I'll be honest, as big as a Batman fan that I am, I'm totally new to the character of Kathy Kane, a.k.a Batwoman. I'd heard a lot of good stuff about her over in Greg Rucka's run in Detective Comics, but never felt it was worth enough to spend the extra $$$, with all the other Bat-titles already on my pull list. After reading issue #1, I'm wishing I did.
That said, unfortunately for newer readers Batwoman #1 is not an origin story, or even a new beginning. The story actually takes place right after the recent Batwoman: Elegy, as well as Batwoman #0. These are both easily accessible at your nearest comic book shop, but I admit it was a bit of a nuisance since I was expecting a fresh story, especially with the #1 on the cover. After a few quick online summaries most of my questions were answered and the issue definitely made a bit more sense. Do yourself a favor and pick up both if you've got the spare cash.
Continuity aside, Batwoman #1 is a great issue. Again, being a big Batman fan, it's a quite different take from another side of the Bat-universe. It almost had a semi-horror feel to it, not something I usually associate with Batman books. But hey, it works! However, the real gem of this book is the art. The artwork in Batwoman is simply beautiful, and I can honestly say some of the best comic book art I've seen. I'm new to artist J.H. Williams, and he's definitely one I'm going to look out for. His page layouts are amazing and flow eerily, but beautifully. A lot of the book's art is full double splash pages, and Williams uses a lot of unconventional paneling throughout. But again, it works! It's a great storytelling technique - the action just moves so well on the page, and his attention to detail is incredible. I hope this guy does some issues of Batman some day.
THE GOOD: The art in this book is simply beautiful, and some of the best I've seen. I'd say buy this for the art alone if you've got the $3 to spend. The story isn't bad either. Definitely one of the better books of the New 52. However...
THE BAD: I wish there was a little more origin and background story. For a total beginner to the world of Kathy Kane I was pretty LOST to what was going on. Nothing a few Google searches will fix, but still a tad disappointed.
FINAL VERDICT: A