Batwoman by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III with Jock & Dave Stewart
This has lovely art. The Religion Of Crime stalk Batwoman. Her lipstick never smears in combat. It begins with her as Batwoman. Kate Kane aka Batwoman is berated by a soon to be ex. Who? There were adventures before this that aren't collected. Kate's enemy is Alice who dresses in her underwear and speaks in Lewis Carroll quotes.
There is a nasty razor blade trick. Kate's dad Jacob is her Alfred. The doomed werewolf shows up. How did he and Kate meet? It's not explained here. What's a jump kit? There is incoherence and WTF are the believers? Kate has a spare wig. Nobody noticed hybrids running around Gotham? There is a Dick mention. Where is he?
Kate's cousin Bette lurks. Alice plans a chemical attack on Gotham. Alice is Beth, Kate's long believed dead identical twin sister. Kate and Beth and their mother were kidnapped years ago. Who kidnapped them and why is not revealed. Kate has a stepmother and was kicked out of West Point due to DTDT.
Renee Montoya is seen, Kate partied and was saved by Batman one night. Her dad got her trained. Kate, her dad and Alice have issues. Batman lurks beating up the poor and mentally ill. Bette gets a costume. Dick gets no respect. This was excellent.
“Not some Robin all grown up, nor was it some boy raised to fit boots he had no hope of being able to fill.”
“Do something about your hair. One pull, the fight's over for you.”
“Names have power. You fear mine.”
“Gotham already has one Carroll-inspired freak.”
“Okay, that was just nasty...”
“The Dark Faith.”
“The Crime Bible.”
“It is the foundation of honour,”
“Answer for it. Without hiding, without complaint.”
“Duty, honor, and country, right?”
“Cadet honor code.”
“Dressed like a slut in some scum-filled bar--”
“What they'd do to you if they got the chance?”
“I finally found a way to serve.”
“Define the terms of victory.”
“What they'd done to her? What they were doing?”
“Our newest lunatics...”
“You need a scorecard to track the costumes in this--”
Batwoman: Haunted Tides
This is a reprint that combines the stories 'Hydrology' and 'To Drown The World'. Children are missing. Kate trains Bette. The DEO and a smoking skeleton lurk.The DEO want Batwoman and Kate is angry.
Kate and Maggie hook up. How can the DEO not know who Batman is? Flamebird is gutted by a baddie. Batwoman plays detective. The DEO have a chart of the batfamily: Batman, Damian, Dick and Tim are seen. Bette's a moron. There is magic and the DEO blackmail Kate. Who is Rush?
Kate's dad loved her sister more. This was good. There is an inevitable betrayal. This was not deeply affecting. Kate has moral purpose and is imperiled. There is no startingly intensity. There are wry asides. Kate is all service and duty. She must evade annihilation. Bette wakes up from a coma. Kate has fierce commitment; she's ravaged by tragedy. Things are fateful. No one sticks up for Kate. There is a lack of human regard.
“If Kate is Batwoman, she must wear one too.”
“She was terrible.”
“Dark Red Angel Of The Night.”
“Where's my Flamebird costume?”
“I burned it.”
“Please tell me we're not going after Batman again.”
“We've been identity-diving him.”
“D-list wackjobs like Q-Ball and the Pool Hall gang are a total joke. I was a super hero. I even fought Deathstroke.”
“Then it must have been one of his off days.”
“She went so insane that she came back to Gotham as another damn super villain and tried to kill us all.”
“I swore that when I found you......I'd cripple you.”
“One of Batman's shadow soliders.”
“Took an imprint of what's left of her teeth.”
“Gordon crawling up my ass--”
“Not a visual I needed.”
“Just what we need...another new gang.”
“Murdered sidekicks tend to come back from the dead. As super villains.”
“God, this is so Camp Crystal Lake.”
“Another idiot playing dress-up. Our files say Flame-Bird.”
“Those weirdo code names they like so much always sound nuts to me.”
“You keep pulling shrapnel out of super villains, if that's how you really want to squnader yourself.”
“Just a bit of my past trying to crawl out of the gutter.”
“Indulge your grimmest fantasies.”
“Worlds long dead and forgotten.”
“The tights could swing by any time. Batman does have a boat, ya know.”
This Blood Is Thick
Batwoman has had lots of other adventures that aren't collected. This ends on a cliffhanger, after this the title runners were forcibly changed by the DC TPTB. Batwoman wants her family made whole once more. There are divided loyalties and desperate battles. Bette was a Teen Titan. The DEO plot.
Batman lurks doing batdickery. Maggie and Kate are engaged. Kate's dad says he has a son. A DEO bitch has a nice prom memory. Bette snots. Robin's dead? Namely Damian. Nobody seems bothered by this, but he came back later. Beth's alive.
Batwoman makes a deal. Nightwing is seen as are Batwoman and Katana. Batman makes Bane his bitch, talk about menace decay. Batman punches Kate in the face. Did he get tired of beating his Robins? This was good. There are doubts about the DEO's sincerity.
“I get to judge your choice of sidekicks.”
“Too dumb to be afraid.”
“You should've stayed down.”
“Definitely bad. Really bad.”
“When Gotham is under siege from Medusa, you're nowhere to be found. But the minute I take down one of your villains, here you are...”
“This is Batman for god's sake. Get her to back down.”
“Some delusional moron who got himself killed doing cosplay with other delusional morons.”
“I don't know that person. And I don't love her.”
“You abandoned one daughter to become a sociopath.”
“I'm not a member of his cult.”
“I poisoned my girlfriend for you!”
“The girl with the tragic childhood, a wall of gymnastics trophies, the West Point combat training...”
“Gonna be a reckoning.”
“Once he's down, don't let him get back up.”
“The murder of Robin has made you paranoid.”
“It'll be weeks before you can keep food down or go without diapers.”