By Cat Wyatt
With the last Batwoman plot fully wrapped up, it’s time to start a new adventure. Batwoman #17 brings us the Time of Your Life plot, and of course that’s actually a time related pun, not an indication of Batwoman a vacation. Still, it’s good to know that she’s still on the job, even with everything that’s happened between her and Batman.
Real quick before we dive into this review – please take a minute and look at that cover. Yes, it’s another obvious reference to time, with the gears in the cowl and cloak and all, but isn’t it beautiful? This might be the most striking Batwoman cover yet, which is saying something.
The issue starts out, believe it or not, with Renee. She’s chasing down a criminal, presumably. During their chase they drop lots of brightly colored pills, take a few pot shots, so in shot the usual for a chase through Gotham streets. The surprise comes from the moment when Renee removes the criminals mask – he has nothing more than a clock for a head. How interesting.
Meanwhile Kate has been taking some much needed time to reinvest in what is important to her. Her future, her family, things like that. It’s a good call, especially for somebody with a ahem, night job like her. It’s easy to lose your grounding, when you see so much evil in the world. Look at Batman, he’s constantly running around on a tear, trying to make the world a better place, but he ignores what’s best for him. That’s where Alfred and the rest of his family come in. Sure, they can’t force him to put himself first, but they can at least try.
Speaking of Batman, he’s been in real rough mood lately. Ever since the failed wedding he’s been working every spare moment – which means all of the bat family have been working every spare moment. In Kate’s case that means she’s been taking the time to dig into cold cases, to try and put the pieces of each puzzle together, and hopefully come up with the criminal behind it all.
That isn’t to say that she’s ignoring Beth…who is safely locked behind some form of sturdy glass, more like she’s trying to balance the two. Beth has been getting help, and it’s certainly better help than she would have found while in Arkham. That’s a huge win for Kate, even if she is slightly paying for it now.
Kate’s deep dive into crimes past will have to wait though – as she’s just gotten the alert that something is going down at Gotham Central. It would appear that Renee managed to get the clock criminal to the precinct, somehow, but now it is loose once again and causing all sorts of mayhem. Or perhaps it went there on its own volition? It hardly matters.
Cue a fun and brilliantly drawn fight against the clock creature. It’s a joyful team-up too, with both Batwoman and Renee jumping in against the metal criminal. Once it’s down – and for good this time – the two women actually have some time to catch up. It’s mostly shop talk, of course. But that’s a good thing in this case – the drugs that Renee found on the clock man have made Kate start thinking, and once she gets going you know she won’t stop until she’s figured it all out.
The drug Renee found? It’s called Kairos, and supposedly taking it will allow the user to see very very briefly into the future. One can understand why that would be so tempting to Gotham criminals in particular. It’d be nice to know ahead of time if it’s safe to commit a crime, or if even thinking about it too much will result with a man dressed as a bat beating your face in.
Whatever Kate may think about what’s happening out there, it seems to have brought up old memories. Such as the one with Safiyah from three months ago. That was the moment when Kate finally put it all together. This whole time Kate, and the readers, have believed that Fatima was likely a lover of Safiyah’s, that or she wanted to be. It turns out we had it all wrong. Fatima is Safiyah’s daughter – that’s why Safiyah had always gone above and beyond for her, why she always chose to protect her over Kate. A mother naturally would choose her own daughter, if she was forced to make that decision. It all makes sense now. It also explains the twisted jealously that Fatima had – it wasn’t that she wanted to be in Kate’s place, but that she resented Kate’s presence in her mother’s life.
Back to the present; you know Kate can’t resist a lead once she’s found one. That’s why she’s found herself at the Crystal Tower dressed for a ball. Naturally she let Beth design her wardrobe, resulting in the perfect outfit for her. Yes, she’s still wearing a mask, but as it appears to be a masquerade it should be okay. You know, in theory…
This was an interesting issue, though it did feel like it was a little all over the place. It’ll probably feel less so once we understand how everything fits together, but right now it feels like two plots were crammed together. It’s nice seeing the effects of what happened in Batman #50, even if that isn’t a terribly pleasant thought, at least we know they’re not going to drop it and pretend it never happened. As for Kate’s plot…it’ll be interesting to see if and how Safiyah fits into all of this.