Thanks to a heads up from our very own Heather Hogan, we have some great news on the upcoming Batwoman series from DC.
As Heather told us in April, our sadness that Batwoman/Kate Kane was leaving Detective Comics was replaced by jump-up-and-down joy at the announcement that Kate would get her very own solo title. Eisner Award winner J.H. Williams III is at the helm, alternating writer duties with W. Haden Blackman and artist duties with Amy Reeder. Since Williams worked with Greg Rucka on Batwoman’s GLAAD Award-winning Detective Comics run (as did Reeder), we’ve been excited at the prospect of seeing more of DC’s first major lesbian superhero.
Now we know some details: In November, Batwoman #0 will come out to kick off the new title, which will debut in February. The one-shot serves as a sort of Batwoman Primer to get readers up-to-date for the ongoing series.
Williams explains: “This special ‘bridge’ issue straddles between what came before and what is to come, but manages to be its own unique thing. Its unusual construction allows two threads of content to run simultaneously, building to a greater whole, hopefully creating an interesting reading experience.”
From a creative perspective, the most unique aspect of the Zero issue is that the entire team is collaborating — Blackman and Williams wrote the story and Williams and Reeder are working together on every page. Once the regular series begins, Williams and Reeder will serve as artist in alternating story arcs.
Here’s Reeder’s variant cover for Batwoman #0.
If you’re a genuine comic geek, take a look at Reeder’s tutorial on using Photoshop to color a pencil-shaded drawing, using the cover as an example.
We can also expect to see Batman in #0. “The #0 was very rewarding to write because it re-introduces Batwoman through the eyes of Batman,” Blackman said. “It gave us a chance to compare and contrast Batwoman with a character everyone knows very well — and I think that it’s all the ways she is different from Batman that make her a really compelling and honest character.” This will be the first in-panel meeting between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Kate Kane/Batwoman.
According to Blackman, the ongoing series will focus as much on Kate’s personal story as on her alter-ego’s crime fighting.
“The element I’m most excited about with our run of Batwoman is the way we’re trying to balance the big action with a more personal story. This has been a challenge because we didn’t want to just have one action-oriented plotline for Batwoman and a separate personal story for Kate Kane — we’ve really tried to weave the two together, and show how one impacts the other. The first arc is very much a superhero horror story, but we’re hoping the horror elements are made even scarier because it’s all happening to characters the reader cares about.”
Kate Kane already is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the DC Universe — the fact that she’s a lesbian superhero is just a bonus. I can’t wait to see what the new series will bring. Meanwhile, if you want to catch up on Batwoman, check out Batwoman: Elegy, which tells the whole Detective Comics story, and includes a foreword by self-professed comic nerd Rachel Maddow.
We’ll keep you posted, of course, and will have a full review of Batwoman #0 when it’s released. Are you looking forward to Batwoman’s solo title?