Top positive review
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Amazing artwork and a compelling story
on July 7, 2010
The first thing you will notice about this book is the spectacular artwork. Artist J.H. Williams (Alan Moore's Promethea) employs several different styles over the course of the story, but his primary style (for when Batwoman goes into action) is especially beautiful. These pages are painted with a B&W ink wash and then the talented Dave Stewart (Hellboy, The Umbrella Academy) adds the colors, and the result is stunning. It's also obvious that a lot of thought went into the overall design of each page, not just individual drawings. There are even details in the art that you don't really notice until after you've finished the story.
But what of the story? There are plenty of comics that have terrific art but are poorly written. No such worries here thanks to writer Greg Rucka (Queen & Country). This is sort of a "Batwoman: Year One" (with some sections even mimicking the style of Batman: Year One), but it also gives us a memorable new villain in the psychopathic, Lewis Carroll-quoting Alice. Rucka also does a fantastic job of making Batwoman Kate Kane into her own character, and not just a female version of the Batman.
I can only think of a couple of negatives. A couple of the page layouts were so complex that it took a few seconds to figure out the order in which to read the panels. Also, the book ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, and Rucka has now left DC. Fortunately, Williams will be taking over the writing and continuing the story, but it may be a while until the Alice character returns.
This oversized hardcover is highly recommended. It's not that often that such a perfect marriage of story and art comes along.