Title: Batwoman – The Many Arms of Death (Part 1)
Story: Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV
Art: Steve Epting
Publisher: DC Comics (USA)
Editor: Dave Welgosz & Chris Conroy
Pages: 22 Colour Pages
Price: 2.99 $
Release Date (Print & Digital): 15th March 2017
Age Rating: Teen
One Line: A Lead takes Batwoman to a Mystery Island, where her past is involved.
Synopsis: Monster Venom is the hottest new bio-weapon on the market and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman has to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours!
Batwoman – An Introduction: For those who came in late, Batwoman was created in the mid of 1950’s by writer Edmond Hamilton just to put off the questions about the Homosexuality of Batman. Katty Kane is a citizen of Gotham city and just like Batman, she is also a healthy heiress who turns into a vigilante to serve justice. Her simple motto, of late, is to do things that Batman cannot!
DC Comics Rebirth: For the uninitiated, this mega event was started in June 2016 and the entire timeline and story arcs are reset to that of the New 52 series. This particular story arc (The Many Arms of Death) starts from the time line of “Night of the Monster men”. The writing is taken care by Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV and they have done a fabulous job, to start with.
Story: Forget about suicide bombers. Terrorists have a new bio weapon named Monster venom drug. The takers of that, turn into a monster and cause more havoc than a bomb would do so. Kate was tracking one such bomb and while defusing (pun intended) she gets a lead that takes her to the mysterious island of Coryana, situated somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. Kate’s visit to the island also triggers an emotional flashback about her “Lost Year” and the story kicks on from that point.
First and foremost, the dialogues in this comic are some of the best in the recent times, especially in those comics involving citizens of Gotham. The opening sequence and the repetition of the same set of dialogues in the middle, both are penned nicely. Having followed Marguerite Bennett through Bombshells series, this was no surprise at all. Knowing her abilities, and of course that of the redoubtable James Tynion IV, we can surely expect a very good series where writing gets its due.
What elevates this setting-up-for-the-story (part 1) comic to a higher plane is the artwork of Steve Epting. Here is a question: How many emotions that one artist can make us feel through artwork? Happiness, sorrow, pain, fear, etc. Yes, these are all easy for the master artists. That is where Epting is taking us to. There are certain sequences in the comics where the artwork requires a very deep and careful look rather than the casual glance that is normally associated with the action packed stories, which we normally do. Consider the scenes where Kate is staring at the sea, the flashback sequence are some of the classic examples of the strong inking of Steve Epting.
There is a particular sequence in the story which yields something about the past of Kate and that entire sequence is handled in black and white. Know what? The colorist for this comic, Jeremy Cox makes his presence felt so effectively in those pages. While the entire sequence is in Black & white, Kate’s hair alone is colored in blood red. And her lips. This is good, damn good.
Final Point: Strong build up for the series.
Verdict: Recommended. (4/6).
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