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Batwoman #24 is an Action Packed Conclusion to Williams and Blackman’s Run on the Series

Batwoman #24 is an Action Packed Conclusion to Williams and Blackman’s Run on the Series

Batwoman #24

Writers: J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman

Artists: Trevor McCarthy, Sandu Florea, and Derek Fridolfs

Colorists: Guy Major

Publisher: DC Comics

J.H. Williams has been writing and/or drawing Batwoman’s (Kate Kane) adventures in some capacity since 2009’s Batwoman: Elegy storyline in DetectiveBW_Cv24 Comics. With Greg Rucka, he created a compelling origin story for DC Comics’ first lesbian superheroine and set her apart from Batman in her crime fighting methods and attitude. Her rogues gallery was mostly creatures from urban legends, folklore, or mythology (even though she does fight some of Batman’s villains like in this issue), and her relationships with her family and friends was a big focus of the series. Batwoman #24 is the last issue that co-writers J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman will ever do, and even though its art is a bit rough, Williams and Blackman provide an exciting plot and an introspective look at Kate Kane in their final issue of the book.

Batwoman #24 cuts loose with fight scene after fight scene between Gotham’s vigilantes, villains, and the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations). Even though his figures are somewhat shoddy, artist Trevor McCarthy makes sure the big fight scene between Batman and Bane is full of kinetic energy and motion. In a parallel story, Bette Kane’s attack on the DEO safe house holding her cousin Alice resembles a game of Street Fighter, which she lampshades through her inner monologue. All the moral conflicts that have been discussed and debated over the past issues are partially resolved through an outburst of fisticuffs. Even though the comic ends on a major cliffhanger, Williams and Blackman make sure that readers see Batwoman go out punching.

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However, this comic isn’t all action. Williams and Blackman uses red caption boxes to offset the scenes of violence and give the readers one last look at their take on Batwoman’s psyche. They show how conflicted her mind is in contrast with her body when she goes to take out Batman. The red coloring for her caption boxes perfectly describes her anger towards the supervillains wreaking havoc in the city she has sworn to protect. McCarthy captures these feelings visually in a scene where her binoculars show Gotham in flames. The moral conflict between what Batwoman wants to do and must do comes to a haunting climax in a simply rendered, yet beautiful page.

Even though he needed help from other artists to finish his pages, McCarthy turns in some strong and inventive work for his last issue of Batwoman. His art isn’t as detailed as his other work on Batwoman, and there is one scene where Batman is positioned awkwardly and it is hard to see who is speaking. But McCarthy uses unique panel structures to shed even more light on Batwoman’s inner conflict and physical conflict with Batman. He uses a lightning bolt to divide a four page sequence of Bette smoothly taking down DEO operatives while Batwoman struggles in her fight with Batman. There is also the aforementioned pages with Bane, and “snapshot” panels which show the various villains that the DEO has set loose in Gotham along with Batwoman’s reaction to them. He also draws one last two page splash page of Batwoman swooping into action.

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Even though it reads (and was supposed to be) a middle issue in a larger story, Batwoman #24 is a powerful end to Williams and Blackman’s tenure on the New 52 Batwoman. There is no last scene with Kate and Maggie, but that wouldn’t have made sense in the plot. There are some gorgeous scenes of Bette Kane, who was injured badly in Medusa’s attack on Gotham, returning to action and making sure that Batwoman doesn’t have to completely compromise her mission. Williams and Blackman also manage to balance action and characterization with their use of caption boxes in fight scenes.  Even though it doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, Batwoman #24 has a fast moving plot, some insightful characterization, and gorgeous visuals making it a better than expected conclusion to Williams and Blackman’s run.