Saturday, April 27, 2013

Batwoman #19

Is Kate's grey skin going to be explained by being related to Director Bones?

From the very first page, my earlier assumptions are flushed away like so many Indian food fueled hopes and dreams. That was a tortured simile, if you were wondering what one of those might look like. The only reason I'm on the internet is to provide examples of horrible writing and devastatingly awkward turns of phrase that wind up in suburban dead ends where little towheaded white children play street hockey with soft balls and full padding and the streets are named after characters from vague and long forgotten fantasy novels. Although that is a misrepresentation of the actual truth which, for the time being, shall remain obfuscated by over one thousand entries on comic books and my pitiful existence. Entries which probably double back, repeat, run on and on, and go nowhere while spewing hyperbolic vitriol on anybody that doesn't think exactly as I do. But I continue to move forward (if moving in an ever dwindling spiral can be considered forward progression) for no reason at all, with no destination and no goal in sight. Because what else is there? I suppose I could be sitting on the porch of a well-mortgaged house with an ever-expanding gut as I smile proudly at my children stomping about the yard. Is that a loftier life than continuously escaping into comic books? No, no. Do not answer. I have lived amongst the social normies long enough to anticipate the harsh, critical judgment of those following in the footsteps of those following in the footsteps of those following in the footsteps of dim figures lost to time. We shall see, in the end, what matters most.

Ha ha! No, no. That was a joke. In the end, there will be no answers, no regrets, no remembrances of a life well (or not so well) lived. It will just be an instantaneous return to the state we left behind when our parents gave us life in the first place. That is to say, endless nothing.

And so Batwoman begins with the reader being introduced to Cameron Chase's sister and a mystery!

The mystery is how does anybody surf in Gotham Harbor?

Oh, mystery solved! Apparently this isn't Gotham Harbor at all. Cameron has flown out to . . . well, somewhere, to speak with her sister. The other actual mystery that I really meant before I skewed the perceived direction of my narrative flow was how Cameron's father wound up dead in an alley. Apparently he was The Cockroach in a superhero group that included Leopartard, Peace Fascist, The Portlandia Strongman, The Hooded Martian, and The Happy Harpy. Oh, here. Have a look for yourself.

I'm 97% certain I nailed all of their names.

Cameron's talk with her sister doesn't really go very well. Or go anywhere, really. They discuss how their dad and his superhero shenanigans fucked them both up for life. It's the driving force behind Cameron's need to shut down the whole super hero game. I always forget about the Department of Extranormal Operations when I think of all the organizations in the DC Universe. But this is just another one like ARGUS and Team 7 that are a reaction against super heroes and the government's need to control everything. But at least this organization isn't run by Amanda Waller. I hope Director Bones doesn't have any secret ambitions to run more than this one fucked up group. Anyway, Cameron has decided to set Black Alice (or Beth. Or whatever! I still need to read the Preboot Batwoman series!) loose on Batwoman. I think.

In other news, Maggie and Kate have finally moved in together and Kate is trying too hard to be the sexy, compassionate, comforting, underwear wearing half of the couple. Just because she's the superhero in the relationship, she thinks she needs to be strong for Maggie when Maggie is going through a rough time in the aftermath of a confrontation with The Scarecrow. But Kate needs to remember that Maggie is just as tough and individualistic as Kate, and acting like the strong one is only going to drive Maggie away. Plus I think Maggie has issues with her kid not being with her and she needs to figure out how to reconcile her life with her child and her life with Kate. I think it's time for a day at the amusement park for everyone! Too bad Amusement Mile was burnt to the fucking ground.

Meanwhile Kate's father Jacob is busy telling his wife all about his and his daughter's and his niece's secret lives. And she apparently wants to be the Alfred in this set-up.

Wait. What? Director Bones, right?!

Later Hawkfire and Batwoman go out on the town to capture a woman named Shard that is beating up on DEO agents because they stole something from The Religion of Crime. Just like they stole Mr. Freeze's freeze gun, right? What are they up to? That's what Hawkfire wants to know. I already know what they're up to but I don't want to spoil it for anybody. When their plan is finally revealed, I'll just nod my head knowingly and say, "Yup." But since Batwoman can't tell Hawkfire about the DEO, Hawkfire tells Batwoman she can't be her partner anymore. And Batwoman says, "Fuck you! You were my sidekick, bitch!" Hawkfire puts a tracer on Batwoman as they say goodbye. I'm surprised with all the tracers on things in Gotham City that they don't just completely interfere with each other so that nobody can find anything.

Part of the reason Batwoman can't answer Hawkfire's questions is because she doesn't know the answers. Hawkfire won't work with Batwoman because she can't trust the DEO. Batwoman can't even trust the DEO but she doesn't feel like she has much choice. So she goes to have a word with Director Bones about this whole fucked up situation. Bones tells her: he wants Batman's secret identity.

Oh come on! Batman just lost a kid! Bruce Wayne just lost a kid! They're inextricably tied together and you can't make the fucking connection?!

Director Bones threatens to put Kate's father in prison if she doesn't help. But she doesn't care about that anymore. She won't be manipulated anymore. Which is when Director Bones lets her in on a little secret that might change Kate's attitude: he has Beth.

Batwoman #19 Rating: +1 Ranking. This book still looks fantastic. Mostly. The Walden Wong inked pages weren't so great although they maintained the usual "back-up look" of this comic. I guess that's sufficient. I hope at some point this book brings Helix into the Reboot Universe. Maybe have Director Bones attend a Helix Reunion. Spend a full issue on that while Kate is on her honeymoon or something.

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