So JH Williams takes a bit of a break (actually he is taking a bit of a run up for art duties on the third volume, ’cause arting and writing at the same time is hard) from art duties and is followed by Amy Reeder whose art is supremely sublime and I felt sad with the fact that after reading this that we don’t get any more of her Batwoman.
Anyways, sadness time is over, time for graphic novel time!
So this volume is a slow ratcheting up of the overall storyline, showing what was important about the Weeping Maria case and how it works into the overall larger villain who has managed to seriously change Killer Croc. To be honest, while there are individual good things about this volume, as a whole, it is kind of a mess. And also how will Batwoman deal with the D.E.O. and her slowly unraveling love life with Maggie Sawyer.
The problem is two-fold, one is what is expected from the reader and the other is what is delivered by the writers, JH Williams and W. Haden Blackman. On the reader’s part (which is me) I was expecting more off a standalone volume. This is because they didn’t showcase enough of the fact that the Maria case (which was the main major case of the first volume, in fact, as far as I remember, nothing else was dealt with except that case) is actually a smaller little case attached to the bigger issue of Falchion and then of course the Mother.
This leads me to the storytelling problem, it is kind of all over the place, trying to do a lot of world-building while trying to keep us focused on the threat that is Falchion and then we have to deal with the drama that is Kate Kane’s life. Basically it is a lot of stuff to juggle and it is kind of hit or miss on how successful it is (though after reading this volume, I found it better than Hydrology, or at least more intriguing).
Then there is Amy Reeder who is just amping her skills up to 11 as she tries not to disappoint those who came for the J.H. Williams III art and she delivers. I genuinely loved her art style and wished DC didn’t do her such an injustice by letting her go. I pause to pour out a 40 for my art girl.
Overall, the Batwoman series was actually kind of solid, which is a little surprising since this is (as far as I know) JH Williams’s first big gig as a writer and he is pretty solid (I suspect that W. Haden Blackman is the main reason for that, not to denigrate either of them, but I want to say the writing is so well done that I would not mind reading anything that the two collaborate on later).