Review: Batwoman Volume 2 – To Drown the World / Author: J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman / Artist: Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy / Publisher: DC Comics / Release Date: Out Now
Batwoman is an odd fit in the new DC Universe. Most of the ‘Bat’ characters fit neatly into a family of heroes, each with a distinct role. Batwoman, aka Katherine Kane seems to be the outsider. She’s not really an ally of Batman, and her friends and allies don’t really tie into the Batman mythos. Instead, she is a loner, motivated by guilt and a powerful sense of self. In addition, most of her enemies are supernatural in nature. Batwoman Volume 2: To Drown the World is a blend of superhero detective story and supernatural monster hunting; an interesting mix.
To Drown the World has a strong premise; Medusa (a secretive terrorist organisation) is actively recruiting supernatural thugs through arcane and ritualistic methods. As this inevitably means that innocents suffer for the gain of evil, Batwoman is actively seeking to stop these baddies. Medusa make for nice villains, though the plot does get convoluted at points. This isn’t helped by a multiple perspective approach to the storytelling.
This is not a book you can just jump into. There’s a large cast of characters and some significant arc plots and themes here, thus reading Volume One is essential. Those unfamiliar with the series will miss the character development, the intrigue and the complexity of the various relationships. Those who’ve read the first book will care about the protagonists, those who haven’t, won’t.
The art is great, while not as impressive as in the previous volume. Reeder and McCarthy do a good job of maintaining J.H. Williams' gorgeous art style, though you can see where various scenes have been patched together and this can break the narrative flow somewhat.
Batwoman Volume 2: To Drown the World collects issues 6 to 11 of the ongoing comic book series. Fans of the previous volume will be pleased to know that the story stays consistently good, and the reveals and plot twists are clever enough to keep the reader interested throughout. It’s a pity the art doesn’t stay as strong all the way through, but when it’s good, it is very good.