IT'S OFFICIAL: BATWOMAN ONGOING SERIES
Last week, artist J.H. Williams III was nominated for two Eisners -- best penciler/inker and cover artist -- for his much-acclaimed run on Batwoman in DETECTIVE COMICS. His art was praised and recognized not only by the Eisners but across the mainstream and comic trade press for its fluid and versatile look in presenting Kate Kane and helping define her as a lasting character. J.H.'s distinctive style and creative page layouts were a key part of the book's success.
Don't expect that to change. In fact, J.H.'s role is about to be expanded. In the coming months, Batwoman will settle into more permanent digs of her own -- namely, an ongoing series both written and drawn by Williams. He'll be getting a co-writer in W. Haden Blackman, a writer known for his work in the Star Wars universe, including the Star Wars: Galaxies MMO and The Force Unleashed video game. Additionally, MADAME XANADU artist Amy Reeder will be stepping in to handle the art for the second arc in the series. More on that later.
After her debut in the pages of 52, Batwoman became one of the most widely-discussed heroes of the modern era, due to her new role in the Batman family of characters and because of her role as one of the first openly-gay characters in the DC Universe. She's both a hero and an icon.
Now, coming out of a monumental run in the pages of DC's flagship title, she's finally taking over her very own ongoing series. What can readers expect? Let's all remember that this isn't J.H.'s first foray on the writing side, having co-plotted a majority of the much-loved CHASE series in the 90s. But let's check in with Mr Williams and Mr. Blackman, shall we?
"Our goal is to tell a riveting action adventure tale with some heart and drama to it," Williams said. "We want the reader to learn even more about who Kate Kane is as Batwoman -- showing why she is an important addition to the Bat Family of heroes beyond what has already been addressed. We are also wanting to really make sure we start building additions to her own "rogues gallery." Just how will Kate deal with the fallout between her and her father, Jacob? Will Kate be able to find love other than Renee Montoya, a.k.a. The Question? And as far as flavor -- there will be a sprinkle of creepy beings, myth and legends, government agency intrigue, and a surprise return of a fan-favorite character.
"This is going to be an amazing opportunity for Haden and I. To say we're excited about this prospect is a bit of an understatement. In addition to this, having the chance to work with Amy will be a real pleasure, her work is fantastic, and I've thought so ever since first encountering it sometime ago.”
“I’m very excited to be working on BATWOMAN," Blackman said. "I have a real affinity for the character. Jim [Williams III] and Greg [Rucka] have done an amazing job of establishing her as a premiere character in the DC Universe and I’m looking forward to using that as a launching pad to tell all-new stories with her. The opportunity to work with Jim is something we’ve been talking about for a long time and for me it’s really the best job in comics – getting the chance to work with someone who is truly one of the top talents in the industry.
"The thing that really attracts me to Batwoman as a character is her combination of a really strong, personal story and a dark, superheroic one. She has that perfect combination and I’m looking forward to the chance to take some of the classic aspects of vigilante comics and reinterpret them through the lens of this character.”
As noted, not only will Williams be writing and drawing the first arc of the new ongoing, but he'll be continuing on as writer for the next arc after that, paired with artist Amy Reeder, who comes to Gotham City after a stint as the artist on Vertigo's MADAME XANADU. Reeder's clear storytelling and realistic and fluid artwork makes her a perfect choice for the gig. What do you think, Amy?
"To say I'm excited is an huge understatement! J.H. Williams has very much inspired me with his ability to rethink the medium, and his work on Detective Comics has left me awestricken. When I heard I'd get to be involved with the new Batwoman series, I felt overwhelmed but excited at the challenge of working alongside him on this newly-beloved character. So I'm sure you can imagine how thrilled I was when it turned out he would write the series as well. This leaves me with no choice but to step up my abilities beyond any natural progression. And I can't wait."
Thanks, Amy! And last, but certainly not least, we checked in with DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio for his thoughts on the character finally landing her own ongoing.
"We're all extremely proud of what Batwoman stands for -- both as a compelling character and as an icon representative of the diversity we strive for in the DC Universe," DiDio said. "We’re grateful to Greg Rucka for the excellent work he put into introducing the character. J.H. did a masterful job on the art side during her stint in DETECTIVE COMICS, so it made this the perfect time to have him step into the dual role of writer and artist. Needless to say, we’re very excited to see what this new creative team has in store for the character.”