Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I had killed a man. I had killed a man to get a woman. I had put myself in her power, so there was one person in the world that could point the finger at me and I would have to die. I had done all that for her, and I never wanted to see her again as long as I lived.
That’s all it takes, one drop of fear, to curdle love into hate. (James M. Cain, from Double Indemnity)
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Not really though, I’d rather just not have a column and have good books to read and publishers I trust. But that’s not the world we live in, so we get my sad little column.
About two and a half years ago I wrote about Batwoman’s fate as Greg Rucka abandoned the DC Ship, and here we are again, talking about Batwoman’s fate, as her creators are forced to jump ship, and DC scrambles to pretend it was their idea in the first place. Two years is actually a pretty long run, and so if this decision had come a bit more professionally – rather than creators being forced to jump ship in order to save their sanity and honor the stories they intended to tell for the character, it wouldn’t be too bad. But frankly, we could have talked about any number of characters (and books) fates over the last two years at DC (I’m sure somewhere there’s a list of all the creators that have left or been removed from “New 52” books – update: here’s a really great timeline breakdown). There was even a freaking summit about how they (DC) were going to lessen their editorial interference and a further commitment to stabilizing creative teams. That seemed to last about a week.
Batwoman #0. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman (writers). J.H. Williams III and Amy Reeder (art). Richard Friend (inks – Kate Kane). Dave Stewart (colors). Todd Klein (letters). DC. Full Color. $2.99. 32 pages (16 pages of Batwoman, 4 page Batwoman #1 black and white preview pages, 7 page excerpt from Detective Comics #871)
After many months of waiting, Batwoman #0 is finally here. Does it deliver?
In a word? Yes. In many words? Well, here we go…
Overall I’m very pleased with the book, as J.H. Williams III and Amy Reeder’s art is phenomenal and combined in a way that I wasn’t expecting. In truth, though Williams superhero stuff for Batwoman is flat out amazing and fairly ground breaking in its creative use of panel layout, in some ways I have preferred Williams quieter Batwoman work – especially the style he chose to use for Kate Kane’s flashback sequences in the Detective Comics run. So when I realized that Williams was going to be handling the “Batwoman” aspects of Batwoman and Reeder was going to be handling the “Kate Kane” aspects in a story that unfolds simultaneously, I was a bit disappointed to realize I’d be missing Williams Kate Kane stuff. However, Reeder paces Williams beautifully and it turns out to be a good decision both because it introduces Reeder nicely and gets readers expecting Williams used to Reeder’s work in a more natural way. I’m also hopeful that after this first toe dip, which looks exceptional, the switch to solely Reeder penciled Batwoman (or more combination work…it’s unclear how it will roll out?) won’t be so jarring to those wanting/expecting Williams.
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