Falling in love with the many gorgeous statues that are made of our cherished comic book characters can be an expensive endeavor. I was personally obsessed with the second Ame-Comi Wonder Woman designed by artist Dustin Nguyen. You know, the one that is an homage to Greg Rucka’s Wondy that decapitated Medusa blind? Yeah. I eventually got my hands on one, but at great cost to a former paramour as in he paid a pretty penny for it.
One of the most memorable and well-done stories in recent history over at the DC of comics is Greg Rucka’s Detective Comics featuring Batwoman and his creation of the antagonist, Alice. When J.H. Williams was chosen to relaunch Batwoman on her own title, he made it clear that Alice would only be revisited with the utmost of care because he had so much respect for what he and Rucka had done previously. While he was on the book, Alice was revisited in his final arc, and I think he did a fine job. Continue reading
I throw in three reviews for Chew, Batwoman and Young Avengers in this week’s Best Shots Rapid Review column. Check it.
The shot heard around the comic book world this week is Amy Reeder’s abrupt departure from Batwoman. All sources citing creative differences. My first thought was, “Corporate shenanigans strike again!” They seem to strike a lot at the DC offices. But I have another theory. Continue reading
I have intentionally been quiet about the new DC books these past couple of weeks. Mostly because every site and its mom is reviewing them, E. has covered a few, too. What more could I possibly say that hasn’t been said? Well, I’ve always got something to say. I’m not picking up all of the titles, but of the #1 DC books I have gotten, I have loved, liked, and loathed. Continue reading
Because I love a Kate Spade purse as much as a Fables hardcover trade, I tend to have strong opinions about comic book fashion. V., a Gucci aficionado from way back, is no different, and we’ve had plenty of Project Runway elimination-style discussions about superhero garb.
Of course, everyone had something to say about Wonder Woman’s new costume, much of it hilarious. My favorite observation came from Tom and Lorenzo, the duo behind the brilliant Project Rungay blog: “She kind of looks like she’s on her way to yoga class. In Vanilla Ice’s old jacket. That sound you hear is the wail of drag queens the world over, all of whom wouldn’t be caught dead in this thing.” Continue reading
Some of the best characters are villains, and one of my favorite villains is Alice. That is, Kate Kane’s thought-to-be-dead twin sister Elizabeth, who was actually kidnapped in childhood and tortured by terrorists, eventually becoming the Religion of Crime’s High Madame.
Her alternate personality is a beautifully twisted version of Alice Pleasance Liddell of Wonderland fame. Continue reading
While V. and I celebrated the news that J.H. Williams III will write and illustrate a regular Batwoman comic, it occurred to me that reading comics is a bit like dating. The sheer variety is exciting, but once you really connect with a title (or five), it’s like magic. You’re positively giddy on the Wednesdays that it ships, and you can’t wait to curl up and spend time with it.
Then, inevitably, things get all weird. Maybe the creative team changes and there’s a steep decline in quality, or a larger event gums up the works. Pissed off and confused, you start talking about breaking up and seeing other titles — maybe even other publishers. Call me a sucker, but the Williams announcement is the equivalent of a beautiful flower arrangement or a Tiffany charm bracelet sent just in the nick of time. Maybe it doesn’t completely atone for Rucka’s departure and the Power Girl craziness and the iffy Wonder Woman announcement, but it’s still pretty wonderful.
Together, Rucka and Williams created a stunning series of Batwoman stories in Detective Comics, and Williams’ illustrations were so beautifully and thoughtfully executed that they set a new standard for the comics medium. With Rucka out of the picture, it’s a huge relief to know that Williams will stay on as Kate Kane’s caretaker, so to speak. He struck all the right notes in an interview with Comic Book Resources, showing appreciation for Rucka’s vision while making the case for his own. Plus, his enthusiasm for Batwoman and her supporting cast members, including cousin Bette Kane (Flamebird), is palpable. As Williams himself put it, “I just kind of felt like, ‘OK, if anyone can do the character any justice, it would be me.’ ” It’s a bonus that current Madame Xanadu artist Amy Reeder will provide her considerable talents on the second arc.
DC, consider your telephone number unblocked. For now.
Valentine’s Day got us thinking about love in comics, and how the romantic chemistry between characters can really enhance or diminish a story. Since we’re primarily DC gals, we’re presenting a sampling of DCU couples we love — and those that leave us cold. In no particular order: Continue reading
As far as my comic-shop file is concerned, 2009 was a good year overall — and it really didn’t have that much to do with lantern rings and cape-baiting zombies. DC’s “Blackest Night” and many of the tie-ins have been perfectly enjoyable, but the books that stuck with me this year were more about individual characters than cataclysmic events. From the brilliant-while-it-lasted pairing of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely on “Batman and Robin,” to the nifty surprises of “Wednesday Comics” and “Superman: Secret Origin,” to the thank-God-it’s-still-good re-launch of Brian Michael Bendis’ “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man,” my pull list generally gave me a lot to look forward to on Wednesdays.
But no title rocked my world in 2009 quite like “Detective Comics” as conceived by writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III. I expected Rucka’s writing to shine, but Williams’ visual storytelling has been extraordinary. In each of the seven issues (#854-860) this team has produced so far, Williams has executed pages that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a mainstream comic book. Brought to life by Dave Stewart’s expert coloring, Batwoman is frankly terrifying the first time she appears in issue #854, all pale skin, flame-red wig and shiny black bodysuit. Even her crimson lipstick is intimidating. (Dear M.A.C.: Consider making Batwoman the face of your next Viva Glam campaign.) If you’re up to no good, you do not want to meet this woman in an alley, period. That’s how it should be when someone wears the bat symbol.
Fortunately, the artwork serves a mighty good origin story. [Spoilers ahead] What motivates a privileged person, one who isn’t named Bruce Wayne, to put on a costume and stalk criminals at night? After the brutal loss of her mother and identical twin sister, Kate Kane follows in her military father’s footsteps rises through the U.S. Army ranks. But when she’s outed as a lesbian and refuses to lie about being gay, Kate is forced out of the service and becomes a woman adrift — at least, until a chance encounter with Batman inspires her to start taking a bite out of crime herself. Their wordless first meeting is one of my favorite visuals in this series, and though Kate is clearly in awe of Gotham’s dark knight, she didn’t need his help to whip her would-be attacker’s ass.
In Rucka’s hands, Kate has emerged as a truly interesting, complicated figure. I particularly like her kindred-spirit relationship with her dad, who uses his high-level military connections to support her crime-fighting. There’s tension between Kate and her wealthy stepmother, and it’s clear that she’s not entirely over Renee Montoya, aka The Question. A recent discovery about her twin sister, Beth, is a doozie. And of course, there’s that lingering issue of having been stabbed through the heart by a Religion of Crime crackhead.
Word is that Rucka and Williams will reunite in 2010 to continue Batwoman’s adventures in her own title. I’m going to file that under “Please, Please Be True.” After all, Gotham City needs all the help it can get, and I’m pretty well hooked now.