[personal profile] ebailey140 posting in [community profile] scans_daily
And signaling the shift in the Batbooks from the Iron Age to Batman Inc.

It started simply enough with an idea from Paul Dini...



A few years back, Dini planned on getting Barbara Gordon out of that wheelchair and back in a Batsuit. Alex Ross designed a new look for Barbara, with red and black colors instead of the old yellow of her earlier years as Batgirl, representing the changes she's undergone.



It ended up getting shot down, but folks at DC liked the design. Ross would make a few alterations, and it would be the look for the new Batwoman.

Batwoman is Kate Kane. Her aunt and namesake, Kathy Kane, was the original Batwoman. Kate's a bit different, though, aside from being a redhead (to fit a design originally planned for Babs). She also happens to be gay, the ex of Renee Montoya.

She was introduced by Greg Rucka during 52, where she was being targeted as the "Daughter of Cain" by a cult centered around the Crime Bible that had taken over Intergang. Following Batman RIP and Final Crisis, which saw Bruce Wayne removed from the Batbooks for a while, Kate got the lead feature in Detective Comics until it was time for Bruce to return, written by Rucka and drawn by J. H. Williams III. From the opening scene of Detective Comics #854, we knew we were in for something special...






Her father, and the main guy her assists her, is an Army hero, as was her late mother. This has a lot to do with her motivations, as we'll learn.

We finally encounter the leader of the Crime Bible cult, who calls herself Alice.





Well, naturally, I'm going to love a well written character who quotes, and models herself on, the main character of my all time favorite books. Lewis Carroll's Alice has become our primary modern Myth, and for good reason. Those books are so beautifully written that both Franz Ferdinand and Omnia have created songs just taking pieces from the books and setting them to music.








One recent development has been to give the various members of the Batman Family their own Rogues. Batgirl is about to get her own, and Red Robin has some. Alice is Kate's Joker.





Alice doesn't approve of killing either Kate or her father. That's because, as we learn, she's Kate's long lost and believed dead twin sister, Beth.

When that was revealed, some decided Rucka must have thrown that in at the last minute. However, looking over the entire arc, we see this isn't the case. It was strongly hinted from the moment Alice appeared, but done in a way we rarely see since the '90s made comic book art mainly about pin-ups, through the artwork.

Kate and Alice had the same, exact, features from the beginning. We just didn't notice due to the way they dressed and their different hair colors, even though both had unusually pale skin. Granted, many artists just tend to draw their women alike, but not Williams. His Kate has very distinct facial features. Oh, and she's a snappy dresser.





Her cousin Bette is the original Bat-Girl, former sidekick of the original Batwoman, and soon to be, as Flamebird, sidekick of the current one. She's also at the same college Stephanie Brown, the new Batgirl, is. Those two have too meet.

Bruce Wayne's mother was a Kane, though we don't know how closely related he is to Kate.

After this arc came the origin story. Note the colors the sisters wore, even then.





A terrorist attack kills her mother and (so she and her father believe) her sister. When she grows up, she dedicates her life to serving and protecting, like her parents, with a military career, and goes to West Point. However...





"What are you going to do now?"

She doesn't know. Then, one night, after an argument with her girlfriend, everything changes.







Batman is about striking fear into the Underworld, of course. But, he's more than that. He inspires others to take up his mission, to do as he has done, to dedicate themselves to a higher cause.




Her father relents, but insists that if she's going to do this, she needs to be better than she is. While she spends two years overseas training, he makes preparations of his own.






She quickly got rid of the heels.

Williams will be drawing the upcoming Batwoman book, which I'm looking forward to. Strangely enough, my other favorite recent book has been Batgirl.

Scans from Detective Comics #854-860.

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Date: 2010-11-03 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] omgwtflolbbqbye
I bought Elegy a few weeks ago, and it was my first exposure to Batwoman.

While I quite like the character, I found most of the plot to be a bit incomprehensible since I didn't follow 52 at all.

Anyone willing to post a summary of her introductory storyarc with the Cult of Crime?

Date: 2010-11-03 08:18 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I LOVE the style the comic's drawn and colored, with the red so bold and everything in near-B&W colors.

Her dad is awesome.

Date: 2010-11-03 08:49 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Batwoman, red/black/white art (Batwoman)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
This was such an awesome comic, and a really unusual but totally plausible and in-character reason to become a superhero.

Date: 2010-11-03 09:29 am (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Ra's al Ghul)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
Any chance of a future Alice/Mad Hatter/Tweedledum and Tweedledee team up? Just saying..too easy..yet could be epic.

Date: 2010-11-03 10:43 am (UTC)
thebigapricot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thebigapricot
Alice may not appear at all. Rucka created Alice and Williams has implied that the character will be left for when Rucka wants to write her again. Also Williams is not just drawing Batwoman moving forward he'll be plotting it as well. Amy Reeder of Madame Xanadu and, lately, Supergirl covers will be alternating on artwork.

Date: 2010-11-03 11:57 am (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
Didn't Rucka leave DC over some heated debacle? If Rucka is more than willing to abandon Batwoman for good, why would he want to come back and do anything with Alice?

It's kind of a bummer on how these character things work. You have this writer who creates these characters to be a staple to the main hero, but when the writer leaves, you can't use any of those characters. Talk about anti-climatic since we know Alice is still alive to the point they literally showed her on the last page.

Date: 2010-11-03 12:30 pm (UTC)
swatkat: knight - er, morgana - in shining underwear (Default)
From: [personal profile] swatkat
There's also the 5 lessons in Crime mini by Rucka, which takes off after 52.

Date: 2010-11-03 12:31 pm (UTC)
mcity: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mcity
Are these deliberately creepy?

Date: 2010-11-03 12:32 pm (UTC)
stig: "It Was A Boojum..." (Default)
From: [personal profile] stig
Alice is very much a sort of for-serious version of Marvel's White Rabbit, isn't she?

Date: 2010-11-03 12:39 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Batman is about striking fear into the Underworld, of course. But, he's more than that. He inspires others to take up his mission, to do as he has done, to dedicate themselves to a higher cause.

Has there ever been a story about someone who is saved by Batman and decided to join the police department? It doesn't even have to be the Gotham PD, as Batman occasionally operates outside of Gotham.

Date: 2010-11-03 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] laddical
I don't think it's a matter of they "can't" - DC owns them all. I think in this case, it's Williams choosing not to out of a sense of loyalty to his colleague.

Date: 2010-11-03 01:28 pm (UTC)
terrykun: (zach pimp hat)
From: [personal profile] terrykun
~_~ The chick with the spray-on tan does not make me think of Bette.

Can't she just hang out in the /happy/ Bat-book with Stephanie?

/picky-fan

Date: 2010-11-03 01:57 pm (UTC)
star_of_airdrie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] star_of_airdrie
and the one panel where Alice has two guns and looks exactly like Mia Farrow...

Date: 2010-11-03 02:01 pm (UTC)
star_of_airdrie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] star_of_airdrie
Thank you for taking the time to post all this. My main exposure to Kate was in 52 so it is great to get all this back story.

Date: 2010-11-03 02:03 pm (UTC)
meicdon13: (Batman: thinky thoughts)
From: [personal profile] meicdon13
When you say that Bette was the original Batgirl and that Kathy was the original Batwoman, you mean that they were the first in the older comics, right? Just clarifying things because I'm slightly confused.

Date: 2010-11-03 02:41 pm (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
IGN did an interview with J.H. Williams in regards to Batwoman and had this to say.

"The things that Kate Kane has to face and the threats she has to deal with don’t have anything to do with the return of Bruce Wayne and Batman, Inc. because we want to make sure we develop her own rogues gallery and so forth."

Thank god. Not even Oracle, the most kicka** female character of DC can escape the "Return of Bruce Wayne" issues who's entire purpose is focusing on the return of their lord and savior.

Date: 2010-11-03 03:11 pm (UTC)
mistersandman: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mistersandman
At the end of the Cutter storyline, Bette decides to become Flamebird again, so anything is possible.

Date: 2010-11-03 03:13 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
i believe that some of the Bette/Kathy batgirl/woman stories are in continuity. Kathy was killed by bronze tiger and it was implied that she had been batwoman for some time and had a relationship with bruce (sexual or not, they were close)

can't wait for Bette to come back as flamebird

Date: 2010-11-03 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] laddical
No, Morrison has (somehow) put all of that back in continuity - though I'm not sure he told anyone else at DC about that. Even the wacky Silver Age stories are part of Morrison's canon - even if he has to fanwank that they were part of a sensory deprivation experiment Batman participated in for the Army.

Date: 2010-11-03 03:14 pm (UTC)
mistersandman: (sandman)
From: [personal profile] mistersandman
Batwoman (and Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader) brought me back into comics. I really hope that Williams can write half as well as he draws...

Date: 2010-11-03 03:41 pm (UTC)
meicdon13: (Batman: thinky thoughts)
From: [personal profile] meicdon13
Ooooh, I see. Thanks!

Date: 2010-11-03 03:42 pm (UTC)
braisinhussy: My Kuro cosplay. (Default)
From: [personal profile] braisinhussy
"Colonel Reyes"

Jaime's dad?

Date: 2010-11-03 04:36 pm (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's mildly sad icon. (Mild Sadness)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Alice speaks of Hatter at one point in her arc. She doesn't seem to like him.
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