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.
By Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Roge Antonio, Jeremy Cox, Carlos M Mangual, Mikel Janin
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