Pardon our seam. One of the drawbacks of the two-page spreads is that some of the art is inevitably printed over the page break. Doesn’t hurt this one, however, which illustrates Williams’ love of rendering different characters in slightly different styles. Batwoman, for instance, is generally rendered with as few hard black lines as possible, giving her something of a realistic sheen. The guy she’s tending to there, however, is Pegasus, who’s been messed up pretty bad by another of Medusa’s children.
No, I’m not sure why Pegasus is a man instead of a horse. The story’s better-left unquestioned here, remember? I’m also not sure why Williams decided to cast him as Michael Madsen’s character in Kill Bill. Regardless, he’s turned the flying horse into a flying cowboy (note the severed wing-bones in his back). And since he made Pegasus a cowboy, Williams has of course (of course!) drawn him in a style reminiscent of Moebius‘ work on Blueberry:
That’s maybe more pronounced here:
I dunno. Maybe I’m off-base with the Moebius thing. But something in the heavy linework, and in the way Williams has drawn the desert floor there, just put me in mind of it. Note, also, that we’ve got three characters in that panel, each drawn in a slightly different style. Wonder Woman’s more or less in Williams’ “regular” style, rendered with traditional line-drawing and color, not so slick as Batwoman but also not nearly so… meaty? …as Pegasus.
Speaking of meaty things, though, here’s a fantastic drawing of a buzzard:
That took up nearly half a page on one of the Pegasus spreads. Buzzards circle all around those pages, appropriate considering the fate we’ve already seen him meet.
These next three all come from the same spread, a scene back in Gotham, where Medusa and her urban legend minions are wreaking havoc while Our Heroines interrogate the horse. First up, it’s Harvey Bullock…
…a super-cool neon movie marquee tossed in, apparently, just ’cause Williams likes to draw that kind of thing…
…and a really fantastic Sinbad poster (partially obscured by a tentacle).
All of that’s spread out around this scene of chaos:
I’m really struck by the weirdly disconcerting sense of scale when looking at that one full-sized. Because you’ve got so many characters in the fore- middle- and background, it’s not immediately apparent that Medusa is a giant. Then you take a closer look at her hands, and suddenly it all snaps into perspective. Weird.
Her hands themselves are also a revelation, of course. The scales betray her true nature behind all the glowing white flesh, and I particularly like that they fade in around her hips, as well. It hints at something far more primal lurking in her pants. Which would be a neat undertone regardless, but considering how very much Williams plays with Batwoman’s own sexuality in the art, little details like that are double-good.
And speaking of double-good… As much fun as it’s been blowing up my Batwoman, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t share at least one more two-page spreads with you. This one’s pretty SPOILERIFFIC, but… What the hell.
What I like about this one so much is that, on the surface, it uses the two-page spread in a far more conventional way than Williams generally does. Which is to say, it’s a BIG image of a BIG monster wreaking BIG havoc. It’s Kirbyesque without actually being Kirbyesque, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t… I’m sorry. I’m getting tired here, and that’s the best I’m going to be able to do.
And, as long as I’m summoning up the ghost of one of the funnybook’s greatest innovators, I might as well bring up the other one and talk about how much those panels drawn on the sides of the buildings across the bottom of the spread put me in mind of Will Eisner. But he’s not doing the trick in quite the way Eisner would have, I don’t think. I’m particularly taken with the way the panels sort of stay in the same perspective as the buildings they’re drawn on (though I fully admit that might be an optical illusion caused by my tired brain).
Oh, and also: what’s up with that weird four-headed roof ornament?
Aaaannnddd… That’s all. A typical issue of Batwoman, with a story not quite firing on all cylinders, but art that more than picks up the slack. Even just slightly better writing would land this one five stars, but as it is…