By Cat Wyatt
After the conclusion of the previous plot, Batwoman number 11 starts up another one, this one focusing on Professor Pyg and his minions (yes, you read that right, and no this isn’t his first appearance in the DC universe). I feel like Professor Pyg is going to regret having picked a fight with Batwoman, don’t you?
Apparently, while Batwoman was busy obsessing with her past and hunting ghosts, she missed something pretty big happening. Julia has been kidnapped. I don’t know how much time it took her to figure this out, but statements like “I should have worried the second…” tend to imply more time than is safe, to say the least.
Thankfully for our heroine, Julia is pretty good at keeping notes on the cases she’s researching. Which is handy, considering she does all of that for Batwoman, and I’m not sure she would be able to figure anything out in time to save Julia otherwise. Julia had been tracking a bunch of disappearances in Cairo, so it seems logical that she was on the trail of the kidnappers when they came for her (isn’t that always the case? The bad guys freak when you start getting close to them).
The flashback to Julia’s fight makes me wish she had just a touch more training when it comes to fighting. Though considering the multiple factors going into this, she did a pretty good job holding her own, and bonus, her fight even left Batwoman another clue to find. I’m sure Batwoman will blame herself for not getting there in time. Our bat heroes seem pretty good at blaming themselves for everything that happens to their friends.
The clue I mentioned? It was part of the mask one of the kidnappers was wearing. Not only are they super creepy to look at (picture those porcelain doll faces) but they’re even worse once you realize what they’re made out of; human bones (in part at least). Gross, yeah? But it’s also a pretty effective clue, and leads Batwoman straight to Professor Pyg’s lair.
I’m going to be honest with you; it’s really hard to be intimidated by a guy in a pigs mask. And that’s accounting for all the skin crawling stuff he’s going (like replacing people’s faces with those doll masks). Still, he’s probably only going to be here for a single issue, and I’m willing to humor Batwoman here. And he does have Julia after all. I can’t imagine many people would cope well after having a doll mask fused to their face (ugh, even just thinking about that makes me shiver).
There are certain elements that one can always come to expect in a superhero series. In Batwoman’s series, we can count on always finding a flashback (sometimes to her family, sometimes to Safiyah), as well as guilt, self-doubt, and failure. These are the major concerns that Kate has always struggled with, and likely will for a long time to come. Without these internal battles, her series just doesn’t feel complete. So naturally we have a healthy dose of all included in this issue, which is only natural.
As far as one-shot stories go, this wasn’t a bad one, even with the c-lister villain they pulled. Kate is trying to put the pieces of her life back together, and this plot did a good job at driving home the point that Kate is losing focus and letting things slip through the cracks. It helps make her feel that much more real, more human. And bonus; we get to see creepy mask people get kicked in the face. What more could we possibly ask for?
I’ve always loved the design for Batwoman. The bright red hair against the dark outfit is just so iconic (and no, it doesn’t really matter to me that the hair is actually a wig). The second page is likely my favorite for this issue; the bright blue shards of glass are oddly striking, especially when contrasted with her overall darker palette. Part of me almost wishes it was the cover (even though it wouldn’t convey the enemy or threat at all).