmly into Batman's world. The supporting cast of the Batman titles move in and out of Batwoman so she exists as another hero in Gotham City that can operate separate from Batman but still be a part of his world.

Batwoman Volume 1 Hydrology defines who the mysterious Batwoman is. With artwork that challenges the perception of what comic books can be Williams and Blackman tell a compelling story full of drama and intrigue that makes this one of the best book DC Comics is currently producing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
Absolutely loved this book and I can't wait for the next one. One word of warning: There is a lot of backstory that you may not understand at once if you haven't read "Elegy". Do not fret, there is more exposition to come as this book only covers the beginning of Batwoman's new story and nemesis. This is one series that doesn't have arc after arc, the entire story is STILL going on even now and we are on issue 13. So if you love amazing art and an involving story, go for it because this book and series are worth it. Easily one of the best of the new 52. FYI: Batgirl is having a really awesome run too, and it is a bit more in line with the "3 issue story arc then start a new one" model.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2014
After learning that this was one of the highest rated series from various critics out of the New 52, I was eager to boil into this volume. Ultimately, the artwork blew me away, but I found myself a bit bored with the storyline. I felt like there was too much of an emphasis on the main character's alternate lifestyle, and nowhere near enough on her origin story of becoming Batwoman. Additionally, it never felt like it was in the Batman universe at all, other than taking place in Gotham. I plan on giving future volumes a chance, but this first story arc really didn't do much for me. Bottom line: This is definitely worth reading, but there are better stories in the Batman universe available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2013
This is hands-down the best super hero book that I have read in a long time. J.H. Williams III and Greg Rucka have crafted a modern heroine that is interesting, dynamic, and severely flawed. The story is great, but this book simply destroys all the competition with its superb artwork. Williams is a true master, with a remarkable ability to plan beautifully structured and intricate pages, reinvision standard action sequences in a way that make you gasp, and capture the tender delicacy of human emotion. And Dave Stewart's colors are nothing less than pure genius--he has always been the best in the field, but this work sets a new standard. It is that good. Buy it. Read it. Love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2013
You're not reading your typical serialized comic, with the New 52 Batwoman. The portrayal of Kate as a queer femme-enough woman with PTSD, an ex-soldier, all of it is really thoughtful and not exploitative. The artwork is incredible (it may be a false divide, but it feels like a graphic novel, instead of a set of books with serious deadline pressure).
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