By Cat Wyatt
The Fall of the House of Kane continues in Batwoman number 15. Last we saw Kate she was in a race against time; her sister has gone back to being Alice and has arranged for a bunch of disease-riddled bats to fly over and infect as many people as possible. Kate is a carrier as well, which makes her immune to the risks…it also means she carries the cure in her blood. The question is, how can she possibly handle everything on her own?
This issue starts off with a series of flashbacks for Alice. To be honest, I’m having trouble being intimidated by her. I get what they’re going for, but she goes off more manic than terrifying, even considering the abilities (intelligence and knowledge to make, combine, and spread diseases and poisons) she has.
You know, I wish villains would learn to stop gloating and not waste any time with monologues. Don’t they understand that more often than not, they end up not only giving their plan away but tell the hero how to stop them? This case is no different. Elizabeth/Alice is so preoccupied with telling her sister off it doesn’t even occur to her that telling Batwoman that she’s a carrier would be a bad thing. For one thing, carriers to diseases are more effective when they don’t know what they are, and thus make no attempt to stop it. This also tells Kate that she’s essentially immune to anything that’s going to happen (if she weren’t immune she would have fallen ill by now). Additionally, carriers have a higher chance of carrier being the source for the cute. So, in essence, Alice told Batwoman where to find the cure. Not smart.
Granted, while Kate has many kills, I don’t think analyzing her blood and extracting a cure is one of them. She’s going to need help if she wants to save everyone. That’s where Julia comes in – assuming she’s willing to forgive Kate for the way she constantly got left in the dark earlier (thankfully she does). If anybody can get a cure in time to save all the infected, it’s Julia.
One thing I do have to give Alice credit for is the way she designed the disease. She didn’t design it to be fast acting; that’s just ineffective. The faster a disease takes effect, the less time it has to spread the infection to more people. A disease that laid dormant though? That could get significantly more people.
Meanwhile Kate can round up the bats, thus preventing, or at least reducing the spread of the disease/s. While it may very well be too late for many (especially if Julia can’t find a cure) this certainly won’t hurt anything. There will still be the problem of infected humans spreading the disease, but this is a start.
Thankfully being one of the many bat personas, Kate is more than equipped to deal with a few hundred bats. In fact I think it’d be safe to say that this is well within her realm of comfort. And since I’m willing to bet that Batman designs most of her equipment, there’s absolutely something on her plane that could deal with them.
The way Kate handled things, while logical, is somewhat sad. I understand that it wasn’t practical to try and capture all of the bats, and it’d be even less practical (and likely) to be able to cure them all…but still, it was sad to see. Plus the manner she used to get rid of them will make it impossible to get an accurate count of them all (thus they’ll never know for certain they got them all).
The conclusion to this issue…wow. I’m not sure what is going to happen next, or how Batman is going to handle and alter this situation, but clearly we’re going to find out. I’m going to assume that there’s more than one reason Kate wanted to handle this herself, and one of those reasons was the history between Batman and Alice.
The artwork was pretty decent for this issue. Lots of double page spread with dramatic poses and images. I would have liked to see Alice drawn a little differently – I still maintain she looks too maniac to be stable enough to succeed in her goals, but that may just be a personal preference thing.