Posts tagged ‘Batwoman’

Detective 863 – Batwoman ends, and the Question finds the big guy

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Scott Kolins joins Greg Rucka and Jock for Batwoman’s final story in Detective, in issue 863 (May 2010).

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Batman and Batwoman continue on their separate, but similar, cases, and the art does all it possibly can to parallel the two stories.

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I particularly like Kate’s tennis suggestion, which allows Bette to free herself from Cutter, and uses the skills she is known to have.

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The story ends as Bette confronts Kate.  She knows her cousin is Batwoman, and reveals herself to be Flamebird.  She has found the hero she needed.

Batwoman moves into her own book, bringing Bette along with her, but it’s launch is delayed until the New 52.

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The Huntress and Question find prison on Oolong Island not as bad as they feared in this story, by Rucka and Hamner.

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That’s largely due to Veronica Cale, the ruler of the island of mad scientists.  She knows Renee and Helena are spies, but figures she has more chance of finding out what they are up to over lunch than through torture.   And indeed, the women are forthcoming.  It becomes a clever bit of negotiating, convincing Veronica that it is in her interest to lead them to the head of the Network, rather than waiting for the big guns heroes to show up.

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So Veronica sends them on to Syria, where they finally meet the man in charge.  Vandal Savage.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 862 – Bette joins the fight, and Oracle helps out

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Rucka and Jock continue the Cutter storyline in Detective 862 (April 2010).

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The missing girl that Batman is pursuing turns out to be a different case than the one Batwoman is on.  Add to that the missing girls in the Question’s Pipeline story arc, and that’s a lot of missing women.

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Bette has a conversation with Kate about letting go of the past.  Kate is thinking of her sister, and the kidnapping, and does not clue in that Bette is referring to her career as Flamebird.

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The story climaxes as Bette and a friend are heading home, and Cutter attacks.  Batwoman intervenes, but Bette’s friend is killed, and Bette gets taken by Cutter.

The story concludes next issue.

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The Question and Huntress need someone to replace Tot as their human computer in this story, by Rucka and Hamner.  Helena takes Renee to Oracle, but introduces her as Barbara Gordon.  Renee knows her, of course, and thinks it’s crazy to trust their case to the police commissioner’s daughter, but Huntress is just amused.  Sooo many secret identities.

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Barbara gives them the name of the company that runs the Network.  The Question plans to use stealth to learn what they want, but Huntress prefers a more direct approach, and makes that happen.

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Following the trail, the woman head to Oolong Island, where they are promptly arrested.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Detective 861- Kate seeks out Bette, and the Question and the Huntress vs Zeiss

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Jock joins Greg Rucka as they begin a three-part story that teams Batwoman with Batman, and concludes her run in this book. in Detective 861 (March 2010).

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A new villain is introduced.  A knife wielding murderer of young women, Cutter.  Batwoman has her first fight with him early in the issue, but is wounded, and he gets away.

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Batwoman also has her first encounter with Maggie Sawyer, who has no idea that this is the same woman who she has started seeing.  To be fair, the meeting is brief, and in darkness, and the fake hair is a good decoy.

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Batman is also on the case of Cutter, and meets with Commissioner Gordon to discuss it.

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Kate also seeks out her neglected cousin, Bette.  There is a casual reference to her tennis pro days, a nice reminder that this is the same person who has appeared with the Titans.  And Kate is not the only one who sought out Better that day.  She is also being scoped by Cutter as his next victim.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Rucka and Hamner do a good job turning the tables on their own cliff-hanger ending from last issue, as it becomes clear that the Question and Huntress knew Zeiss was following them, and were just waiting for him to arrive.

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Despite his ego, and getting some good shots on Renee, it’s two against one, and he has no chance.  But the women convince him to flip on his paymaster.  They stage a scene, so he can send his employer a picture of their supposed deaths, and he gets paid.  He turns over the name of the one who paid him, and readily admits he has no idea if it’s the big guy, or just another operative.

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The women are pleased with themselves, but Tot is not.  He has harsh words for them, working with and releasing a murderer, and claims the original would have been ashamed of them.

The story continues next issue.

Detective 860 – suspicions confirmed, and the Question teams with the Huntress

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Batwoman’s origin storyline concludes in Detective 860 (Feb. 10), by Rucka and Williams III.

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Kate has been operating as a vigilante, but without any costume or even a clear goal.  Renee runs into her in a biker bar, and can’t fathom what is going on with her.  Her father figures it out, and Kate insists that she has found her purpose, her way to serve.  Jake gives in, but insists she get better training.  Kate spends two years being trained by the best in the world, while her father builds a base of operations, and creates a suit for her as well.  What a nice dad.

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This makes it all the more crushing when Batwoman gets the results of a DNA comparison between her and Alice, and it confirms that they are twins.  Her father lied to her about Beth’s death all along.

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Rucka and Hamner continue the Question story, as Zeiss starts tracking her down.

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After a good tour busting ass and taking names, Renee and Helena return to Tot’s place.  The Huntress had worked with Vic Sage, the original Question, but had never met Tot.

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Very nice ending, with the women saying they weren’t followed, and Zeiss’ arrival immediately after.

The story continues in the next issue.

 

 

Detective 859 – Kate meets Renee, and the Question needs an ally

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Rucka and Williams III continue with the origin of Batwoman in Detective 859 (Jan. 10).

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This issue is almost entirely flashbacks scenes, although Batwoman does have an encounter with Abbot, in which he confirms that the Crime Bible prophecy about the “twice-named daughter of Cain” was interpreted by them to mean twin girls, and they knew that Alice was her sister.

But onto the backstory.  We see Kate graduate at the top of her class from the Marine academy.  But on the same day, she is accused of being a lesbian, which at that time meant you could not serve in the US army.  She will not lie, so she winds up leaving the force.

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She descends into a rich girl life of drunken parties, until she gets stopped, in every way, by Renee Montoya.  Their relationship is tempestuous, and they break up.

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And that’s when we get the one bit of her origin that we have already seen, the attempted mugging that she fights off, only spotting Batman’s presence after it’s over.  He commends her and leaves.  She has found her calling.

The story continues in the next issue.

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The Question continues to pursue the people behind the human smuggling operation in this story, by Rucka and Hamner.

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Tot does research into the organization, which is huge, and operates globally.  Renee decides she will need help.

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And gets it, from the Huntress.  It’s a pretty good team.  Question has less trouble with the Huntress than pretty much any other her.

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And it’s good that Renee found someone to help her, because the bad guys hire one of Batman’s foes, Zeiss.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 858 – Batwoman’s twin sister, and the Question unloads a ship

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Rucka and Williams III begin a three-part story that goes into the background of Kate Kane, as we learn more about what drove her to become Batwoman.

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The story begins with flashbacks, as we see Kate’s mother, and her sister Beth.  The twins are army brats, moved around as their parents get assigned to different bases around the world.

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Almost this entire issue is a flashback.  In the present, Batwoman hunts for Alice’s body, without success, and bars her father from seeing her, with more success.  You might think she would want to question him about Alice implying that they are sisters, but she doesn’t.  I suspect she doesn’t want to know the answers.

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After being assigned to NATO headquarters in Brussels, the two girls, and their mother, are kidnapped by terrorists.

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Jake Kane leads the assault team that frees Kate. But she is the only one left alive in the room.  And despite her father telling her not to look, the images she sees scars her for life.

The story continues in the next issue.

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Rucka and Hamner bring an ending to the first half of the Question’s storyline in this issue.

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Despite the bad guys killing off everyone she questions, Renee still manages to find the ship that is being used to smuggle the women into sex slavery.

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And Renee is also smart enough not to try to take over an entire cargo ship on her own, having called the police to back her up.

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There is even a happy ending, as the brother who hired Renee is re-united with her sister.

Part 2 of Pipeline, as the Question continues her investigation of the smuggling ring, begins next issue.

Detective Annual 11 – Azrael causes problems, the Riddler goes for an old standard, and Oracle teams with Looker

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There are three stories in Detective Annual 11 (2009), the first, which is also the longest, being a continuation of a story from this year’s Batman Annual.

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The story, by Fabian Nicieza and Tom Mandrake, deals with another secret society, this one out to raise a demonic spirit through the seven deadly sins, and the sacrifice of children descended from earlier cult members.

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Batman and the Question work on it together from their side.  Azrael has his own agenda, and Robin has gone in disguise as one of the children, and already been kidnapped.  Renee does not take long to realize that it is Nightwing now wearing the Batman costume.

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Azrael learns that the sacrifice depends on the children being of the blood of the earlier ones, which of course means that, should Robin get sacrificed, the spell will not work.

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Damian does break free, and his identity as Robin is exposed.  The evil cultists try to lure him back.  I’m not sure that sending an aggressively naked older woman is the best way to lure a 10 year old boy, even if it’s Damian.

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But it’s Azrael to the rescue anyway, and he joins with Robin as they take down the cultists, in a manner as overtly violent as only Damian and an Azrael can be.

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Batman and the Question are rushing to the scene.  The cultists are in a penthouse, and the story gets a moment of levity as Batman sends Renee up to the roof quickly.

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Frankly, this story failed to grab me, even with Mandrake’s art.   I do like Harvey Bullock’s crude way of explaining how he knew Renee was the Question, and there are some other good moments.

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The story ends with both the villains and the heroes angry with Azrael.  I have never liked any version of that character, which probably explains why I don’t care for a long story featuring him.

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There is a very cute 2-page “L’il Gotham” story, by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen.  Not much in the way of plot, the Riddler does a variant of the St. Ives riddle song, though calling it Poison Ives.  A staggering amount of cameos in this, for only being two pages.  Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Commissioner Gordon, Batman, Batwoman, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, as well as the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Joker, Scarecrow, Black Mask, Croc, Hush, Ra’s Al Ghul, and even the original Ventriloquist, Arnold Wesker, with Scarface.

Of the three stories in this issue, it’s sad that I enjoyed this 2 page piece more than the others.

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The final story in the issue, by Amanda McMurray and Kelly Jones, features a team-up between Oracle and Looker.

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There is a bad guy who thinks he is a vampire, but isn’t, and who is obsessed with Barbara Gordon, though we never find out why.  Looker is unaware that Barbara is Oracle, and is kept in the dark. Looker has become a vampire herself during her time with the Outsiders, so she is the perfect one to take down a faker.

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The ending of the story leaves more questions than answers, and was clearly intended to be followed up.  As far as I know, it never was.

 

 

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