Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 19, originally released April 17th, 2013.
Patrick: Early in this issue, DEO Agent Cameron Chase says to her sister: “I think I’m about to do something horrible.” This isn’t an admission of guilt, she isn’t asking for absolution, and she certainly doesn’t want to be talked out of doing this horrible something. But Chase isn’t the only person in this series that’s about to do something horrible. The whole cast of Batwoman imposes personal sacrifices on each other to the benefit of… well, of what exactly? Love? Honor? Duty? The very thing they’re sacrificing?
Today, Jack and Patrick are discussing Batwoman 14, originally released November 21st, 2012.
Jack: When we left off, Batwoman and Wonder Woman had just sought the assistance of Pegasus, who, confusingly, was not a winged horse, but an exceptionally grizzled, disheveled, and unhappy-looking man of purpleish complexion. In this issue, we start to get a grasp on why. Pegasus is “dying” (or experiencing some not-yet-fully-explained immortal analog for death), and it is not a pleasant picture. Batwoman examines his wounds and mentally outlines a brutal altercation with Falchion, for which Pegasus is distinctly the worse. He explains Falchion’s complicity in Medusa’s sadistic, misanthropic, world-domination plans. He says that if Wonder Woman will cut off his head so that he can die “a warrior’s death,” he will point them in Medusa’s direction. Batwoman is appalled, but Wonder Woman agrees. Unsurprisingly, he sends them back to Gotham. Wonder Woman kills him, then quietly agonizes over the decision. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Jack are discussing Batwoman 13, originally released October 17th 2012.
Patrick: One summer time during college, I was looking for a job and I stopped by the mall in Appleton, Wisconsin. There was a sign at the info desk in the food court that said “Help Wanted” and then listed all the stores that were hiring. I didn’t know why, but I was really uncomfortable asking for this information – to the point where I almost wasn’t going to do it. But then I swallowed hard and just to myself “okay, I’ll just be funny.” Humor is the one tool I have at my disposal that I can use to address any situation I get myself into. God help me if I ever find myself pitted against the spawn of Chaos – I’d be fucked. Batwoman’s tools, on the other hand, we can have some confidence in those.
Today, (guest writer) Jack Ehlers and Drew are discussing Batwoman 0, originally released September 19th, 2012. Batwoman 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Jack: I don’t much care for plot in fiction. There is enough cause-and-effect to parse out in real life, and I would rather just trust fiction-writers to operate within their own made-up rules and make all the numbers add up on their own. I want to stare out the window of the car and appreciate the landscape without worrying about whether we missed our exit, and Batwoman 0 allows me to do exactly that. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Batwoman 12, originally released August 15th 2012.
Shelby: Oh, the life of a superhero, balancing personal relationships by day and caped ass-whupin’ by night. I have a hard enough time balancing office drone by day, nerd by night, so I don’t know how Kate Kane manages. She is beginning to fall into the classic (and seemingly inevitable) trap all heroes face: your loved ones assume you are sneaky and selfish, going out every night and keeping secrets, when in fact you are working harder than anyone to keep your loved ones safe. Kate starts on this downward slope as J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman begin a new arc, again with stories nestled within each other. At least this time it looks like everything is happening in the same chronological order. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batwoman 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.
Drew: In their write-up for issue 10, the siblings Ehlers described the “To Drown the World” arc as one about the power of belief. That summary somehow seemed too simple, given the chronological gymnastics that dominated our discussions. The emphasis on the chronology has eased off as the arc draws to its close, taking it out of the realm of gimmick and back to the much more common device of alternating between A and B story lines. What we’re left with are the themes the Ehlers so readily pointed out — how the lies we tell ourselves and others shape the way we perceive the world. I don’t know if it’s intentional or ironic that my faith in the creative team lead me to believe in vain there was more to the narrative gimmickry, but it establishes a fascinating meta-theme for the arc. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and (guest-writer) Jack Ehlers are discussing Batwoman 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Patrick: This whole arc has been about the power of belief. The monsters of Medusa’s army are all terrors from the zeitgeist, and while there’s a fair amount of straight-up magic that brings these creatures into play, Maro states time and again that she can only spawn these monsters is because the citizens of Gotham believe in them. Their belief makes the impossible possible. But people don’t just believe in ghosts and hook-handed men and sewer creatures – even in a city as dark as Gotham, they believe in each other and abstract Bat-ideal of justice.