Writers: Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Deron Bennett
BEFORE SHE WAS BATWOMAN…KATE KANE BROKE BAD!
Gorgeous. Utterly, undeniably gorgeous. The perfect word to summarize Batwoman #5. Never before since Justice League of America #7, have I reviewed a comic which made me soak in every glorious page of its fantastic, beautiful artwork. Calling issue #5’s artwork a feast for the eyes is a vast understatement.
Looking at Batwoman #5’s artwork was like eating my favourite dessert- which in my case is peanut butter brownies served with fruit salad- on a peaceful rainy night while listening to the Wonder Woman soundtrack. In short, utter bliss. I implore you to scroll down and read the images below. Then, enlarge the images again, but don’t read the panels this time. Just gaze at this wondrous display of comic book artistry before you.
THE UNTOLD STORY….UNTIL NOW!
Ok, let’s move on from that- ahem- eerily detailed example. Issue #5 is a special one-shot issue chronicling Kate Kane’s (Batwoman) time on the isolated island nation of Coryana. As this is largely a prequel to Batwoman’s entire Rebirth series, there’s really not much in the way of spoilers.
For consistency purposes, I will be referring to Batwoman solely as Kate Kane or Kane in my review, considering this is a story set long before she became Batwoman. The issue begins with Kane recovering from a nasty wound on her head. She is greeted by the island’s warlord, Safiyah Sohail. Safiyah informs Kane that she sustained a serious head injury as a result of her being washed-up on Coryana. In the month following on from her unexpected arrival, Kane is treated as an outsider by Coryana’s citizens. One person in particular, Tahani, has grown increasingly suspicious of Kane.
Throughout her stay on Coryana, Kane and Safiyah begin to form a strong connection with each other, much to Tahani’s chagrin. Their connection eventually evolves into a romantic relationship. However, Tahani won’t stand for this. Not one bit. In an effort to rid Coryana of Kane, Tahani attempts to kill Kane during a mission to hijack an oil rig. Tahani’s murder attempt is foiled when a colossal wave hurls both her and Kane into the ocean. Safiyah rescues and resuscitates Kane. The lovers subsequently consummate their relationship.
IT’S NOT A COMIC BOOK….IT’S AN ART GALLERY
Ok, I’m guessing you know from the subheading above that I will be discussing the artwork again. Every single panel is like a throughly crafted painting. This is more than a comic book, this is an art gallery. While I do miss Steve Epting, the artist of the first four issues, Stephanie Hans has more than proven herself to be a worthy successor! The way she managed to create such believable lighting through impressive coloring and shading. Some amazing standouts were the ocean itself and the characters. The facial expressions for the characters are more detailed than ever before. Stephanie Hans fantastically emulates the emotions of the characters. But it’s during the stormy ocean scenario that Stephanie Hans work truly shines. My mouth opened in awe and remained opened as I read every panel in that phenomenal stormy ocean scenario. The hard work, passion and thought that Stephanie Hans instilled into Issue #5 on a whole was palpable throughout that terrifying, yet stunning scenario.
I found the story to be irresistibly engaging. I appreciated that writers, Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV, solely dedicated issue #5 to fleshing out Kate Kane’s character. However, to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend anyone new to Batwoman’s Rebirth series to start off with issue #5. I just feel you would need to read the previous four issues in order to fully comprehend the story and characters. I now realise how Kate Kane’s past has shaped her future as Batwoman. Every panel, no matter the size, were all integral to conveying the story and I always appreciate that the writing was kept to a minimum. As a result the panels were never clouded with overabundant speech bubbles. It just allowed more room for the artwork
Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Stephanie Hans and the whole creative team have delivered another worthy entry to Batwoman’s Rebirth series! The artwork is absolutely beautiful and the pages deserve to be framed and hung in an art gallery. Stephanie Hans, you have a bright future ahead of you in the comic book industry! Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have done a remarkable job of expanding upon the character of Kate Kane. I look forward to what path the scarlet haired crimefighter will walk next. Batwoman #5 reinforces the reason why Batwoman– out of the three series I’m reviewing- is my favourite series to review! I deeply implore you all to pick up your issue of Batwoman #5 ASAP!
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment