Re-Reading Batwoman Part 38

Night of the Hunter

This issue contains the turning point in the Batwoman/Nocturna relationship. Anyone waiting for a post JH Williams III and Haden Blackman plot point to prove that DC was ruining Batwoman (and that Marc Andreyko was clueless) could point to what starts in this issue.  The funny thing is that there wasn’t an immediate reaction for about three months.  This issue is followed by Batwoman Futures End #1, a flash forward to a worst-case-scenario five years in the future, and #35,which has a flash forward to near the end of the upcoming story arc.  I want to use this reread to go over the significance of these two flash-forwards between the cliffhanger on which this issue ends and the plot eventual resumption of the plot.

Art on this issue is split between Jeremy Huan and Moriat.  Moriat’s pencils are inked by Pia Guerra, which is partially why I like his art here more than I did in the first Annual where Moriat inked his own work.  The two artists here also keep their panels on the grid, which makes transitioning from one artist to the other easier than it was with Moriat and Trevor McCarthy.  The pages the artists received are also divided so that Moriat only draws the opening scene, an eight-page action filled conclusion to the previous issue’s cliffhanger.

The opening full-page splash has Batwoman assessing Killshot and Night Thief. She wonders if the enemy of her enemy is her friend, but in this situation it’s not true.  While Nocturna and Night Thief may be her enemies, she can’t let Killshot kill them.  So she fights Killshot first.  Nocturna admires Batwoman’s moves.  However, after Batwoman turns her attention to Night Thief and Nocturna, Killshot is able to jump up and knock off her mask.  Nocturna gets a good look at her, Killshot refocuses his attention on killing Nocturna.  Night Thief jumps to her rescue and is shot multiple times.  He starts to fall off the roof, Nocturna grabs his arm and they both fall into the river. Killshot considers his work done and starts to leave until Batwoman lassos him with a rope, is electrified and she leaves him for the police.

The next scene has Kate cleaning out Maggie’s apartment with text from the “Dear Maggie” letter Kate is leaving. She explains that she can’t be with Maggie while causing problems between mother and daughter. She compares the prospect of Jamie losing her mother in a custody battle to the death of her mother. The letter explains her reasoning for reaching out to Maggie’s ex-husband without confessing that she got him to take a deal. While leaving the apartment, Kate runs into Maggie who is excited about her new custody arrangement. Kate demurs from saying anything about leaving, which emphasizes how cowardly she feels. There is another scene with her therapist in which they discuss this her feelings about the break up and he says “you’ve put the needs of someone else above your own. You’re not a sociopath after all.” They laugh.  There is no shading in this scene indicating that this decision was made with clarity. It doesn’t feel good, but it feels right.

Meanwhile, Nocturna walks around Gotham and passes a newsstand. She sees a society magazine and recognizes Kate as Batwoman.

Kate prepares for bed alone. Her interior monologue reveals that she misses Maggie and wants to have something make it hurt less.  Suddenly she’s woozy and awake. She asks if Mags is there.  Nocturna replies that she’ll be whoever Kate wants her to be. The issue ends with Nocturna biting Kate in the neck like a vampire.

Today we know that all vampire stories are rape stories. If you say this is a rape scene, I can’t say you’re wrong, even though later on the story turns out not to actually have vampires in it.  The characters even explicitly say that what happens between Batwoman and Nocturna isn’t rape.  The later declaration is no doubt spurred by the articles condemning Batwoman for the plot.  (While writing this, Marc Andreyko was also writing the relaunch of the Chaos Comics character Chastity.  She is a not quite vampire heroine in a story that definitely has vampires in it.  Chastity is a much more direct and pulpy book than this one.). Andreyko has his reasons for doing this story. The next issue’s jump into the Futures End event reveals a couple of them. Ultimately, I don’t think the intention behind the vampire plot was to tell a rape story.  (Nor to increase the number of titillating panels in each issue as one of the articles hypothesized. There simply aren’t enough appearances by Nocturna, with or without sex, to support that claim.) I’m also not sure that the following story justifies the confusion. I’ll just have to keep rereading to form an opinion.

per tutto quello che dite e che fate
sarebbe stato molto meglio se non nascevate
siete inutili quindi è inutile che vi pronunciate
siete delle puttane invidiose quindi invidiate
voi, spero che moriate
io ve lo dico non mi sfidate, non vi permettete
non mi nominate, voi non potete quindi rinunciate
siete delle seghe, dove cazzo andate, non mi fermerete
perciò mi odiate, non mi ucciderete
io sono già morto e risorto su queste strade
—  Mostro

moriate replied to your post: my mind says study but my body says assume the…

oh my sweet and wonderful olive shrub, you dont deserve this horrid pain! Abandon the academic barriers and lie down with me next to a fireplace whilst sipping a cup of too-hot chocolate and watching french films because thats what makes us content

oh my goodness

you never fail to say such lovely things

i think some hot food and films and blankets are in high demand rn

moriate replied to your post: moriate replied to your post: my mind says study…

honestly, I am in the exact state of mind at the moment. I still have a religion assignment due, but this whole time i have just simply been gazing at my computer sceen and playing hannah hunt whilst eating some leftover birthday cake :(((

if truth be told, i’m rlly jealous of you at the moment because that sounds like a gr9 way to procrastinate

and it’s going to be okay issy i promise

as soon as you finish your religion assignment you can eat even more cake :)))))

moriate replied to your post: thymelords answered your question: im inclined…

antonia thomas fringe is the ultimate perfection, but if thats too eccentric, i would do a shaggy fringe- alexa chung or

i actually really really really love antonia thomas’ fringe! i have no idea how it’d look on me, but it’s worth a short? if i manage to take any successful selfies within the next few days i shall show you and we can debate this further