Next Month, Batwoman will have her own solo series again, written by Marguerite Bennett. So why not have her co-write a couple issues of Detective Comics, the Batman team book where Batwoman is just as prominent as Batman himself?
Detective Comics 948, co-written by James Tynion IV and Bennett, mostly focuses on the two previously named characters. It starts off with a flashback to Batwoman’s early years, back when she had a very good relationship with her father. It’s a fun moment where Batman spots her spying on him, and then vanishes, followed by a nice conversation between the two. The comic then cuts to the modern period with Batwoman staring at her father’s cell through a security monitor. It’s a hard hitting dramatic moment that shows how far their relationship has fallen, but one that feels necessary to help set up her solo series.
The rest of this comic is Batman and Batwoman working together to stop a potentially dangerous weapon from breaking out. It’s mostly a setup issue in that sense, but with a couple fun introductions and an intriguing story. The ending promises a great fight scene in the next issue as well.
All the art duties are handled by Ben Oliver, and it’s fantastic. If you’re familiar with Phil Noto’s art, it’s similar to that. In some ways it’s a simple look, but with a slightly painted feel at times. There’s a lot of detail in Batwoman’s hair and the way it flows when she moves. There are also little tidbits thrown into the backgrounds that help with the storytelling, like the Batman signal reflecting off the windows of an office building, the half-eaten food on the table and the “no hope” graffiti on the wall beside a quarantine zone warning. I also like how Batwoman’s body proportions are more realistic for an athletic woman than most comics, and that her armour actually reduces the apparent size of her breasts. Even a lot of the best artists fail in this manner.
This isn’t the best issue in the series so far, nor is it trying to be. It’s still a great comic that both introduces a potentially fun story and Batwoman’s upcoming solo series in an effective way. Considering Batman and Batwoman are co-leading the team, and they’re biological cousins, it’s nice to see just the two of them working together like this for a change. This is still worth recommending for people interested in a Batman team book, and still worth picking up for Detective Comics regulars. I would also recommend this to anyone interested in picking up Batwoman’s upcoming solo series.