Batwoman Volume 1 – Hydrology (ISBN 978-1-4012-3465-2)
“El angel rojo oscuro de la muerte…”
As an introduction for Batwoman within the New 52 reboot, this nice hardcover book contains issues #0-5 of the rebooted series. Issue #0, which released prior to the reboot, has Batman tracking Batwoman and Kate Kane and trying to put a connection between their identities. Issues #1-5 deal with Batwoman trying to solve a case of missing children and stop La Llorona, the Weeping Woman. An old ghost story, even the cops find truth in this story connected to the missing kids. As Batwoman tries to find where they are, she has her cousin, who is Flamebird, trying to prove herself and an agent of the DEO cracking down on Batwoman’s identity. Ultimately, Kate is risking getting found out and is also having to open old wounds with her family on top of everything!
This gorgeously illustrated story arc here is penciled by none other than J.H. Williams III and his unique style of having the panels run horizontally and some neat ways to panel the scenes. His character drawings border realistic and the action is definitely contained here. This is more of a horror comic with lots of blood, gore, and nudity. Kate, her cousin, and her date are all naked several times (conveniently covered; barely) and there’s even the famous scene in issue 4 where Kate engages in a sex scene with her partner! A few people get ripped in two or lose a head to round off the mature content contained here along with some cussing as well. It’s a really good read with an interesting story by Blackman. Guest artists Amy Reeder and Richard Friend pencil part of an issue but overall, it’s Williams’s brilliant artwork that really makes this series pop. Even the story here is very interesting although, for a reboot, it’s a direct continuation of the previous story so you may feel a bit lost without reading Elegy but this is definitely one that reads better in trade form. On top of everything, you get it contained in a nice hardcover with extras like textless covers, cover sketches, scripts, character art, and more!
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10