Two issues in, Animosity is proving to be one of the most original debuts of the year. The AfterShock series takes place on an Earth where animals suddenly gain sentience. Naturally, confusion leads to violence which only ratchets up the narrative’s tension. However, there is more to the title than a tale of animal resentment run amok. Writer Marguerite Bennett, along with artist Rafael De Latorre, are crafting a nuanced portrait of humans’ relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom. At New York Comic Con, I had the chance to speak with Bennett about the series.
Marguerite Bennett of DC Bombshells, Animosity, InSexts and Angela will be writing a new Batwoman ongoing series with artist Steve Epting of Velvet, Captain America and New Avengers. Bennett will start co-writing the character for two issues in Detective Comics with series writer James Tynion IV who will also be co-writing the first arc of the new series. More details at The Hollywood Reporter
In Batwoman Rebirth #1, the debut issue of the series manages to avoid many of the pitfalls that befell previous Rebirth one shots by focusing on the character’s unique identity politics.
Batwoman feels like a comic that DC is going all out on with an all-star creative team of James Tynion IV, Marguerite Bennett, Steve Epting and Jeremy Cox. Having recently co-starred with Batman in Tynion’s highly popular and effective Detective Comics run, the series Rebirth issue follows a familiar formula in exploring the character’s past up to the launch of the new series. But Batwoman Rebirth also far exceeds what we’ve seen from most of the Rebirth one shots by focusing on the real world ramification of the characters past trauma on the current state of the protagonist.
To be specific, Batwoman Rebirth points towards the murder of Kate Kane’s mother & twin sister combined with her being dishonorably discharged from the US Military because of her sexuality as catalyst event in the life of the character that eventually leads to her taking on the mantle of Batwoman. Tynion & Bennett approach those events and their fallout with a deft touch that’s even more impressive when considering the limited real estate that’s afforded to them from a single issue. In spite of those limitations, the writers cut to the heart of the matter immediately and then build out the rest of the issue based on that. Artist Steve Epting & colorist Jeremy Cox maintain a staunch realism to their style that serves the books grounded story and dark setting. The art doesn’t go much beyond meeting expectations for the creators, but that in and of itself is pretty enjoyable. While less expressive then Eptings most recent work on Velvet, it’s a promising direction for the book and it’s thematic overtones for the series as a whole.
Overall, Batwoman Rebirth is a stellar debut and quite easily the most successful of the Rebirth one shots for the emotional resonance of it’s thematics. It’s a big picture examination of the charachter that feels incredibly personal. If the ongoing series can match the punch of it’s Rebirth issue, DC should have another distinctive hit for their superhero line of comics.
In this segment I will be highlighting a variety of work. Something old is a book from my shelf I have read in the past. Something new is a new comic series I am excited about. Something borrowed is a book I do not own and have borrowed to read specifically for this segment. Something queued is a book I have now placed in the “to-read” pile as a result of the previous three. Every now and then I will pop something off the queue and write about it. This week I am highlighting Greg Rucka, specifically his stories with strong female detectives. (Technically they aren’t all “detectives” but investigative work is done).
By James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Adriano Lucas
On Wednesday, Detective Comics joined the Rebirth initiative with a new creative team and old numbering. It also skipped the one-shot step, jumping straight into the action. This proves to be a smart choice on DC’s part, allowing the title to avoid some of the problems which have plagued the one-shots, such as Batman and Superman, which felt like they were more about the past than the future. Instead, readers get an engaging comic book which manages to channel previous work, while still feeling rooted in the present. As such it is the most successful debut chapter of a Rebirth title to date.
Next year will mark the 10th Anniversary of the debut of the current Batwoman, and what better way to celebrate than with a big-screen blockbuster? Yes, Kate Kane may not have the same name recognition as other members of Batman’s extended family, but as Marvel Studios continues to demonstrate, audiences are more than happy to be introduced to new concepts. Batwoman is a terrific character with a lot going for her. Here is how I would harness that for the silver screen.
The Concept: This is a street level action-drama. There are plenty of supernatural elements in Batwoman’s comic book adventures, but I would save those for future outings. For this first film, I would concentrate on grounding the characters in the familiar territory of urban violence. At the same time, I would plant seeds of a larger conspiracy, as Batwoman gradually uncovers the organization behind Gotham’s criminals’ increasing audacity. This group is led by the charismatic, unbalanced Alice. She would serve as Batwoman’s primary antagonist for the film. I would stop short of actually connecting this organization to The Religion of Crime as, honestly, I never found it to be one of Rucka’s most intriguing ideas.