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‘Batwoman Annual’ #2: capes & cowls

‘Batwoman Annual’ #2: capes & cowls

CoverBatwoman Annual #2
Written by Marc Andrekyo
Art by Georges Jeanty, Yishan Li, Roberto Viacava, Ronan Cliquet, Karl Story, & Dexter Vines
Colors by Guy Major
Published by DC Comics

Alright, so as Convergence kicks up, a number of DC’s titles are being cancelled. One of those titles is Batwoman. To be honest this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Batwoman has been the center of multiple controversies and it hasn’t had the most spectacular of sales. It’s a downer given it means that one of DC’s few gay and female fronted titles is getting thrown out but it’s probably time. Hopefully in a year or two they’ll be able to bring her back in her own outing again with proper foresight to iron out the awkward details that have crippled this title.

Batwoman Annual #2 comes as an honest surprise. It’s where writer Marc Andrekyo really finds his calling on this book and goes out with a self-contained story more fit to his sensibilities. The arc that’s been following the Batwoman and her team of Unknowns has teetered between an engaging monsters and magic romp and awkwardly attempting to clean up all that kerfuffle with Nocturna raping Kate Kane. The story follows the Unknowns as they crash land into the Gotham bay only to discover that Gotham, and possibly the world, has been turned into a medieval fantasy realm controlled by the sinister Morgaine le Fay. The five of them must work together to not only defeat Morgaine but also her team of medieval themed henchmen lead by Nocturna herself. That’s about it plot wise, while it’s unfair to just sweep so much of Batwoman’s problems out from under the rug, perhaps it’s for the best. It’s wrong to put those issues aside but this title finally injects some fun into its blood and starts enjoying itself. This strange brew of modern superheroics turned swords and sorcery is a fun mix, one DC hasn’t engaged in since the late great Demon Knights. Sadly, most of the characters have very little to do in this story. Rag Man and Red Alice just sit on the sidelines before the big battle and Etrigan is all but absent. Perhaps it’s cheating that this book ends on such a light note with happy endings for the heroes, Nocturna getting a proper curbstomp, and Kate and Maggie trying to recuperate their relationship, but after #40 issues and a whole bunch of controversies, it’s a better ending than most New 52 books.

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Artwise, there’s not much to look out. The responsibilities of this issue are split up amongst a wide number of pencillers and inkers. However, unlike Earth 2: World’s End, these artist get page credits and they each have such similar styles that the change isn’t all that noticeable. The medieval Gotham cityscape is fun to gawk at and there’s a brief segment with Batwoman in scale male and wielding a sword that looks excellent but otherwise nothing to win anyone over.

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Batwoman Annual #2 is surprisingly a fun read. Andrekyo ditches many of the problems that have been plaguing this book and simply writes a fun superhero/fantasy mash up. It’s by far his most confident issue and shows what could have been if he’d finally gotten a hold of this title. Given DC is charging just as much for their severely lacking Convergence #0 right now, this is by far the better buy.