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Batwoman Elegy - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt www.femlitica.com jennifermuirhead.wordpress.com/
Published November 16th 2013
Batwoman, Batwoman Elegy, comic, DC comics


Kate Kane is Batwoman, a former soldier turned vigillante fighting for justice in Gotham City. Batwoman is still recovering from her near death at the hands of the High Madame of a dangerous cult called the Religion of Crime. When she learns that a new High Madame has come to town she is determined to find and face her.

The trade paperback edition of Batwoman Elegy brings together the first seven issues of the comic. If I had been reading the single issues as they were released I probably would have given up after the first couple. The way the panels were arranged made it hard to tell what was going on in the fight scenes and the story seemed over the top and silly even for a Batman family comic. It has plot twists straight out of a Victorian penny dreadful. However, once it got into Batwoman's back story the character started to grow on me.

Unlike Batgirl, Batwoman is no mere sidekick of Batman. She is more like a reflection of him, a female version. She is a wealthy heiress who, like Bruce Wayne, uses her fortune to finance her vigilante activities. Her father is like her Albert, pulling in favours from his military contacts to have her trained as a better fighter and outfitting her with various gadgets and her "uniform" - a black costume adorned with a red bat symbol.

Refreshingly, Kate Kane is Jewish and a lesbian, bringing a little more diversity to the DC universe. She has porcelein white skin, tattoos and red hair. She is strong, brave and unlucky in love. Similarly to Batman, her desire "to serve" and right wrongs is motivated by the deaths of members of her immediate family.

Much of art was a little bright and flashy for my taste, but that is probably partly because of the contrast with the more subdued colours of the House of Mystery series which I have been reading lately. I found certain aspects of the plot, which I won't go into because of spoilers, a little unbelievable. However, it's a DC comic so you need to go into it with a certain level of willingness to suspend disbelief.

Batwoman Elegy is an interesting chapter in the life of one of DC's strongest female heroes. I wouldn't mind picking up her further adventures, but at the end of the day my heart still belongs to Catwoman.

Rated: 7/10
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