‘Where Are You Going Kate Kane?’
Warning: Spoilers for Batwoman Rebirth #1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Artist: Steve Epting
‘Where are you going Kate Kane?’ reverberates throughout this first issue. It whispers to her throughout time and memory as we are offered an insight into the events and people that have shaped and influenced Kane. While there isn’t much action in this first issue it is a visually stunning introduction to Batwoman’s world. One that offers nods to those who have followed her narrative thus far whilst acting as a welcome invitation to first time readers.
The artwork and colouring in this first issue need to be celebrated. As Kane stands amongst a crowd of socialites the vibrant red of her hair isolates her from the crowd. She is singled out, lonely amidst the party backdrop, a theme which is persistently explored throughout the Batwoman narrative. It is within this scene that Kane asserts her sexuality; as yet another aspect of her life that will set her apart from all others in the patriarchal world she inhabits.
Her sobering moment very nearly inhabits a full page as Batman swoops down to save her as a civilian. In the following pages she gains confidence and purpose as she pushes forward toward her vigilante persona. Panels break to full page images, to moments of time that exist simultaneously, all connected and driving toward the same goal. Kate Kane eventually bursts onto the page from above in her full glory, in some way mirroring Batman in her sobering moment. Fully costumed she blazes in glorious red as Wonder Woman, Beth and Maggie foreground her descent. It is a visually stunning page abundant with detail and colour that shines a light upon the women who drive her.
This first issue journeys through her losses and failures to offer up the experiences that made Kate Kane Batwoman. Various plots are explored as the reader darts through her time at West Point, her socialite past and her love affair with Renee Montoya. It all helps the reader to gather a solid understanding of where we are now. Batwoman is to take on an important solo mission of her own as a powerful figure within the Rebirth Universe.
In one final full page spread these moments exist around her like shards of broken memory. It is a stunning image full of furious red tones depicting a barrage of characters who all ask where she is going. It is at once a question for the reader and an introverted question for Kane to answer herself. How will she let these people and the events associated shape her? How will she fair with this crucial solo mission? If her powerful resolve and unyielding strength are anything to go by then there’s no better character for the job.