Comics don’t necessarily have to be twists and turns and surprises from start to finish, although of course it’s nice to have them out there — but take “Batwoman” #33. Marc Andreyko, Jeremy Haun and Scott Kolins’ comic isn’t a terribly “shocking” or full of fake-outs. It doesn’t need to be, either. The plot moves along at a nice pace, tells a fun story and does exactly what you hope it’s going to accomplish.
Readers have been told up front what Nocturna does, how she vamps and picks up rich new husbands that get used, abused and thrown out. So as Andreyko takes us through Nocturna’s latest victim, it’s not a surprise. But because we’ve already been told that this is her M.O., that’s actively a good thing. We’ve been given the road map, and now we’re seeing Nocturna careening through the course. It’s fun to see her in action, rather than just being told.
Batwoman herself is in many ways a very typical hero and when she’s in the suit, there are once again no real surprises. But that’s also all right here. Andreyko makes sure to instill a sense of fun when she’s out on patrol, or tracking down a bad guy. She’s likable and you get a sense that she’s a genuine hero, not a morally conflicted person in a mask. That said, the most intriguing stuff this issue is when Kate’s not in the outfit; between her nightmares of hurting Maggie and her daughter, and hearing the first half of her conversation with Maggie’s ex, that’s where the meat of the story is situated. It’s a strong family drama that doesn’t feel sensationalized or over the top; just good storytelling that draws you into her life.
Haun and Kolins each draw part of the issue, and while the two don’t necessarily have similar styles, they are complementary. Kolins’ art is a little harder edged than Haun’s, but both have an overall clean style. Both draw a woman lounging on a cushioned surface, but I appreciate how each ends up with a different approach; Nocturna comes across smug and owning the area around her, while Witherspoon looks almost bored even while she’s equally comfortable. It’s a fun little compare-and-contrast between the two; they’re more alike than Witherspoon would perhaps care to admit.
“Batwoman” #33 in many way sums up the new status quo for the comic. It’s a comfortable fit, the sort of title that you can count on for providing solid entertainment month in and month out. It’s nice to see a new creative team having settled in so well.