A change of artist damages an otherwise entertaining issue
It happens often enough. You’re really getting into a comic and you’ve been singing its praises for months. Then the art team has changed and something happens. It’s not as if the actual writing has changed or the narrative taken a turn for the worse, but as the art changes you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. With this shift in art comes the realisation of just how important it is in the comics medium. Batwoman #6 is a prime example of this.
It’s not as if the art is hideous or messy. In fact Amy Reeder’s pencils are clear, clean and expressive. But it is the cartoony aspect of her art that really doen’t suit the established tone J.H. Williams achieved. Yes it is unfair to compare Reeder to Williams, who has made Batwoman something special each month, but you can’t help it. Gone are the realistically depicted Gotham residences and in their place we get the over weight nurse, crying mother and deformed hook handed man. Each one would look comfortable in a Disney film or Saturday morning cartoon. It’s a jarring shift in art and for the most part it pulls you out of the narrative.
But perhaps the biggest problem with the art is how it shows up some of the average narrative story telling on display. Before Williams’ art has complimented and enhanced the narrative. W. Haden Blackman and Williams have always delivered solid narratives and they have been full of emotion and character. The same can be said of this issues script, but with the addition of Reeders art there is a sense of disconnect. The narrative no longer feels as emotive as before, the cartoony faces no longer displaying the range of believable emotions the book needs to sell its character beats.
To be fair there are some great ideas and moments on display. Batwoman’s new suit distinguishes her more from her Gotham peers, Jacob visiting Bette in hospital is a nice interlude, the banter between Agent Chase and Batwoman is fun and the moment with Kate and Sawyer continues to develop that relationship. Each aspect is solid and works well. But there is one scene, where a mother confronts Sawyer, which seems a bit too much as the mother really goes for Sawyer. It really seems to miss the mark even if its place in the narrative is understandable.
So, on the whole this issue just doesn’t fly as high as Batwoman’s previous outings. But it isn’t all bad as the narrative still works. However with Reeder on pencils it looses it’s identity and with that it’s emotional connection. Her art isn’t bad it is just not suited to the world Williams and Blackman have created.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Another solid script||The art is a jarring change and really effects the book|
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