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Gotham City's Latino community had been plagued by kidnappings, but what made them particularly unusual was that they were apparently committed by a ghost. An urban legend about a woman known as La Llornoa - the Weeping Woman - had come alive and begun kidnapping children and drowning others

Hydrology is a Batwoman storyline published as part of The New 52. Following the timeline reboot in Flashpoint, it establishes her continuity in the DCnU. This is the debut arc of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman on their Batwoman series, continuing the character's story from the end of her last run in Detective Comics by Greg Rucka. This is following Rucka's Cutter storyline and followed by Williams' To Drown the World storyline.


Gotham City's Latino community had been plagued by kidnappings, but what made them particularly unusual was that they were apparently committed by a ghost. An urban legend about a woman known as La Llornoa - the Weeping Woman - had come alive and begun kidnapping children and drowning others with her deluge of tears. During one of these kidnappings, Batwoman had tried to intervene, and failed. When the parents reported the event to the police, Detective Maggie Sawyer promised never to stop looking for their children, who made it a total of twelve children taken thus far. Afterwards, Sawyer bumped into Kate Kane in the hall outside her office, and the two of them arranged a date together.

In the meantime, Kate and her cousin Bette had been going out on patrol together by night. Though Bette was enthusiastic to use her former crime-fighting identity with the Teen Titans, Flamebird, Kate insisted that Bette stick with a grey jumpsuit and avoid using a codename, as she felt her cousin wasn't ready for the dangers Gotham had to offer. Additionally, Kate tired of Bette's questions about her relationship with her father Jake, with whom her relationship had deteriorated since she discovered that he had failed to tell her that her sister Beth was alive, until it was too late to save her.

At the same time, Agent Cameron Chase of the DEO was assigned to discover Batwoman's identity.

With the occurrence of the thirteenth kidnapping, and the sixth drowning, all Maggie had come up with was that this Weeping Woman had apparently been a woman whose children drowned because of her neglect, and had drowned herself from the guilt. Regardless of whether the Weeping Woman was a myth or not, Commissioner Gordon urged her to follow through, while Batwoman and Bette eavesdropped. Later, when Batwoman returned to the scene alone, she was accosted by Batman, who offered the chance to join his Batman Incorporated. She turned his offer down, choosing instead to face Gotham's stranger threats alone.[1]

The next morning, Sawyer was accosted on the street during her morning jog by Agent Chase. Chase revealed that she had come to unmask the Batwoman, and though she had already stolen all of Sawyer's files on her, she suspected that Sawyer herself might be the Batwoman, and offered her card. Kate and Maggie's date that evening was coloured by Maggie's preoccupation with Chase's investigation, and Kate carefully diverted any suspicion from herself. Though Maggie invited Kate back to her place, Kate excused herself early, while Maggie received a notification that a murder scene needed her attention.

The crime scene had apparently been the site of a gang war between two gangs, which was interrupted by a faction of the Religion of Crime. One victim from the first gang of Underworlders had been taken by the second gang which Sawyer did not recognize. In addition, that unknown gang had been accompanied by a Meta that tore many of the were-beasts of the Religion of Crime apart.

Later, Batwoman broke into Sawyer's office to look at the kidnapping file, where she found an old photo of a boathouse in Gotham Harbour. She was interrupted when Sawyer returned, and was forced to shove her aside to escape. Angrily, Sawyer found out where Batwoman would be going, and called Chase.

After leaving Sawyer's office, Batwoman investigated the boathouse, but was suddenly dragged underwater by the Weeping Woman.[2] Fortunately, Kate managed to escape the spirit, and swam for shore where Agent Chase and the GCPD were waiting to arrest her for terrorism. Breaking free of Chase's grip, she managed to escape on her Batcycle.

Because of her exploits, Kate missed her date with Maggie. Instead, she returned home and declared that she would no longer train her cousin Bette, refusing to explain why other than to say that the girl didn't have what it took. Chase, meanwhile, tracked down Kate's father, but he refused to answer her questions. Moving on, her superiors suggested that Chase seek answers from Batwoman's sidekick, who, coincidentally, had just ignored her cousin's wishes to go out as Flamebird by herself.

Later, Maggie appeared at Kate's door demanding to know why she had been stood up, but the stress of Chase's pursuit and nearly drowning at the hands of a ghost had reached a head, and all Kate could do was cry in Maggie's arms.[3] That night, they made love for the first time.

Bette, meanwhile, atacked a Chinese Tong gang, and encountered the Weeping Woman, who warned her to stay away. The Tong gang's leader was a monstrous man with a hook for a hand. Bette was overconfident, and in her folly, she fell to The Hook when he sliced through her gut, leaving her for dead in the snow. It wasn't until morning that Chase found her body, barely alive.

That night, Kate questioned a morgue attendant who was present when two of the drowned children were brought in. Apparently, the children had been drowned while playing in a condemned boathouse - the same boathouse that Kate had nearly drowned at the night before. Their mother - Maria Salvaje - had come to identify her children drunk, and was deported as a result. Rumour had it that she had come back from the dead.

Chase, meanwhile, discovered that the girl she found was the same girl who had been Batwoman's side-kick of late, and under the guise of a nurse, deceived Bette into revealing that Kate Kane was her next of kin. Realizing the connection, Chase had Bette transferred to a real hospital for treatment.

Batwoman later searched Maria Salvaje's apartment, where her drunken father still resided. The man admitted that his daughter killed herself after failing to find solace for the loss of her children in alcohol.[4] After studying some occult texts and doing some meditation, Batwoman discovered that the best way to fight a being of water is to use fire. Returning to the boathouse with a cannister of gasoline, Batwoman was attacked again by the Weeping Woman, but this time, Batwoman condemned the spirit for having allowed her children to die through drunken negligence. Freed of the ghost's grips, she set the boathouse ablaze. As the Weeping Woman began to evaporate, Batwoman questioned her about the kidnappings, and Maria Salvaje admitted that someone or something called Medusa had manipulated her into becoming a vengeful spirit and helping to abduct the children.

After returning home, Kate was surprised to find Director Bones and Chase waiting for her. They revealed that they had discovered her identity through Bette, who is now near death, and they would lead Kate to her if she agreed to a deal. They wanted her to join with them in dismantling the organization called Medusa - and if she refused, they would have her father arrested for terrorism. Kate accepted, and alone, visited Bette in the hospital. Batman confronted her there, warning her against partnering with the DEO.

Afterwards, Batwoman visited the parents of one of the missing children to promise that she would find all of the children at any cost.[5]



Pandora Batwoman 001

Pandora watches.

  • Hydrology is a five-part storyline published as part of the New 52 reboot, although it also includes a #0 issue published prior to the reboot as a prelude. This standalone issue was written in anticipation of the new series, although its actual debut was delayed until the New 52 began for publication reasons.
  • Pandora makes a cameo appearance to witness the events of this storyline, as she does all #1 issues published as part of The New 52. This is directly following her first appearance in the pages of Flashpoint.[6] She can be seen standing in a crowd behind James Gordon and Maggie Sawyer while they are talking about the Weeping Woman.[7]

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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