Review: Batwoman #6

“Pax Batmana”

Writers: Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV

Artist: Renato Arlem

Colorist: Adriano Lucas

Letterer: Deron Bennett

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

 

 

Well… this issue came out of nowhere. I have to be frank, I was not expecting to read this kind of story. I was honestly expecting issue #6 to be a continuation of its predecessors, to expand upon Kate Kane’s (Batwoman) past affiliation to Coryana.  Or just tell a story about Batwoman continuing her vigilante escapades against crime. But rather, writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have presented comic book readers an unexpected yet captivating entry into Batwoman’s Rebirth series.

ONWARDS TO THE FUTURE

Issue #6 is definitely not your usual Batwoman story. The issue takes place in a distant, dystopian future where Gotham is ruled with an iron fist by the very hero who swore to protect it long ago. Yes, The Dark Knight himself has taken over Gotham as its ruler. However, it’s revealed that it is not Bruce Wayne but rather a whole new Batman entirely! The streets are patrolled by the new Batman’s militant Batmen soldiers – the Pax Batmana. Basically, just imagine Superman’s troopers from Dawn of Justice, but wearing Batman cowls instead of Superman’s insignia. Gotham is divided by sectors with the new Batman serving as its enigmatic overseer. Only one sector in Gotham still retains its independence – Free Gotham. Thanks to police commissioner, Renee Montoya, a mutual truce was established which later laid the foundations for Free Gotham.

An older Batwoman works covertly with an eye-patch wearing Jason Todd to topple the new Batman’s totalitarian regime and restore Gotham as a free city. After a series of major events, one of them resulting in Montoya becoming injured, Batwoman vows to end Tim Drake’s reign over Gotham. Yes, you read it, Tim Drake! Holy Bat-anticipation!

INTRIGUING PREMISE

Initially, I was very surprised by this arc as I was expecting a continuation of Batwoman’s vigilantism. But nevertheless I was quickly captivated by this intriguing premise. I felt the whole premise of this arc was a nice homage to the classic sci-fi dystopian film Blade Runner. Everything about this arc just resonates sci-fi dystopian films: its neon-esque futuristic cityscapes, the flying hover vehicles and the robotic surveillance drones. Series writers Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV have crafted a compelling rendition of Gotham that just grips you instantly.

The same can be said for the eponymous scarlet-haired crimefighter. The writing duo have done a fantastic job creating this older, battle-worn portrayal of Batwoman which also feels like a great homage to The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel by Frank Miller.

Renato Arlem’s stunning artwork also helped to realise this aged rendition of Batwoman. His work on the distant cityscapes of this dystopian Gotham was incredible and was further enhanced by Adriano Lucas’s amazing coloring.

The action was easy to follow and well-choreographed via the panels. I really appreciate that each panel is regulated to one character. It results in the action not becoming cluttered and it flows seamlessly from panel to panel.

Letterer Deron Bennett has once again done an impressive job at positioning the speech bubbles so they would never obscure the character’s faces.

Conclusion

On the whole, this is turning out to be another incredible story arc in the Batwoman series. I became really immersed in this dystopian version of Gotham that Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have crafted. The art and coloring acutely emulates the sci-fi dystopic atmosphere of this futuristic Gotham. I am eagerly awaiting to see how Tim Drake will be integrated into the story. I highly recommend issue #6 for fans of both Batwoman and sci-fi dystopian films!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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Philip Lawrence

Ever since he can remember Philip has been a passionate fan of the Batman mythos. He played all four Arkham games, watched all three Christopher Nolan films and started to obsessively read the comics. Outside of being a writer for Dark Knight News Philip is an aspiring actor, theatremaker, filmmaker and maintains a Youtube channel. He hopes to one day create the comics he loves to read so much.