In Hydrology, Kate Kane is doing her best to deal with the events of Elegy. She still hasn't forgiven her father for keeping her twin sister's existence from her, despite the efforts of her new partner-in-training, Flamebird. Now, a ghostly woman known as “La Llorna” has been found drowning children at Gotham Harbor. Will Kate be able to put the ghost of her twin aside long enough to deal with this new haunting?
A couple years ago, I read and enjoyed Batwoman: Elegy, where I first got to know the character of Batwoman. Although I was handicapped by my somewhat limited knowledge of the DC universe, I found the characters to be engaging and quite enjoyed the book. Having that knowledge of the characters behind me, I found it a lot easier to get into Hydrology. Despite being volume 1 of the series, the title isn't a relaunch as much as is a continuation of the events in Elegy. Artist J.H. Williams returns, not only providing his gorgeous artwork but serving as co-writer (sharing the responsibility with W. Hayden Blackman). Once again, I found myself really pulled in by the high quality of the artwork. Normally, I would find Williams's style to be a too busy for me, but there's something really engaging about his art. The sections that I felt were the strongest were in the ones that dealt with the supernatural. His depictions of Kate Kane's ghostly encounters at Gotham Harbor were particularly effective.
Although Hydrology lacks the big twist found in the middle of Elegy, that doesn't make the story any less satisfying. I enjoyed the ghost story plotline, and how it still feles personal to Kate, despite the fact that the events here aren't as closely tied to her family as they were in Elegy. Hydrology features an interesting cast of characters (such as Batman himself) including a impressive amount of strong female characters. The women found here are more than just pretty faces in tight costumes. Instead we are presented with a diverse set of female characters with their own personalities and agendas.
Hydrology begins with a one shot that deals with Bruce Wayne investigating the true identity of Batwoman. Between this issue and the information given to you in the main arc, it's probably enough information to bring new readers on board. Still, I would recommend reading Elegy before picking this up. Not only is a really effective introduction to the character of Kate Kane, but I know that being well established into her life really helped me enjoy Hydrology. I quite enjoyed this comic. Batwoman is quickly becoming my favorite superhero.
Rating: four and a half stars
Length: 160 pages
Source: Newbury Comics
Other books I've read by this author: Batwoman: Elegy
Next I will be reviewing Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens by Jane Dunn and The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson.
xposted to temporaryworlds, bookish, and goodreads