Posts tagged ‘James Williams III’

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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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 857 – Batwoman jumps, and the Question chats


Batwoman’s first fight with Alice concludes in Detective 857 (Nov. 09), by Rucka and Williams III.


Abbot lets Kate know that Alice has plans to bring an end to Gotham, with chemical warfare.  Kate figures that Alice is likely to attack a military base, and contacts her father.  But Alice answers the phone…


It’s a good, suspense-y issue. as Abbot flies after Alice’s plane, and Batwoman jumps from one to the other.


Their fight occurs, though it’s entirely possible to fall into the artwork and not even notice.  Alice falls as well, from the airplane, letting go of Kate’s hand, and saying “you have our father’s eyes.”

Not quite up there with “Luke, I am your father,” but good enough to give Kate some sleepless nights.


Renee Montoya is getting pissed as this chapter of the Rucka/Hamner Question series begins.


She meets with Tot over the internet, and they share information, as she gets the address of the next man up the chain.


She uses her usual charm and tact, bursting into his home to confront him.  This time, it is clear that his bodyguards are not really working for him, and killing him has been ordered to ensure his silence.  Things don’t look good for Renee!

The story continues in the next issue, although the Question also appears in the Annual, which comes first.



Detective 856 – Batwoman runs with the wolves, and the Question won’t be unmasked


Batwoman continues in Detective 856 (Oct. 09), by Rucka and Williams III.


Some of the art by Williams is just so amazing.  In fact, I find the art at times overshadows the story, but that’s about my only critique of it.  The monster turned out to be Abbot, once a devotee of the Crime Bible, he and others have turned against Alice, as she takes over the organization.  They get to safety, and her father tends to her wounds and poisoning.


Kate is back up on her feet in time for a big party by her step-mother that night. We finally get to see Bette Kane, who had been mentioned in earlier issues.  She is Kate’s niece, giving her the same relationship to Kate Kane as Betty Kane had to Kathy.  She is the same woman who has been appearing as Flamebird in Titans stories since Crisis, a sidekick without a hero.  The Batwoman series brings her in slowly.


On the other hand, there is nothing slow int he romance between Kate and Maggie Sawyer.  They talk about their exes, but the spark between them is clear.

Perhaps I should have mentioned when this changed format, that currently not only does Detective Comics feature two series starring women, both women are lesbians.  Kate and Renee had once been a couple.


And as for Renee, Rucka and Hamner have her being questioned by Vargas, who is not able to remove her mask (it’s chemically bonded to her skin.)


She gets free, and another name on the chain, and Vargas gets shot by his own men, who apparently have more gusto than aim.

The story continues in the next issue.




Detective 855 – Batwoman vs Alice, and the Question shows her stuff


Rucka and Williams III continue the Batwoman storyline in Detective 855 (Sept. 09), as she and Alice go head to head.


Alice is so clearly psychotic that it takes Kate a while to pick up on the fact that she speaks solely in lines from the Alice books.  But then, Kate was a soldier, so one can forgive her not catching literary references right away.


Alice resorts to that good ole poisoned razor in the mouth gag.


Kate flees, but the poison makes her hallucinate, and again we see images of children being taken hostage.  Batwoman’s father, Jake Kane (I should have properly introduced him last issue) gets an alert, and goes out to help her.


Alice turns on the coven, killing them, before heading out after Batwoman.  Her father finds her first, with Alice close behind.  And then some scary monsters come out of the woods.

This continues (better than it might) in the next issue.


Rucka and Hamner continue the Question’s quest (I’ll never do that again, I promise), as she faces off against them men who had been running the porn apartment.


Renee proves herself more than a match for the three men, and gets the name of their boss.


She proves more than a match for the receptionist as well, talking her way into the office, although she does get tasered.

The story continues next issue.

Detective 854 – Batwoman and the Question begin


Both of the series launching in Detective 854 (Aug. 09) spin out of the miniseries 52.  Batwoman Kate Kane was introduced in that book, which also saw Renee Montoya adopt the identity of the Question , following the death of her mentor Vic Sage.


Greg Rucka and James Williams III are the creative team on the Batwoman series. Williams really likes double page spreads, and it becomes a defining feature of her series.  She is visited by Batman (now Dick Grayson) in this story.  Batwoman intends to root out the thirteen coves in Gotham of witches that worship the Crime Bible, continuing her adversaries from 52.


Kate’s father, who knows her secret identity, is concerned that she is returning to action too soon after being stabbed in the heart, but she knows she needs to get rid of the people who made her feel so vulnerable.  The page this is discussed on has a curious, unexplained flashback to a woman with a bag on her head, clearly in a hostage situation – a tease for later revelations.


As she busts up another coven, Batwoman runs into Alice.  All clad in white, with matching skin, and making a huge art contrast with Batwoman, Alice speaks only in lines from Alice in Wonderland, and will become her chief adversary.

The story continues in the next issue.


The Question begins a long, serialized story in this issue, also by Greg Rucka, with Cully Hamner on the art. In fact, the Question’s entire run will consist of this one storyline.


Renee has moved in with Tot Rodor, the previous Question’s mentor/sidekick.  They have a website on which people post requests for help, most of which are worthy of being ignored.  Renee follows the case of a girl from Mexico, being smuggled into the US, who went missing along the way.  The girl’s brother is concerned for her, and hires the Question.


Her investigation immediately leads her into seedy territory, and the implications of what is shown in the room is frightening, almost more frightening than the armed goons she faces as the story reaches it cliffhanger.

The story continues in the next issue.

Detective 821 – Facade debuts


Paul Dini begins his run of Detective Comics with issue 821 (Sept. 06), with art by James Williams III.


Batman and Robin discover a gang of thieves posing as high society, and the victims can be traced back to an exclusive Gotham club, which the Wayne family has long been members of.


So Bruce goes undercover as himself. He runs into an old friend, Matthew Atkins, who has had some financial problems, and thinks he may be a link to the group.  He tries to figure out if Matthew is faking being so drunk that he needs to be carried out by a busboy.


After a woman makes a play for him, and Bruce pegs her as one of the gang, Batman goes into action, tracking her and taking the gang down.  They are lead by a man named Facade, who has a cool mask – though that’s largely due to Williams amazing art.  Facade turns out to be the busboy, tired of catering to rich fools.

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