Just as I was about to give up on the entire line of Batwoman, they throw this in my face!
In this Annual, we get a glimpse into Karen and Helena’s lives back on Earth 2!
The issue opens up with Batman and Robin (remember, it’s Helena here) crashing through a ginormous window of a brothel operating in the heart of downtown Gotham. How this is a surprise when the window is literally an entire wall of the room and the room is full of prostitutes, I have no idea, but I guess they needed to have something for the heroes to leap through. The two of them make short work of the… Everyone in the room.
Helena calls Batman “Dad” and he scolds her for her inexperienced mistake, even as he leaves her alone to further investigate the brothel alone. Probably trolling, because, let’s be for realsies here. While alone in the main hall, Robin spots and stops a last woman as she flees, telling her that it’ll be alright. But this girl is in cahoots with one of the thugs who runs the joint, and the two make off after knocking Robin out, briefly.
Turns out, Batman didn’t actually leave her completely alone, and is instead observing her at a distance as she stalks through the brothel to bust whoremongers in different rooms, thus further proving that Batman is a super creepster. Helena takes out these goons more easily this time as she startles them and uses the element of surprise to disarm them via… Throwing knives RIGHT through the fucking hands. But, she does make short work of them, even as Batman internally criticizes her for a possible carelessness while simultaneously praising her mercilessness.
This part of the comic ends with Batman spotting Robin trying to force a girl to accept her help, and Batman says that that’s a job for the police and their future caseworkers, and that her next lesson is going to be about “The Stockholm Syndrom.”
A quick note to the writers: This kind of thing doesn’t usually happen because of “The Stockholm Syndrome,” if this was a sex trafficking operation. It’s usually because their captors get them hooked on drugs, so these bitches physically can’t leave. So… Keep that in mind for next time.
The next “Chapter” of this annual centres on Karen, as she writes in her diary about a huge mistake that she’s made. She recently snuck away to go to a bar in New York City, specifically, to be able to blend in so that she could practice flirting with guys.
She finally meets the right guy and they hit it off. Their conversation flows perfectly, they’re mutually attracted to each other, and they feel like they can open up to each other. The guy, “Ken,” reveals that he’s only in town for the duration of a “Worldgov” conference and will be going home the next day. She in turn, is about to tell him some big secret (gee, I wonder what it could be), when– .
She suits up, Kal’s “Secret Weapon” policy be damned, and rushes off to help. She saves who she can, she catches giant chunks of rubble from mid-air, she sees a woman fleeing the scene, but it too busy rescuing bitches to catch her, but shit keeps exploding, even as she accelerates. Ken rushes into the bathroom where he had told her to hide, but another explosion rocks the building. She calls out to him, saying that he shouldn’t go in, she’s not inside, but she is too late.
So, the thing that Karen is writing about in her diary is the fact that her disobeying Kal’s orders resulted in this boy dying. Hardly seems trivial. So, her current attitude of rowdiness and recklessness means… That she doesn’t learn lessons. Huh.
End Chapter Two.
Chapter Three is the final part, called “Three of a Kind?” with the Question Mark and everything. It looks like Karen went immediately over to her bestie, Helena, after Ken’s death. Karen laments his death, but the wording is kind of awful. More like she got dumped by a douchebag than a person losing his life.
So, Karen mentions the escapee and Helena latches right on to it, shifting into detective mode. Apparently, the culprit stood out… Because she was a Super. The two of them head back towards the scene, this time in costume. And even though Karen’s still supposed to be keeping it on the down low.
On the next page, we see Batman and Superman discussing the girls’ attitudes, and the impending arrival and subsequent attack of Apokolips. AND They have this fucking conversation is front of a large, open window, because, apparently, windows aren’t actually see-through on Earth 2. I mean, really, first the brothel, now fucking BATMAN?
Back at the scene of the blast, Karen uses her microscopic and different frequencies of vision to examine bits of tech and trace amounts of energy left in the area. They deduce that it’s not native to Earth, and that bits of it may very well be Apokolips technology in origin but, before they can reach any sort of conclusion, they are attacked.
The two battle and they seem to be a pretty even match, but the collateral damage of their fight leaves Robin under some rubble, and so Karen goes to save her. The mystery bitch escapes in the meantime.
We go back to the Batcave for a moment. Basically, Batman knows who the bomber was and was worried about her complicating matters.
So, the kids go on ahead and trace the villain by a radioactive signature, which is probably not a good idea for Robin, both because of her vulnerability and her VULNERABILITY.
Karen takes a swing at the exact moment that Robin chucks an anti-Parademon grenade at the villain, now called “Fury” (hello, again, ties to Apokolips?) but the former is stopped from finishing her off by the appearance of Wonder Woman.
While they fight, Fury escapes via poorly rendered BOOM Tube.
Also, there’s no real reason to include this next panel except that it really and truly bothers me.
Robin comes back to the still squared-off Supergirl and Wonder Woman, saying that Fury escaped through a portal, like a hole in the universe. Wonder Woman immediately asks if the killer is alright. When Robin asks why she should care, Wonder Woman reveals…
So… Okay. Looks like we get a little bit of a look into the characters before the events of the Earth 2 comic book series, but I don’t think that it really amounted to much. I mean, we didn’t really learn anything new about the girls or their relationships to their father figures. Mostly, it seemed like a set-up to bring in another villain (Fury) down the road.
And, ultimately, I suppose that this issue is supposed to lead us further into the next story arc, the one that I’ve been looking forward to, where the girls finally meet face to face with the Superman and Batman of Earth Prime.
Let’s hope it comes out awesome.
Because I’m dropping some books. But, more on that next time.