I found this Batwoman book more than a little lackluster since Rucka left Kate Kane. I trade waited and missed the feel of Elegy. This issue brings back all those feelings crafting a story that has the same determined woman recalling how she became Batwoman. But it's more than that, it's a story about Kates' struggle at finding her place in the world after she lost her mother and twin sister. It's about Kate saying how much her father meant to her throughout her life and how much it hurt her to discover he kept the truth about Beth from her.
I love how this is written as a possible goodbye message to her dad so it doesn't truly interrupt the storyline going through the series. From what I heard it's something soliders are told to do before going off on dangerous missions. It's telling that she only stopped this practice after Alices' apparent death and recently decided to start doing it again. Her fathers' hands on approach in parenting helped shape her into the woman she became. It's easy to see why Kate would want to grow up like him. There are so many things in this issue that remind me why I like this character.
She's not infallible but she needs to be a solider. Kate needs to have a mission and help people. Not just to be strong like she perceives her father to be but to have a greater purpose. Her "call to arms" moment when seeing Batman always gives me chills. That idea was expanded on in the "Tomorrow" back up in Batman #0 but I don't think anyone has phrased it the way Kate does. Okay Cass said something close but still Batwoman drives the point home.
Another thing I love about the Bat lore is the journey of self discovery/training. Bruce, Jason and Kate--so far--are the only ones that have really been shown as doing this. Jacob Kane does his best to show Kate the worst the world has to offer to scare her off or toughen her up. He gives her one final test to see if she can control herself. I have to say that so far this has been my favorite read of the month. I can't imagine anything topping it.
Did You Notice?:
The panel with Jacob holding Kate looks like a nod to Elegy when he carries her out of the building her mother was killed in.
The text on the page with Kate meeting Batman was hard to read because of the red text over the page instead of in boxes.