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Detective Comics #860

The conclusion of Batwoman’s origin story opens with Kate Kane pulling undercover surveillance work from inside a sleazy bar. When the place gets busted by the Gotham City Police Department, she runs into her old flame Renee Montoya, who thinks she’s hit bottom and turned into a bar skank. However, Kate’s been collecting intelligence on gunrunners — she busts them up, but her father busts her later — he’s discovered that she’s been stealing military gear from the base. He tells her to drop the crimefighting nonsense, but she insists that, without the military, this is her way to serve the greater good. Her father agrees to let her, but insists she take on extensive combat training and study while he rebuilds her makeshift base and gets her an actual superhero costume. After that, we jump back to the present day, where Batwoman gets her confirmation that the twisted maniac Alice was actually Kate’s twin sister Elizabeth, who she’d believed died years ago.

Verdict: Thumbs up. More freakin’ outstanding storytelling and art from Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III. It’s great that this comic is so amazingly fun and mind-blowingly excellent.


Madame Xanadu #18

Nimue’s sister Morgaine le Fey has returned to the mortal world after taking over the transformed body of 1950s housewife Betty Reynolds. She spent hundreds of years refining her magic and living amongst goblins, and she’s grade-A certified bananas. The two sisters quarrel, magic attacks get thrown, and Nimue ends up buried under her own house. Meanwhile, detective John Jones is tracking a related case using his unearthly powers of telepathy.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked this one a lot less than previous issues, though. Morgaine’s story just doesn’t come across as particularly compelling, and beyond that, there’s mostly a lot of magic zapping. Gotta say I love seeing the Martian Manhunter in here, even if he’s still running around in a trenchcoat and fedora.

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