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Batwoman, Volume 1: Hydrology

(Batwoman (2011) #1)

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  8,857 ratings  ·  530 reviews
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics—The New 52 event of September 2011, Batwoman's new series finally begins! The creative team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman launch the ongoing Batwoman series, as Batwoman (a.ka. Kate Kane) faces deadly new challenges in her war against Gotham City's underworld–and new trials in her personal life.Wh
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by DC Comics (first published January 1st 2012)
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Attila Cthulhuson It's a very artsy book with strong colors, particularly in fight scenes where there is a stark contrast of colors, namely the dark black of her…moreIt's a very artsy book with strong colors, particularly in fight scenes where there is a stark contrast of colors, namely the dark black of her outfit, pale white of her skin and the sharp reds of her hair and lips. It creates some lovely imagery.

I read it as an artistic choice to provide contrast.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.06  · 
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 ·  8,857 ratings  ·  530 reviews


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Jayson
(B+) 76% | Good
Notes: It effuses poetry in luscious, evocative art, yet loses lucidity and form in the ethereal gloom of its smoky dreamscape.
Jeff
Aug 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix
Three and a half stars

Yes, the art is wonderful. Fabulous. It pushes the boundaries of comic art. It’s outside the box. At times, the styles are even mixed from page to page.* Too bad it’s at the service of an incomprehensible plot that involves (view spoiler).

I like the new Batwoman. Troubled Kate Kane makes a welcome addition into the crazy Bat pantheon. But for me this begs the questions: Why did she name herself Batwoman to begin with? Why would she set
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Anne
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Batwoman (not to be confused with Batgirl) is a pretty interesting character. I love that she isn't affiliated with Batman...or at least not yet.

As much as I enjoyed the plot, what really made it stand out so much (to me) was the incredible artwork. Every page was absolutely beautiful in it's own way. Truly.

I only have one complaint. Or maybe it's just a question?
Why the hell is Kate Kane so freakin' pale? No. Pale is not the right word here.
White.
And not like, "Hey look at that white girl dan
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Sam Quixote
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Batwoman is Kate Kane, the wealthy daughter of a retired army general, discharged from West Point Military Academy because of her homosexuality under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and turned to a life of vigilantism after the untimely deaths of her mother and sister.

Artist JH Williams III turns his hand to writing with co-author W Haden Blackman and the results are pretty good. The book opens with an interesting introduction to Batwoman through the eyes of Batman before introducing the book’s villai
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Jedi JC Daquis
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Batwoman run of JH Williams III in the New52 is hugely unappreciated, taking a back seat behind powerhouse series like Snyder's Batman, Azzarello's Wonder Woman and even John's Aquaman and Green Lantern. But once you get to read this Kate Kane Batwoman, you cannot get enough of it.

Hydrology starts the four-volume series written and drawn by Williams. And this I am very serious about: these four volumes is as good as it gets. Batwoman is awesome, powerful, broken and again, awesome. Damn cool
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Steve
Solid 3 stars.

Not much to say about this one, except "Meh".

The artwork was fantastic, and I really like the contrasts with the red/black color scheme Ms. Kane chose for her costume. I'm not sure about the whole ghostly white skin, though. Wouldn't that give her secret identity away?

The story was okay, but I have one question. When did the Bat-family of books start moving to outright mystical/paranormal mysteries? the main storyline in this volume dealt with trying to find a couple of children ab
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Shannon
Tale opens with Batman watching a new superhero of Gotham named Batwoman and it's a good narrative flow because all the Gotham veterans have some familiarity with the structure. Not surprisingly, Batman figures little into this and we focus on Katherine Kane and why she became a crimefighter.

Kane deals with her somewhat lame sidekick (Flamebird), a ghost like woman stealing children and whether to join Batman's organization or stay solo.

Amazing artwork. I especially liked how a page or two had
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James DeSantis
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
For the longest time I wanted to read this series because of the things I heard about it. "This will make you a Batwoman fan" and yeah...they were right.

So Kate Kane is Batwoman. You didn't know that? Got confused about Batgirl and Batwoman? Don't worry, this book will fix that. So this Batwoman is dealing with hunting down someone, or something, who is taking children and kidnapping them. ON top of that she is also training a girl to be a warrior, a fighter, and of course things get a bit conf
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Kurt
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kurt by: Matt
My brother loaned me a few books to introduce me to The New 52, a massive relaunch of DC's titles that seemed crazy at the time but has actually, I've heard, led to some really good stories. After reading this collection of Batwoman stories, I do not feel in any way introduced to the new status quo of the DC Universe, but I love this book.

Even though The New 52 was supposed to create a great jumping-on point for new readers, this book is a direct continuation of the story in Batwoman: Elegy - th
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William Thomas
I hate when I'm not in the proper mood to write the kind of review a book deserves. It just doesn't seem fair to the book, or the reader of the review, because it just can't get across all of the lovely things I want it to. I'm very distracted right now. Lethargic. But I'll do my best.

JH Williams has written the best book of the Nu52. No bones about it. Everything about this book is phenomenal. What makes it brilliant is that it stands completely on its own, unlike other Bat-books, it doesn't u
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I have mixed feelings about this. It was different and really artistic, but I wasn't that enamored with the story and Kate as a main character. I'm not familiar with Batwoman, so this is a very new character for me. I think that people interested in GLBT characters will really appreciate it. It's a favorable profile of a strong, empowered lesbian woman. However, at the same time, Kate has some issues. She's got major survival guilt and an anger problem. She's dealing with her angst in some ways ...more
Crystal Starr Light
I'm on a graphic novel winning streak!! Yippee!

My knowledge of anything DC is admittedly almost nonexistent. I know there's a superhero named Superman and one named Batman and that's almost it. But when I was poking around in my local comic store, the artwork and story stood out - along with featuring an adult superheroine not called "girl" (not saying Batgirl and Supergirl are automatically bad because of their names). I honestly didn't know what to expect; I didn't really bother to get my hope
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Keith
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay Messler, I finally got this one read and: uhgh. Whatever. I was like disappointed from page 1, when Batman's Spooky Inner Monologue does a totally unnecessary information dump on Batwoman's backstory, and the rest of the book doesn't do much better. Proof that yes, you actually do need writers who know how to write to make superhero stories unboring.

It's not that JH Williams III isn't a totally serviceable writer; it's just that the Greg Rucka-scribed Batwoman: Elegy was so awesome, with t
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mercedes
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, dc, owned, 3-stars
”She is many things: estranged daughter, grieving sister, proud lesbian, brave soldier, determined hero. She is BATWOMAN.”


I’m torn between giving this 3.5 and 4, because I just cannot seem to make up my mind between whether this arc was cool and exciting or messy and confusing. I’m going to go with a mix of both, and at the very least it has me so intrigued I definitely want to read more.

The art in this is just stunning, although, like many others, I was startled by Kate Kane’s skin being...well
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L. McCoy
So, I loved Elegy and decided to give Batwoman's ongoing a try and well... here's what I think of it.

What's it about:
Uh... that's hard to explain and I'm gonna skip it for this review.

Pros:
The awesome panel layout from Elegy is in this too which is great. I really like this layout and I'm glad they decided to keep it.
The art is (mostly) good.
I really like the action scenes in this comic.
I really care what happens to the characters of the story. I can never stand reading a comic with horrible ch
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Diz
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This art in this is really imaginative, particularly in its use of panels. Batwoman is a character that I don't know that well, but I could get a sense of who she was from this volume. Having said that, this book focuses on the supernatural, and it gets really weird very quickly. I had to reread some pages to figure out what was going on. However, if you have the patience for that, it can be very rewarding.
Aaron
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
It's incredibly rare to find a comic book artist who can pull off both writing and art, and unfortunately, if this book is any indication, J.H. Williams III is another casualty in that search. Truly, this book is beautiful. Genuinely some of the finest comic artwork I've seen in a mainstream book in a very long time. Probably the last time I felt this drawn in by the art of a comic was Sandman: Overture, which was also Williams. His flare for creative design, for upending traditional panel flow, ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Wow, this comic had a very unique feel to it and the artwork alone makes it worth the read. The art is beautiful but also organized into creative panels that aid the story and set the tone and flow. The first issue is brilliant, we watch as Batman investigates Batwoman trying to decide if she is Kate Kane and if she is worthy of a Bat Inc invite, spoiler, she is. This was a fantastic way to introduce the reader by giving us a character we already know and love and letting us see this new charact ...more
Sesana
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
Batwoman is missing just one element to become a truly dynamic superhero: a compelling villain. She is herself a strong, compelling character with realistic motivations and voice, surrounded by a cast as interesting as she is. I especially love how she and Batman deal with each other. He recognizes her abilities, skills, and motivations and wants to work with her. Score. Except that she has her own agenda, and isn't willing to be his employee. I love her for this, even if I might not make the sa ...more
Mike
Dec 08, 2012 rated it liked it
As an artist, Williams does an amazing job - composition, choreography, line work, panel design,

As a writer, I think Williams needs a little practice. "Crime fighter's notebook"? Not exactly subtle. Doesn't give the reader enough credit to notice the little things in panel, like putting money in the bum's cup - so he adds it to the narrator's notes.

In issue 2 the action art gets muddled, confusing. It looks dreamy, sure, and maybe dreams aren't supposed to make linear sense - but is that really
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Eli
This was not as good as I was expecting it to be, but still not bad.

I think it has some potential, especially with the characterization and plot. But the paneling needs some work. I feel like I couldn't appreciate the art fully because the paneling was so difficult to follow. And because the plot was a little dry for the most part.

The villains weren't cliche, which was reassuring. Even though they weren't awesome villains, at least they weren't the generic drug-traffickers that minor vigilantes
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Stewart Tame
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting. I liked this more for the art than the story. The story wasn't bad, just didn't excite me. Despite this being volume one, you pretty much have to know who Batwoman is already to get much out of it. Fortunately, I read the first BW graphic novel some time ago.

Anyway, as I said, what's really impressive about this book is the art. These are some of the most interesting and creative page layouts I’ve seen in a long time. The pages drip atmosphere. Panel borders get all loose and liqui
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Mel
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, read-in-2018
This is very much not my type of story, but I enjoyed it. I’m a little lost as I have 0 background knowledge of Batman and Arkham and Gotham and alll that other stuff, but I liked it as it was.
Randolph
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Randolph by: My brilliant daughter
My daughter actually hipped me to this book since she is a brilliant student and quite the comic aficionado. Little did I realize that DC had already screwed the pooch by running off the writer/illustrators when they tampered with their lesbian story line. DC made some weak (as in hypocritical) response about superheroes never having healthy and happy lives, maybe another stereotype that should go out the window as well. The whole thing reeks of the comics-are-bad-for-you stigma that I thought t ...more
Alan
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A shame that writer J.H. Williams left the title because of editorial interference from the company that owns the character. Williams makes me care about Kate Kane, her father, and her supporting cast. While I know the main stream press covered the title because of Kate's lesbianism and her relationship with Gotham City Police Detective Maggie Sawyer, Williams doesn't feel the need to hit the reader over the head with Kate's sexuality.

Her sexuality is part of who she is. As is combat training, h
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Aaron
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this New 52 volume and would have easily given it five stars if it had felt like a whole story. I found Williams' art excellent and really enjoyed the creative page layouts, particularly the ethereal splashes that started each issue. Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman, brutally enforces her brand (or maybe it's Batman's brand) of street justice in a blood-red wig and cape. Kate's tragic background is summarized, though some elements regarding her current relationships with her co ...more
Nikki
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
So here I am, jumping into another New 52 title. I was mostly interested in Batwoman/Kate Kane because I know she's a lesbian, but I knew very little else about her, so it was a bit tough to just jump right in here, even though the New 52 is supposed to be a reboot.

I enjoyed it, though; I like that in contrast to what I normally think of when I think of the Batfamily, without supernatural elements, here we've got Kate Kane basically going through an episode of Supernatural. It's interesting read
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Lex
Somewhere between a 3 and a 4. This was good, a lot better than I was expecting, but it didn't blow me away or anything. The art, though, was absolutely beautiful.
Christine
So this is an excellent urban fantasy. Give me Kate Kane over Batman any day of the week.
Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~
Review of Volume 0

Kate Kane becomes progressively more likable and bad-ass in this volume and the villains have become progressively more stupid. I like to think that I have an open mind, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the first arc-villain that Kate will face as Batwoman will be a (view spoiler).

Once I got over that trauma (which took a full minute of internally chanting "are you fucking kidding me?") I was able to yet again enjoy the most beautiful super
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158 followers
James H. "Jim" Williams III, usually credited as J. H. Williams III, is a comic book artist and penciller. He is known for his work on titles such as Chase, Promethea and Desolation Jones.

Other books in the series

Batwoman (2011) (6 books)
  • Batwoman, Volume 2: To Drown the World
  • Batwoman, Volume 3: World's Finest
  • Batwoman, Volume 4: This Blood Is Thick
  • Batwoman, Volume 5: Webs
  • Batwoman, Volume 6: The Unknowns