Following hot on the heels of the 2010 epic ‘Batwoman: Elegy’ comes another majestic masterpiece in modern comic-book storytelling by talented artist/writer JH Williams III, through his fabulous follow up ‘Hydrology’. Williams was almost single-handedly responsible for plucking the long forlorned female Superhero Batwoman out of an imposed limbo with his successful run on her modern reintegration back into the DC Universe.
Williams managed magnificently to breathe new life into a character who had rarely been seen since the 1960’s, captivating the dedicated comic book fan with a newly resurrected member of the Bat-family, who, even though she shares many similar traits with her male counterpart, does indeed still feel a unique and fresh character, this is all thanks to Williams’ almost incomparable talent.
Hydrology collects together issues #0-5 of Kate’s ‘New 52’ run. JH Williams once again stuns us into near silence with his breathtaking artwork, the panel layouts are, as always, astounding, Williams loves to experiment with visually impressive splash pages, these stylistic image choices immerse the reader even further into the tale, with Batwoman effortlessly leaping from the panels themselves, with the beautifully rendered colours also assisting to achieve this overall impressive visual effect.
This tantalising tale finds our curious crimefighter investigating a disturbing case involving the mass disappearance of children across Gotham, which ultimately leads her to the supernatural entity known as La Llarona (The Weeping Woman). Throughout this harrowing investigation, Kate also finds time to re-train her cousin Bette in crime-fighting techniques, with the notion that the one time Superhero (Bette was once known as Flamebird, member of Teen Titans West) could eventually become a valuable aid in her unwavering war on crime.
The poignant parable also finds Kate dealing with dramatic social matters outside of her red and black clad vigilante persona. Her ongoing tangled love life with Detective Sawyer, recent estrangement from her father and unremitting feelings of loss from the tragic events surrounding her twin sister (read Batwoman: Elegy for the full story, fact fans). And just to make life even more complicated for our fiery haired heroine, she is the subject of an intense investigation by Agent Chase of the Department Of Extranormal Investigations, who has vowed to unmask her.
Williams constructs a striking, emotionally compelling and haunting tale that contrasts beautifully between a hardened and capable crimefighter and an emotionally confused young woman, with the visual style juxtaposing between a beautifully bold and effervescent painterly style when Kate becomes the Batwoman, and a simpler rather less embellished (yet no less gorgeous) technique when she is merely Kate Kane. This artistic approach speaks volumes about Kate’s feeling of worth in and out of the Bat suit, the vivid and bright colours during the Batwoman sequences really does emphasise her love of the freedom and anonymity that her alter ego allows her to have, giving her a sense of merit and standing in the world, plus helping to masque and cast aside her real life trauma.
JH Williams III once again shows why he is one of the most sought after artist/writers in the comic book medium. His visual style is almost unmatched, his writing is in equal measures intelligent, haunting and enthralling, realising characters that are both credible yet also otherworldly in their existence. Hypnotic, lavish and addictive, a must buy for fans and newcomers alike.
After an extended hiatus from the world of costumed crimefighters, Batwoman triumphantly returned like the proverbial phoenix in 2006 through the pages of DC’s weekly crossover epic – 52. Batwoman was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in 1956 and made her debut in Detective Comics #233. There have been two notable variants of the character over the decades beginning with Kane and Moldoff’s original take, Kathy Kane, the silver age version. Kathy was originally created to be part of the burgeoning Bat-Family, and a possible love interest for Bruce Wayne, but in 1964 following on from a radical restructure of the Batman universe, Kathy was removed wholesale from Bat-lore by new editor Julius Schwartz.
Aside from a couple of anniversary issues of Detective Comics, Batwoman wasn’t seen again until her revamped reappearance in 2006, re-introduced as Kate Kane. Apart from sharing the same moniker, the two versions of the character couldn’t possibly be more diverse. Whereas Kathy was a fun loving socialite with the hots for the Caped Crusader, Kate is tough, no nonsense, ex-military and independent of Batman and his cohorts. Also of note is her sexual orientation, Kate is a lesbian, much was made of this revelation at the time with mostly good but also, unfortunately, some bad press from various media, though ultimately it proved a popular move on DC’s part with many LGBT groups worldwide heralding the character. Kate was a hit and fast became one of DC’s most popular female heroes.
Batwoman: Elegy was a story arc that ran through the pages of Detective Comics #854 – #860, after the comics star Batman had been killed at the hands of DC’s biggest villain Darkseid. Kate filled the void left by his absence and cemented her return to comics and Gotham itself. Written by Greg Rucka and drawn by the phenomenally talented JH Williams III, with the latter going on to become the biggest influence on Kate’s future and success. JH is an extremely talented artist/writer with a visual style almost unsurpassed by his peers, his use of splash pages and the weaving of his art into these carefully constructed panels is stunning. This is arguably JH’s most impressive work, though he went on to replicate this prescient style when he started writing and drawing the ongoing Batwoman comic series in 2010.
Plot Synopsis: Whilst investigating the 13 Religion of Crime covens in Gotham City, Batwoman learns that the coven’s overseer is coming to Gotham. Alice is the name of their new leader, basing herself on Lewis Caroll’s inimitable creation, Batwoman immediately sets out on the trail of Alice but it seems that the coven is also hunting Batwoman for their own nefarious and sinister purposes.
Batwoman: Elegy is a stunning re-introduction of a much loved character into the Batman mythos and is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most beautifully illustrated comic books ever released. Greg Rucka’s story draws you into the eerie supernatural side of Gotham City and JH Williams’ superbly realised drawing style leaves you breathless. Available as both a softcover and (hard to find) deluxe hardcover, this is highly recommended to all fans of great comics and stunning art.
Mmmmm, we haven’t dared to tread the perilous path of the infamous Top 10 list so far here in the darkest depths of Precinct1313, never really gave the idea of doing one much thought to be honest. That is until recently, when blogging buddy ‘The Vintage Toy Advertiser’ rendered his very own (and really rather amusing) Top 10 masterclass (which you can indulge your senses in right here) that we thought, suffering sappho, let’s do one of them there list things then, and thus…
Precinct1313’s Ten Favourite Furiously Fierce Femme’s Fatale
NB: This list will contain both fictional and non-fictional wildly wondrous warrior women for your delectation…
No.10 – Big Barda
No list of vivacious virago vixens should ever be without the formidable presence of fighting fury and thorn in Granny Goodness’ side – Big Barda, for she truly encompasses everything to love about powerful, vibrant female characters who are easily able to match and (in most cases for Barda especially) surpass their male counterparts. How tough is Barda? we’ll let the picture below answer that query…
No.09 – Lara Croft
Quintessentially British acrobatic archaeologist Lara Croft has been raiding tombs, securing ancient artefacts and performing perilous platforming since she was first unleashed unto the gaming world by Core Design in 1996. Since that time she has become one of the most recognisable video-game characters of all time and sits proudly in the upper echelons alongside Master Chief, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.
No.08 – Moon Lee
I’m an 80’s kid, I grew up during that phenomenal decade alongside many classic onscreen action stars and martial artists, even as a youngster my preference was always female characters/fighters and one of the biggest influences for me then was the magnificent Moon Lee. Hong Kong action star supreme, Moon Lee Choi-Fung starred in close to a formidable fifty films during her heyday of the 1980’s!
No. 07 – Batwoman
Kate Kane’s Batwoman alter ego first debuted in the 1956 issue of Detective Comics #233 created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff. Initially created as a female counterpart and love interest to the Batman, Kate has over the past sixty years (thankfully) shed that unfortunate creation calamity and has now become one of the biggest and most beloved of female comic book characters, with a much needed revamp and resurgence through the hand of artist/writer JH Williams III. Reversing the inauspicious and unenlightened conception and delivering a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market.
No. 06 – Catwoman
Though most Bat-fans see The Joker as Batsy’s biggest foe, for me personally the character that inhabited that perch was always anti-hero cat burglar Selina Kyle. Though Mr J is without a doubt the bigger threat to the dark and surly one’s psyche, Selina holds something over Bats that the jester of genocide never, ever could… his heart. She has been Batman’s most enduring love interest since her inception in Batman #1 in June of 1940… puuuurfect!
No. 05 – Cynthia Rothrock
As previously mentioned some of the biggest influences on me growing up were the plethora of fantastic fighting females that occupied the realms of martial arts cinema, and my most beloved and admired is none other than scintillating Cynthia Rothrock. American born Cynthia is quite possibly the most successful female martial arts master in history – she is five times world champion in weapons and forms and currently holds an astonishing seven black belts in varying martial disciplines! She has also starred in over fifty movies throughout her career, and has acted alongside greats such as Sammo Hung and Michelle Yeoh.
No. 04 – Batgirl
Though the Batgirl name and costume have been inhabited by several different women over the years, the most beloved and well known is assuredly the second holder of the bombastic bat mantle – Barbara (Babs) Gordon. Replacing original holder of the title – Bette Kane (who was created in 1961) Babs debut was in 1967, daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and head of Gotham City Library. Her auspicious crime fighting career began with a triumphant save of Bruce Wayne from a kidnapping plot wrought by SuperVillain Killer Moth, and cemented her place in Bat history!
No. 03 – Elvira – Mistress Of The Dark
Elvira may not be a martial arts action star or female fighting force but what she definitely is, is a sensation of female empowerment and positive attitude. A strong, outspoken comedienne who used her innate sexual prowess to turn the tables on mysogynynistic and prejudice laden media from her first appearance courtesy of actress Cassandra Peterson in 1981. Self deprecating and dripping in risque double-entendres, her campy humour has propelled the voluptuous vixen vamp to celebrated cult status, and beyond!
No. 02 – Starfire
Fiery alien princess – Starfire has been a favourite of the Precinct since she was first unleashed in the pages of DC Comics Presents #26 in 1980. Created by the legendary pairing of comic book royalty – George Perez and Marv Wolfman, Koriand’r instantly became a much beloved character and mainstay of The Teen Titans. Hailing from the planet Tamaran, Kory escaped the ravaging of her home by Tamaran enemies The Citadel and her own feuding sister Komand’r (aka – Blackfire) and made a new life for herself on Earth. She is currently the leader of the Teen Titans and founding member of Justice League Odyssey alongside Jessica Cruz, Azrael and Cyborg.
No. 01 – Wonder Woman
Well, if you’ve been following the Precinct for any length of time then you probably knew that the Themysciran Titan would, of course, occupy the titular top spot, and hey, guess what… you were right! I’ve been a WW fan since I was around nine years old she is truly the greatest fictional female character ever, and has had the most significant and profound effect upon female empowerment of any fictitious persona ever created. Her genius creator William Moulton Marston first envisioned the Amazonian warrior princess in 1941, when she took the covetous cover appearance on All Star Comics #8. Marston was a supporter of the Suffragette movement of the 1940’s, of whom his own wife Elizabeth was a founding member.
All hail the wondrous one!
If you’ve managed to stay the course of this list, then thanks fellow Agents. Who are some of your personal favourite female furies of all time? let battle commence in the comments below…
Well, what can we say but… holy hallowed heroines, Ruby Rose looks absolutely stunning in the first promo pic released by DC Comics earlier today:
The astounding actress will be portraying Batman’s popular parallel peer – Batwoman as she joins CW’s Arrow-verse for a brand new Elseworlds crossover. Kate Kane is one of the Precinct’s very favourite female Superheroes so we were extremely excited yet highly hesitant when we heard of a live action version of the character appearing on the small screen. We shouldn’t have worried though because Ruby was the absolute perfect casting choice… and that costume, we are blown away, it is nigh on a flawless replica of the outfit from the comic-books themselves, perfection in pictorial form.
More news and pics incoming fellow fans of fantastic fiction…
Well now, how excited do you think we are right now here in the celebrated Comic Crypts of Precinct1313? I mean, I assume you’ve heard the rather awesome news, right? Batwoman is finally materialising into live action form… yep, Batwoman… how awesome? Much awesome fellow Agents, much.
CW, the company responsible for DC Comics’ vice like grip on small screen Superhero sagas are to add another of DC’s worlds finest creations to their burgeoning cast list in the form of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. And, in what appears to be the finest piece of actor casting in recent history, they have also revealed that popular actress Ruby Rose will be donning the iconic black and red costume of Gotham’s titular anti-hero… anticipation overload in 3… 2…
Batwoman had been skirting the edges of the DC Universe since her original introduction by comic-book auteurs Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in Detective Comics #233 in 1956. Kate (known as Kathy in her original form) was initially created as a female counterpart and love interest for Batman to refute the idea that the Caped Crusader had homosexual tendencies. An unfortunate and rather disturbingly awful vision for any comic book creation to be ushered into the limelight, the 1950’s were an extremely unenlightened time, sexism and misogyny ran rampant in all areas, and especially the entertainment arena, which included the wildly popular comic book scene.
In 1961, Sheldon Moldoff, alongside Batman co-creator Bill Finger, added Betty Kane to the ever growing Bat-Family as the niece of Kathy, whom upon discovering the secret identity of her crime fighting aunt, persuaded her to train her as her sidekick, resulting in the initiation of Batgirl, long before the mantle was taken up by the arguably more famous Barbara Gordon version of the wildly popular character. Just three short years later though, Batgirl, Batwoman and other popular members of Bruce’s broody band (such as Ace the Bathound and the mischievous Bat-Mite) were removed entirely from Bat lore in a restructure of the Batman universe by new editor Julius Schwartz.
Kathy and Betty Kane remained consigned to creative memory for decades following their shock erasure, that is until their revamped and progressive resurgence through the hands of master scribe and astonishing artist JH Williams III. Reversing the unenlightened and inauspicious history of the characters, Williams delivered to us strong, diverse and sophisticated heroes who could match their peers in Gotham, and finally laid to rest the awful spectre of their past conception. Phoenix like, Kathy and Betty (now renamed Kate and Bette) became a new standard for empowerment in the burgeoning female Superhero market, shrugging off their inception and, especially for Kate, becoming one of DC’s most popular and biggest selling creations.
In fact, aside from sharing similar names, the two variants of Batwoman couldn’t be more disparate if they tried. Whereas Kathy was a fun loving socialite with the hots for Bruce Wayne, Kate is resilient, no nonsense ex military, who, until recently, cast herself independent from Batman and his crime-busting cohorts. Also of note is Kate’s sexual orientation, Kate is a lesbian, and much was made of this revelation at the time with both good and bad press from various media outlets. Ultimately it proved not just a popular move by the creators, but also a defining trait for the character of Batwoman herself, with LGBT groups worldwide heralding the character and Kate ultimately becoming a poster child of diversification and emancipation.
Are You As Excited As We Are For Kate’s Live Action Debut? Then Why Not Sound Off In The Comments Section Below, Fellow Fans Of Fantastic Fiction…
In 1967, at the behest of the producers of the classically camp sixties Batman show a new Superhero was born, Barbara (Babs) Gordon, better known as the feisty flame haired vigilante – Batgirl!
Bab’s creators – Julius Schwartz, William Dozier, and Carmine Infantino called for a female analogue to the Caped Crusader, who could be simultaneously introduced into both the comics and the popular television series. Technically though, Batgirl wasn’t a new character, she was a variant of the original Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff created persona from earlier that decade. The original Batgirl appeared in Batman #139 in April 1961, the niece of Kathy Kane aka Batwoman.
Batwoman and Batgirl were originally created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin, as well as costumed crime-fighting associates. In 1964, Batman editor of the time Julius Schwartz erased Batwoman, Batgirl (and other supporting characters – Ace the Bathound and Bat-mite) from the timeline on the grounds that the characters were “too silly”. Both Batwoman and her niece Betty (now known as Bette) Kane eventually and triumphantly returned to the DC Comics timeline, with Kate Kane reprising her role as Batwoman (with a few fundamental changes to her character) though Bette returned not as Batgirl, but as Flamebird, a role that had previously been inhabited by several other DC creations that included Jimmy Olsen and Kara Zor-El.
Babs Gordon though has always been seen and celebrated as the Batgirl by her millions of adoring fans, debuting in Detective Comics # 359 in a story entitled “The Million Dollar Debut Of Batgirl” by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino. Babs was introduced as the daughter of long time Batman aide – Commissioner James Gordon, she retains a doctorate in library science, is employed as the head of the Gotham City Library and possesses a photographic memory and genius level intellect.
Aside from being a popular recurring character in many DC publications, Babs didn’t get her first starring role until the “Batman Family” comic series in 1975, where she took centre stage alongside other members of the bodacious Bat clan including original Robin, Dick Grayson.
Bab’s continued her well loved run as the masked avenger up until Alan Moore’s Eisner winning one-shot “The Killing Joke“, where, in a controversial sequence of events, she was shot through the spine by the genocidal jester himself, The Joker, ultimately causing paralysis from the waist down, with the paraplegia signalling the end of her crime-fighting career… or did it?
A subsequent storyline by John Ostrander and Kim Yale established Babs in a new role, as the wheelchair bound Oracle. Forming a formidable team of female Superheroes (that includes amongst its members – Black Canary and The Huntress), Babs became a behind the scenes leader and information collator as her Birds of Prey fought crime and corruption on a global scale. During this time two other ongoing versions of Batgirl took over the mantle – Cassandra Cain and then later Stephanie Brown, both had a modicum of success as the character.
In 2011, DC Comics heralded a comic wide reboot of their entire Universe of characters known as “The New 52“, the major revamp followed the “Flashpoint” paradox which brought extensive changes to their classic cadre of characters, including Batgirl/Oracle. Babs was eventually given back the use of her legs after receiving experimental surgery at a South African clinic and through rigorous physical rehabilitation. The decision to allow Babs to regain her mobility was seen by some fans as somewhat of a shame, as she had become one of the few very prominent disabled heroes in comics, but most fans were (myself included here) ecstatic to see the Batgirl prowling the rooftops of Gotham once more.
And so “Happy Birthday Babs” and here’s to another fifty years in your awe inspiring presence, oh and “hey DC Comics, how about some live action love for Babs huh? the only actress who has ever done her justice onscreen was the lovely and very much lamented, Yvonne Craig, I think it’s about time… Batgirl Returned!”
Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure, so join us as we Sally Forth unto geekdom…
Kate Kane, better known by her alter ego, Batwoman, will be returning to her own solo series early next year DC have announced. The flame haired costumed crimefighter is currently prowling the streets of Gotham City alongside The Batman in Detective Comics, but fans have been vocal in their longing for Kate to return to her own ongoing solo series since her ‘New 52’ run ended with issue 40.
‘Batwoman: Rebirth’ will be written by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Steve Epting, and will follow Kate as she scours the planet for the monstrous villain behind the sale of a deadly toxic bio-weapon. Kate’s globetrotting tale will initially begin as a two part story arc in Detective Comics which will then segue into a one shot prologue ‘Batwoman #1’ before exploding into her own full blown series in April 2017.
Wonder Woman Named Honorary United Nations Ambassador…
Not content with being the Princess of a paradise island of Amazonian warriors, Themysciran Herald, Justice League member and one time God of War, it seems that Diana has also now accepted the task of being an Ambassador for the United Nations!
On October 21, the United Nations are due to announce the Themysciran Titan as it’s ‘Honorary Ambassador For The Empowerment Of Women And Girls’ The earth-shattering event will coincide with DC Comic’s very own ‘Wonder Woman Day’ and will take place at the UN’s headquarters in New York. The event serves to highlight the U.N. campaign for worldwide gender equality, and ‘Suffering Sappho’ we couldn’t think of a comic book character more suited to the role than Wondy!
William Moulton Marston Biopic Announced…
Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston was a fascinating individual, not only was he the architect of the world’s first ever female Superhero, he was also a Harvard trained psychologist and a successful inventor (one of a team who designed the original polygraph machine in fact!)
‘Professor Marston And The Wonder Women’ is the title of the currently in production biopic dedicated to honouring his achievements, from a script by Angela Robinson who will also be taking the directorial reins for the Sony Pictures drama. British actor Luke Evans has been cast as Marston, alongside Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote who will play Marston’s wife Elizabeth, and Olive Byrne (who lived with the couple in an extended relationship) respectively.
The announcement from Sony Pictures reads:
In a Superhero origin tale unlike any other, this is the true story of 1940’s Harvard psychologist Dr William Moulton Marston, the inventor of the lie detector and creator of the iconic Wonder Woman. Who defends his feminist Superhero against charges of ‘sexual perversity’ while at the same time maintaining a secret that could have destroyed him. Unknown to others, Marston’s inspiration for Wonder Woman was his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, two empowered women in the field of psychology who defied convention by building a secret life together with Marston that rivalled the greatest of Superhero disguises.
Why not join us again next time friends for more ‘Week In Geek’
This week’s wonderfully wrought comic cover celebrates not only the absolutely astonishing artwork of Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows, but also the reversion of Detective Comics back to its original numbering. Detective Comics first appeared in 1937, but it was its twenty seventh issue that has become the most important of its seminal run, the first appearance of the Masked Manhunter himself – The Batman.
When DC Comics rebooted its Universe in 2011 with the ‘New 52’ they renumbered all of their issues back to #1’s. Before this back pedal of numbering, Detective had reached the almost incomparably immense issue #881, with the oncoming of DC’s recent ‘Rebirth’ which aims to reinsert the legacy of DC’s long and varied comic history, they have decided to revert the numbering of their two original and most popular comic books – Detective & Action Comics (which itself goes back to #957, tantalisingly close to issue #1,000!)
Detective Comics 934 finds the Batman attempting to bring together all of Gotham’s Guardians into one cohesive unit of crime-fighting badassery. A rebirth for the classic Bat-Family of old that sees the return of beloved characters like Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler and former Batgirl Cassandra Cain under her new identity of Orphan. Throw in the fiery haired vigilante Batwoman, wayward zealot Azrael and the Caped Crusader’s loyal sidekick Red Robin, and you end up with an almost unbeatable team of spandex clad heroes that will have the Supervillains of Gotham running for the proverbial hills!
Detective Comics will start shipping twice monthly from June 08, beginning with issue #934. Written by: James Tynion IV. Art and cover by: Eber Ferreira & Eddy Barrows. Variant cover by: Rafael Alburquerque.
DC Comics’ fantastic 1940’s stylised Bombshells series became available digitally this week, with the first issue beginning in the style of a classic WW2 newsreel. Depicting Batwoman, who has been a hit (literally) on the baseball field and around the streets of Gotham where she reins in crime as the resident masked vigilante, in a time before the Batman existed. In fact, the Batman may actually never exist in this alternate timeline as Batwoman is shown taking out Joe Chill just as he is about to gun down the Wayne family in crime alley, thus negating young Bruce Wayne’s need for his vengeance motivated alter ego.
An entertaining first issue, with the art by Marguerite Sauvage evoking the style and mood of comics from the 1940’s, I especially love the redesigned Batwoman costume worn by Kate Kane, a red and black baseball style outfit replete with mask to hide her anonymity on and off the field. This first issue mostly follows Batwoman’s career as masked crimefighter and Gotham’s star baseball player, though there is a brilliant cliffhanger ending that introduces another major DC character to the fold. The quirky writing of Marguerite Bennett genuinely elicits a feel of the era, and makes for a fun, enjoyable first issue. Currently available in digital format, with the physical copy on sale from August 12.
Precinct1313 Rating: 4 Battling Batwomen Out Of 5
This August DC Comics will drop Bombshells on an unsuspecting public, with these amazing variant covers inspired by vintage World War 2 style artwork. This follows on from June 2014’s extremely popular Bombshell variant run, which saw the alternate cover comics become very scarce and highly sought after collectables, this time they are taking the design run even further, by adding character statues and an ongoing digital comic series entitled “DC Comics’ Bombshells”.
DC Bombshells #1 will follow the adventures of Batwoman, Supergirl and Wonder Woman as they take the fight to the axis of evil on the front lines of World War II. The first issue of DC Bombshells will be available digitally on August 12, and throughout August every major DC comic release will also ship with a variant version of the cover, and judging by how successful the previous run was, these will sell out extremely fast. So why not head on down to your nearest comic book emporium and reserve yourself a Bombshell today, you won’t regret it.
Welcome back comic-fans to our second installment of World’s finest comic book artists, this time focusing on the incredible talent of artist and writer JH Williams III. JH grew up in California and fell in love with the comic book medium for the first time at the age of eight years old, it was from this early age that he decided he wanted to become a creator of these fascinating worlds that he read on a weekly basis. Working hard to enter the arena of a comic book professional, his work was noticed by comic artist/writer Howard Chaykin who helped usher JH into the limelight.
JH started creating comics for the first time in 1991, the majority of his work has been for DC Comics, where he has worked on classic comics such as Batman, Superman, Starman and more. He had a critically acclaimed run as artist on Alan Moore’s Promethea for its 32 issue run, where he won a Harvey award for his art on the comic in 2006. More recently JH has been known for his re-introduction of DC’s classic Batwoman character, after the character was removed from DC lore in 1964. JH rebooted Batwoman back into DC mythos in 2006 and with the help of his sublime visuals and deep storytelling skills the character has gone from strength to strength ever since, becoming one of DC’s best selling and most well loved female Superheroes.
This massive run on Batwoman whom he has been involved with since 2006 has rewarded JH with many awards including an Eisner for best comic cover artist, best penciller and inker also a GLAAD award for most outstanding comic in 2010, plus three Eagle awards from the UK for best artist and writer in the comic book medium.
JH continues to work for DC Comics, where he is currently involved as artist in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series with the new Sandman: Overture.
Required reading recommendations are: Batwoman- Elegy, Batwoman- Hydrology and Promethea.
The Futures End saga continues through September for DC Comics, with special motion covers for each of the major characters debut issues, as seen above with the awesome Batwoman – Futures End #1.
Futures End is an epic, year long weekly series by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens. The series which began in May this year is set five years into the future, and follows Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis’ attempt to avert Brother Eye’s nefarious plans on Earth Prime, which is still reeling from the effects of the Multiversity war.
Damn you Kotobukiya for making such awesome statues and figures, because we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to the characters we love, we just have to buy them…and their latest reveal is something we have wanted for a very long time indeed, it has risen to the top of our most wanted list and is definitely the next addition to the Comic Crypt’s shelves.
Meet Batwoman, real name Kate Kane…Batwoman is one of our favourite female heroes of all time (number 5 in Precinct1313’s favourite comic-book characters). Batwoman was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in 1956, it was decided at the time that Batman needed a larger supporting cast of heroes in Gotham City and so Ace the Bathound, Batmite and Kathy Kane – Batwoman were given life in the pages of Detective Comics and Batman.
Kate was initially added to also introduce a love interest for Bruce Wayne, but by the mid 1960’s when DC editor Julius Schwartz took over the Batman titles he decided to remove as he called it, ‘non-essential characters’ from the Batman mythos and unfortunately one of the victims of his editorial spring cleaning was Batwoman. Then after close to forty years Batwoman returned, like the proverbial phoenix when she was re-introduced into the DC universe during the weekly comic-book series: 52.
This version of Kate was vastly different to her predecessor. Strong independent and ex-military, she was also no longer a mere love interest for Batman, much was made of her introduction as a lesbian character, DC got both good and bad press about this decision, ultimately it was Kate’s strength of character and the amazing writing and art which were both handled by the awesome JH Williams that made her comeback so successful for DC. She is now their second biggest selling female Superhero after the awesome Amazon…Wonder Woman.
The Kotobukiya Bishoujo statue of Batwoman is once again designed by the very talented Shunya Yamashita, standing 1/7 scale, approximately 10″ in height. The detailing is fantastic with the red and black gloss paintwork contrasting extremely well, her mask is removable so that you can see Kate’s beautiful pale features below. Kate stands with her hand outstretched and her red and black cape billowing behind her. No official release date has been given as yet, but Kotobukiya have said you can expect to see Kate adorning your local comic-book shop shelves sometime in early 2015, not sure we can wait that long!
NUMBER 2 is: The Batman.
Batman-real name Bruce Wayne was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, his first appearance was Detective comics#27 in May 1939. After his parents were brutally murdered in front of young Bruce’s eyes by Joe Chill, he swore an oath of vengeance against the criminals of his home..Gotham City. Spending his formative years training under the world’s greatest martial arts masters and learning other abilities such as ninjutsu and escapology, Bruce returned to Gotham to fight crime as the Batman.
Bruce was also born with a genius level intellect and was left a massive multi billion dollar fortune by his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. Though he has no superpowers, Batman is quite possibly the most feared superhero in the DC universe…with the ability to seemingly appear and disappear at will, most criminals (and some superheroes) believe he is a supernatural creature of the night akin to a vampire. Using this reputation, his advanced skills and his ‘toys’, Batman with the help of other Gotham guardians (including Batgirl, Robin and Batwoman) manages to just about keep the streets of Gotham from overflowing in crime and supervillains.
Batman to date has the largest amount of appearances outside of comics than any other character, with movies and television shows dating back to the 1940’s. His popularity has never waned and he is as beloved today as when he was created seventy five years ago. This year is the year of the Bat, being his 75th anniversary and I am sure he will still be with us in another seventy five years!
As a side note, Batman was originally going to share the number one spot on this list, as we love this character so much and felt bad about putting him at number two. But as Christopher Lambert said in Highlander..’there can be only one!’, join us tomorrow friends to see who that is.
The top 5 begins with…
NUMBER 5 is: Batwoman.
Batwoman..real name Katherine Kane was created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff in 1956, her first appearance was in Detective comics#233. Throughout the next eight years Batwoman appeared alongside Batman regularly as a supporting character, until 1964 when editor Julie Schwartz took the reins of the various Batman titles and removed what he called ‘non-essential characters’, this included Ace the Bathound, Bat-mite and Batwoman. After a forty year absence, Batwoman was reintroduced into the DC universe in 2005, her history was changed and Kate Kane took up the fight as Batwoman once more.
The new version of Batwoman was different in every way to her silver age counterpart, the original was a rich socialite who was romantically involved with Batman, the Kate Kane of today is ex-military and is a lesbian. Much was made of the sexual orientation of the character which drew both good and bad press when she was reintroduced, with Vice-president of DC comics saying that they wanted to ‘introduce some diversity and better reflect modern society’. Like Batman, Kate has no superpowers and relies on her military training and combat expertise, she tends to deal with the supernatural side of crime in Gotham City. Since her reintroduction, the Batwoman comics have been a huge success and are some of the best written comics around today, Elegy volume one is required reading and cannot come more highly recommended!