Artist: J.H. Williams III
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
Publisher: DC Comics
Batman created by Bob Kane
Introduction by Rachel Maddow
Collects: Detective Comics #854-860
Ever since Batwoman’s first appearance in the pages of 52, I have looked at the character in two separate lights. The first is in all of the hype and buzz of her first appearance and the fact nothing really had been done with the character and people were already praising her as the greatest new character that DC Comics had in years. That version of Batwoman is the one I’d rather forget. The second is the Batwoman that appeared in the pages of Detective Comics when she took the lead role in the series and became a serious contender for one of DC’s best characters in years. The first was a publicity stunt in my opinion that really didn’t go anywhere. It took Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams, III a few more years to bring Kate Kane to the forefront and make her more than hype – they made her real.
There is little that can be added to the large number of accolades this run on Detective Comics has been given since issue #854 hit the shelves. I remember opening up that issue and just being blown away by Williams’s art and then reading Rucka’s words and realizing that this is where Batwoman would really make her mark on the industry. Through an amazing array of words and images, readers were definitely experiencing a melding in comics that just doesn’t come around that often. And after reading these issues, you just can’t look at comics with the same eye as you did before. I know I haven’t.
This collections starts off with a really interesting Introduction by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that surprised me in her interest in Greg Rucka’s writing and how she so easily ‘gets’ what Kate Kane is all about. She is a strong, driven, brave, and honorable. Maddow goes on to say how she will read anything Rucka writes – including his grocery list because you know it will be compelling. And you know it’s true.
The back of this deluxe edition is packed with artwork from the variant covers of Detective Comics #854, 858, 859, and 860. The bonus material has a lot of sketches from J.H. Williams, III that are just beautiful. Those pages are then followed by a couple of pages from Greg Rucka’s script from Detective Comics #857 and 859 with the black and white art pages from Williams.
Overall, Batwoman: Elegy Deluxe Edition is an incredibly well put together collection that provides those readers that are curious about Batwoman and her origin and want to see if the hype is true. The only regret that I have after reading this collection is that Greg Rucka will not be joining J.H. Williams, III with the upcoming Batwoman ongoing series because the two creators make an amazing team.
Rating: 5 out of 5