“Fear and Loathing” Part 1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Colorist: John Rauch
Well… that was unexpected, again. I mean that’s the second time in a row this series has surprised me. Issue #7 is an official continuation of Batwoman’s quest to defeat The Many Arms of Death and find her lost friend Safiyah. While I’m thrilled that I get to continue reading Batwoman’s quest to track down the Many Arms of Death, I find it very strange because the previous issue looked like it was really setting up a three issue story arc. I was a bit hyped for Issue #6’s dystopian storyline and engaging premise. Still, I had a blast reading this issue and I’m so thrilled to write this review.
Issue #7 starts off with our scarlet haired crusader venturing through the Sahara Desert alone in her quest to track down the elusive Many Arms of Death. Our hero is tired, dehydrated, battle-worn and soon fending off technologically- enhanced monsters. And soon, the desert itself.
After her plane was shot down from the sky by enemy forces, Batwoman has found herself travelling through the desert on foot. Occasionally the comic would flashback to various points in Batwoman’s life. Some very recent, such as 1 month to distant memories like her time on Coryana.
Eventually, 7 hours of venturing though the Sahara Desert begins to take a toll on her, mentally and physically. Until she comes across her most mentally challenging and formidable foe in the form of Scarecrow!
WONDERFUL ATMOSPHERE AND AESTHETICS
This is the first issue in the series solely written by Marguerite Bennett and she nevertheless does a brilliant job. The atmosphere of the desert is lonely, foreboding and really tests Batwoman’s fortitude. I actually found the desert itself to be Batwoman’s greatest opponent. Throughout the comic, Batwoman must brave against whatever obstacles the desert throws at her, sometimes literally. Sandstorms, mirages, the heat. Despite these obstacles, Batwoman refuses to give up. I also greatly appreciate that Marguerite Bennett kept the writing and dialogue to a minimum so the panels would never get overclouded by exposition.
The artwork is fantastic! While I do miss Steve Epting, Fernando Blanco has proven himself to be more than a worthy successor! Where his artwork really shined was when Batwoman encounters Scarecrow in the comic’s latter portion. The surreal style of the artwork emulated the psychological feeling Scarecrow’s presences amazingly. This is elevated even more brilliantly by John Rauch’s impeccably coloring.
The next entry in Batwoman’s Rebirth series certainly delivers what Batwoman fans are hoping for: well choreographed action, excellent artwork, sharp writing and a strong, well written protagonist. While I did find the panel structuring to be relatively confusing in the first couple of pages, the whole comic was a welcome return to Batwoman’s fight against the Many Arms of Death. Marguerite Bennett has certainly put Batwoman through the ringer in this issue. I cannot wait until Batwoman faces off against Scarecrow, and how she will best him.
Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment