Guest Review: @DCComics Batwoman #16

Batwoman #16 Cover
World's Finest, Part IV: Serpent's Homeland


This issue guest-stars everybody!

In this penultimate chapter, everything that’s been happening in BATWOMAN comes to a head!

Plus, a new hero is introduced, and Wonder Woman fights monsters!

Preview





Review


Serpent's Homeland Original Review by Batwatch at Comic Vine

Yay! It's time for another issue of Batwoman. Nothing gets me so worked up as being able to see another adventure of my favorite heroine. As the Medusa saga sprints towards the finish line, everything has taken on epic proportions as Gotham is under siege from the creatures of nightmare. Last month's Interlude II story was an good respite from the main arch, but I'm more than eager to get back to Kate, Diana, and the fray of monsters. Do the creatures of nightmare make for a heavenly story, or does the whole tale end up in the fiery pits of Tartarus?

In this issue, Batwoman tries to rescue the children, Wonder Woman takes on the Hydra, Medusa tries to resurrect her mother, Cameron Chase has a brush with death, and Flamebird gets a rematch.

Heading for the Finish Line

You can definitely tell that this Batwoman arch is wrapping up as it starts to give some resolution to all its characters. Batwoman gets to confront the monster she has been tracking for months, Flamebirds gets a shot at redemption, and even Cameron Chase has to prove herself in the field rather than from the safety of her office. We finally get to see a little motivation behind Medusa's actions as we learn that she is trying to bring her mother back to life, and though I would not accuse the whole evil god banished by the good gods story of uniqueness, it is still satisfying and interesting.

The flip side of entertaining so many subplots is that we do not really get much personal time with the World's Finest. After the hiatus last month, I was really eager to catch up with Batwoman and Wonder Woman, but Batwoman only graces about half the pages of this issue and Wonder Woman does not get a lot of screen time either earning only about a quarter of the pages. Thankfully, two of those Wonder Woman pages deal with an awesome Hydra fight, that I wish could have lasted longer. Possibly, it will continue in the next chapter. We do see a little bit of interaction between Kate and Diana as this dynamic duo play off each other as Kate nearly makes a stupid decision when her home is destroyed, but beyond that, the two heroines really do not have any interaction.

The art is amazing as always especially the fight with the Hydra. As much as I enjoy Williams III's work on this book, he has such amazing images that he would probably be able to put his talent to more use in a series more geared to fantasy, and I suppose that is exactly what he will do as he will leave Batwoman's art soon to focus on the Sandman prequel. Anyway, he is still amazing. The only thing that struck me as a little bit odd was that Kate's boobs seemed to be sticking out a bit much on some panels of pages 1 and page 4.

Bat Nitpicks

I had a couple of little nitpicks.

In the panels where Kate's base is destroyed, there is a giant redwood sized tree shown. Is that supposed to be symbolic or is there just a giant tree in Gotham? Has this played a role in some previous issue I missed?

I'm also not sure how I feel about Kate crying when her home was destroyed. I mean, I get that she was losing a lot of equipment and personal belongings, but Kate has usually done a pretty good job of blocking things out in battle. I'm not saying it is a bad characterization, but it did strike me as odd.

Conclusion 9/10

Though I am going to have to wait yet another month before I really see an adventure focused on Batwoman, this is still a very good issue. Pick it up and enjoy.


What I Thought


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 2/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4


I'm starting to get my bearing with this series. If you read my past reviews I was having a hard time placing events and following the story. Still amazes me we are still working on what I would consider now the first story arc for 16 issues. Williams art was great as always, but I still have to gripe about the use of double pages. I don't mind the occasional spread but it seems like his pages could really be made as singles but instead chooses to make them double instead. This not only becomes annoying holding and rotating the book (or Nook in my case) constantly, but also sometimes the order to read the panels. I was also not a fan of the wordiness of some of the monologue and narrative. It seems Williams really wants to write a book and not a graphic medium, and to be honest if this was a novel I'd probably like it, but for a comic sometimes too much text is a bad thing in my mind, it get boring and can distract from the art. That said this was a very well written issue and things are starting to get interesting. Unlike prior issues where I didn't care about the next, I can't wait for #17.

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Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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