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The Sea of Monsters
Rick Riordan
Paladin of Souls
Lois McMaster Bujold
Batman: The Night of the Owls
Scott Snyder, Judd Winick, Justin Gray, David Finch, Peter J. Tomasi, Pat Gleason, Tony S. Daniel, Scott Lobdell, Duane Swierczynski, J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Palmiotti
Nightwing, Vol. 2: Night of the Owls
Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, Ruy Jose
Batwoman: Elegy - Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III, Rachel Maddow AMAZING.

Admittedly, the art for this series is what initially made me want to read this series. I loved how J.H. Williams III used black, white, and red to create these images of her that really popped out at viewers in my opinion. And I knew there would be a solid story because I have yet to be disappointed in anything that Rucka has written.

Batwoman, Kate Kane, finds herself going up against a madwoman named Alice who wants to cover Gotham in a deadly gas plume in order to become its new ruler, but there’s far more to Alice than Batwoman expects.

There are a number of reasons that I enjoyed this comic, but there are two that really rank high on my likes. First, it serves as an origin comic. You learned about Kate’s background from her desire to serve her country in the military—as short-lived dream due to her sexuality—to her time spent wandering aimlessly without much direction to her decision to take up the cape and cowl to serve her city after being inspired by Batman and even how this decision affects her relationships.

Secondly, you have this character who is technically part of the Bat Family, but she isn’t Batman’s to control—for lack of better word. Batman acknowledges her and extends his help to her, but he isn’t deeply engrained in her life as he is the lives of characters like Nightwing and Robin. She functions independently of him, has her own resources, and fights her own battles without having to consult him about her matters.

And even though he appears only briefly in this comic and even gives some his gruff advice (telling her to cover her long, flowing hair, which is a wig, showing that he doesn’t know her identity at this point), he seems to respect her and what she’s doing by not interfering. I appreciate that in her character because it gives her a chance to really become super in her own right, a character that doesn’t cling to daddy’s coattails. This allows her to prove her own worth and show readers you don’t have to be Batman’s pet to make it.

Then, why have her take up the mantle of the bat instead of making her own identity? I think for the reasons that a put forth in the comic. She was inspired by Batman. She knows that the symbol of the bat stirs alarm in Gotham’s criminals. And part of it is to also the Bat Family that is a friend and she intends to play by the rules set forth by Batman and will help when needed.

I’m starting to think that everyone should have Rucka write their characters’ origins stories. He has such a way with really giving characters depth when he gets his hand on them. His writing combined with Williams’ art made for a perfect reading experience for me.