My main frustration with Batwoman recently has been that Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer don’t seem to exist in the same space anymore. They certainly don’t exist in the same panels ever since they got engaged. (The answer to which proposal we still haven’t seen, by the way!) But Batwoman #20 goes a long way toward rectifying that situation and gives us the most intimate look we’ve ever had inside their relationship.
When we left Batwoman last month, Director Bones and Agent Chase had finally revealed to her that Beth is alive and that they’re holding her at DEO headquarters. Kate doesn’t believe them, obviously, but Agent Chase weaves a ten-page yarn about how they found Beth inside that sarcophagus. Was it alien tech that resurrected her? Magic? They don’t know and they don’t care. The important thing is that they lost a whole battalion of DEO agents trying to suss out information about Batwoman’s true identity and they hit an entirely unexpected jackpot: Batwoman’s sister.
After a very sweet, very understated reunion — in which Beth convinces Kate that she’s not three seconds away from going full Alice, even though she’s already quoting Alice by the end of things — Kate says she’ll do anything to get Beth back. The DEO only wants Kate to do them one tiny favor: Find out the identity of Batman.
Almost as shocking is the fact that Maggie and Bette and Jacob and Catherine overhear the whole thing. They’re sitting around Maggie and Kate’s living room, listening to the entire exchange because Bette planted a bug on Kate last time they were together. Guess how happy Kate is when she walks in the door and pulls off her mask and is greeted with that reality? The exact opposite of happy, is what she is. She takes it in turns to shout at everyone, even Catherine, until Maggie tells her to stop acting like she’s the only one who’s allowed to suffer. Maggie gives Kate an ultimatum: Either she can accept their help and learn to work as a part of a team, or she can get her stuff together and move out. Maggie is done with being stuck on the outside of Kate’s life.
And again: Kate agrees.
Which means we’re drawing closer to a presumably epic Kane Family vs. Bat Family showdown!
Batwoman #20 was another solid issue from J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, and even though it’s still a bit of a struggle getting used to Trevor McCarthy‘s art, it’s growing on me. One of the most bizarre things to me in this issue was how many times McCarthy had people pointing at one another when they got angry. I would have preferred less pointing and more recognizable facial expressions. But the story’s got real momentum and I am ecstatic to see Maggie and Kate finally teaming up. Hopefully McCarthy’s art will grow along with them.
What did you think of Batwoman #20?