You may recall that I said that the current arc (To Drown The World) in Batwoman marks a decline from the first arc (Hydrology). I criticised the artwork from Reeder for being too cartoony and exaggerated for the story, and I criticised Williams for writing for the trade. However, issue 9 fixes my concerns.
DC have replaced Reeder with the more talented McCarthy until the end of To Drown The World. McCarthy has a great eye for detail, adding small things that enhance the world-building. For example, each member of Maro’s team has two black tattoos under their eyes. It’s a small addition that shows their devotion to, and pride to be part of, his cause. McCarthy echoes Williams’ more experimental panel structure in the fight sequences, and although he is not as good as Williams, his art fits the sombre tone of the series far better than Reeder’s.
Williams seems to be addressing the concerns about him writing for the trade. This issue, while part of a larger arc, has a clear beginning and end. It’s not a good place for new readers to start, but it at least offers enough plot and characterisation to be worth the price. The issue benefits by allowing Sune to have a character at last, and Maggie and Kate’s small scene shows that their relationship is clearly growing stronger. The non-chronological, episodic structure isn’t too much of a distraction this issue, and it is clearer what is going on. While this structure damaged previous issues, it is intriguing in this. It’s finally doing its job.