It's been confirmed again by DC that there is no Batwoman series or mini-series in the near future.
Just what is so damned difficult in getting this series off the ground, other than the fact it stars a gay member of the Batman franchise?
If her sexuality wasn't an issue, and DC really wanted to make a series starring her, they would have done it already. I mean, they're doing a new Ambush Bug series -- and Ambush Bug was rumored to be a character they would NEVER use again, due to Keith Giffen's constant pokes at Time Warner's expense during the original run.
Of course, there might be other (sometimes related) complicating factors:
* The Dark Knight movie coming out this year, and fears of "confusing the brand."
* The new push DC is making with the Batgirl character (finally wising up to the fact that the classic Batgirl is a licensing goldmine and it might do well to reintegrate her into the DCU).
* Greg Rucka's departure.
In all of this, I have to ponder what became of the Batwoman mini-series Devin Grayson was supposed to do, and how long-time DC writer Grayson was allegedly treated:
“I won't pretend not to be resentful of how badly DC treated me in that exchange, but the majority of my concern and sympathy goes out to the character, who was basically thrown away by a company which had a lot of support to make her successful and unique. My experiences up to that point had been much more positive, although admittedly less ambitious, and it was really sad and discouraging to see the ball so badly dropped.”
I find the fact that there is still no Batwoman series in the works incredibly disappointing, though hardly surprising.
I guess maybe there is just no place in the heart of the mass-market for entertainment starring a self-confident out lesbian:
I am pretty sure that the original media uproar over batwoman when she was 1st unveiled scares the bejesus out of the TW upper brass.ReplyDelete
the character as main attraction is doa due to this.
a real damn shame...
Greg Rucka's blog continues hinting that he has three upcoming series with DC, and he had a buddy icon of a JHWIII Batwoman, and in the latest Wordballoon podcast he said there was "a good reason, but not one I agree with" as to why "answers about Batwoman" have been so delayed.ReplyDelete
I also understand Matt Brady mistranscribed a few points from the panel, so it's likely that Didio just used this occasion to pimp the Batgirl book coming first while waiting for whatever big announcement they have regarding Batwoman. I don't think the book is cancelled, just still in the ether for some retarded (likely corporate) reason.
Sigh, a lot of people are misreading what was said at the con.ReplyDelete
Who ever took notes at newsarama wrote Batwoman instead of Batgirl. It appears that since the Batgirl series is coming out first, they would rather promote that.
It's an badly kept secret that an artist who is not the fastest person in the business is working on the book. He's basically being asked to put more issues in the can, so they can keep the same creative team on the book for as long as possible.
I imagine long before con season is over that they will announce the Batwoman mini/ongoing. Possibly after Final Crisis is in full swing.
The Question seems to be doing fine. On Comicbloc Rucka said he would expect there to be a Question annocement in 8 weeks or so. Maybe we can get a guest appearance from Batwoman like the one in Crime Bible#3. He, btw, was the first person to note that Didio was talking about Batgirl not Batwoman.ReplyDelete
Well, the greatest force is hope.ReplyDelete
I hope it works. ;)
At least there is the "Crime Bible" with Montoya as character.
Greetings from Germany. :)
I couldn't give a damn about Batwoman, but I really, really like Batgirl. Here is why:ReplyDelete
Batwoman doesn't tie into the Bat mythos at all. She isn't connected EVEN THE SLIGHTEST, except by the name-game-continuity. How annoying. What is her motivation? What is her schtick? I've got NUTHIN. She has no resonance at all. What keeps it from getting off the ground? Well, how about that? It has no hook, no "legendary background." Batman: parents killed in front of him. Superman: last son of a dying world. Spider-man: bit by radioactive spider, great power, great responsibility. Batwoman....? Nothing. Oh, & she ain't Babs, to boot.
As for "classsic" Batgirl-- bah! Give me my Cassandra Cain. Batgirl: raised by assassin, daughter of assassins, wants to do right. See, it "hooks." Now, I like Babs-- but I like her MUCH better as Oracle. Babs as dilettante crime fighter, that is cute, but it holds the same problems as Spoiler-- they are not as capable as their male counterparts. Oracle though-- who is as good at her job? Nobody. She has carved out a niche. Hooray!
Plus, Cass plugs into the Bat mythos...& in a really interesting way. Her idolization of Batman, not Bruce Wayne, but Batman, allows exploration of the humanity of BOTH characters. Sure, the "robot learning how to love" cliche is a danger, but at the same time, a good example of the cliche WORKS.
Think the lack of a Batwoman series has more to do with lack of interest in the character from readers and not having anything recognizable to strongly anchor her character. Well, there is the Batman namesake. But that already feels a little forced and tacked on as it is. It's not Pre-COIE Batwoman by any means.ReplyDelete
Montoya is a terrific character. And we got the Question connection tied to her now, before that the good will of the Batman:TAS series she first appeared in. And even Rucka/Brubaker's highly regarded cult series, Gotham Central and recently 52. Which Montoya was a MAJOR part of.
Yet, I don't think Crime Bible is setting the charts on fire with sales exactly. Despite the good reviews, great stories, high profile creators working with the character and the enthusiasm of dedicated fans.
Batwoman only has 52 going for her. And that's not saying much in her case as she's a supporting character to Montoya in that book. Oh and a plot device. But I do like the idea of a strongly portrayed woman saving her damsel in distress in 52. Fantastic!
Don't think the lack of a Batwoman series has as much to do with Batwoman being gay. She's awfully hard to fit into things at the moment.
I really want a Rucka written Question/Batwoman series! Such a thing would be tres awesome for me. Though I'm sure only like 10 people will buy it. That would make me sad.
I WOULD like to see a Question series-- I'd like her to be WEIRD, though. I mean, what is the point of BEING the Question if you ain't a giant freakazoid? You know, I think she might make an interesting "off the books" Checkmate agent. Hey! She could sort of slide towards the Animated DCU's Question...ReplyDelete
Devin Grayson *sucks*. She should *never* ever be paid even a cent for one of her stories and none of her retarded fan-fiction should *ever* be published.ReplyDelete
BTW - I'm a survivor of massive brain trauma. I'm allowed to say retarded! lol Seriously, I am.
Batwoman was a sales gimmick. "Look, everybody! She's hot! And she's a LESBIAN!!! That's CONTROVERSIAL, right?? Now you wanna buy our books to either **** your pants in rage or to see if she makes out with Wonder Woman!!"ReplyDelete
Before long, she'll join the pile of New Characters We Had High Hopes For But Wound Up Cannon Fodder corpses.
Also, what Mordicai said: Batwoman doesn't tie into the Bat mythos at all. She isn't connected EVEN THE SLIGHTEST, except by the name-game-continuity. How annoying. What is her motivation? What is her schtick? I've got NUTHIN. She has no resonance at all. What keeps it from getting off the ground? Well, how about that? It has no hook, no "legendary background." Batman: parents killed in front of him. Superman: last son of a dying world. Spider-man: bit by radioactive spider, great power, great responsibility. Batwoman....? Nothing.
"Before long, she'll join the pile of New Characters We Had High Hopes For But Wound Up Cannon Fodder corpses."ReplyDelete
Cardinal Sin, Joe Public, Prism, and the rest of the Bloodlines heroes would agree!
What is her motivation? What is her schtick? I've got NUTHIN.ReplyDelete
To be fair, if the Batwoman series had come out when it should've, you'd have an answer by now...
I have faith in the character so long as Rucka is attached- I just don't think anyone else cares enough to do right by her. *shrugs*
I'd honestly rather have the character developed into more than "Hot Lesbian Who Dresses Up Like Batman and Fights Crime," which is ALL I've seen the character to be so far. Until she's more than a gimmick, I've no interested in reading about her at all.ReplyDelete
That whole blog had such an OBVIOUS slant. It is one of the best examples of someone coming to a topic with an agenda and only using what information helps forward their agenda.ReplyDelete
When Batwoman hit the scene, she was decried as an obvious gimmick to cause a PR ruckus. Now her not having a series yet is lamented as some great crime of literature.
She's a hot redhead wearing her version of the Batman Beyond colors. Other than having had a sexual relationship with Renee Montoya and coming from money, we know almost nothing about her. She's every bit of the empty shell/token character that you decried in the conversation about creating minority characters.
I'm finding it difficult to locate any consistency in your argument.
I love how it's a big deal that she's HOT. She can only ever be a reductive male fantasy, because she's the HOT lesbian! Guess what: straight, gay, bi, animal, vegetable or mineral, she's always gonna be HOT because she's a goddamn superhero. Superheroes are HOT.ReplyDelete
And the series getting canned/postponed/limbo'd IS a crime, because J. H. Williams III was drawing it.
And seriously, how can a publisher getting squeamish about putting out a comic with a gay lead NOT be a blow against equality?
(This comment was brought to you by words ending in -OT.)
James-- I agree with you that her being hot is immaterial. I think the real continuance of the issue is that her character has nothing besides being gay. Nothing. Gay is her only attribute. Well, gay & rich. & yeah! Making character's who only have their sexuality to define them is a slap in the face. Sure! Which is why I'm glad they are done slapping me in the face with Batwoman.ReplyDelete
Here is another attribute she has: she is a superhero! We all love superheroes, right? I even love comics about them, especially when J. H. Williams III is doing the pictures.ReplyDelete
Anyway, I'm pretty sure DC's reasons for not wanting a Batwoman series are different to yours. Yes?
I don't mind this move, and I hope the reasons went beyond her sexual orientation. I imagine they do. They might as well develop the character further in the other 47 Bat-titles before starting another. They have a good head start from 52 and Countdown, after all.ReplyDelete
I disagree about Devin Grayson. She was a dependable mainstay writer for DC for many years, and at least she brought something interesting and new to the table. Unlike a plethora of longtime DC writers of varying degrees of talent who consistently keep getting work, she was tossed out to the curb. Which follows the pattern of what's been happening with female Superhero writers since forever, the only exception apparently being Gail Simone.ReplyDelete
I'd rather have Devin Grayson than than Judd Winick.
As for the Question being being DC's "star" lesbian character: she's a FACELESS character named the "Question." Wow, what a metaphor.
That metaphor worked pretty well to decent critical acclaim for, like, 30+ issues of Denny O'Neil's The Question, so there's probably something to it.ReplyDelete
Kevin, I'm so glad you expressed your opinions. It's so wonderful that Internet forums such as this bring together people of such diverse viewpoints. Thanks so much for participating!ReplyDelete
"That metaphor worked pretty well to decent critical acclaim for, like, 30+ issues of Denny O'Neil's The Question, so there's probably something to it."ReplyDelete
I think when it refers to gays in pop-culture, that "faceless" metaphor takes on another shade of meaning.
In regards to the current incarnation of the Question character being faceless, the convention of superhero comics, requires that anyone with a secret identity, wear some mask. Outside of a handful of heroes, nearly most wear masks. Shoot, many with open identities still do.ReplyDelete
The previous Question also wore a mask. I don't get what you are trying to say here with Renee Montoya. Are you saying that the mask marginalizes Renee?
That being called the question infers something insulting about her sexuality? That homosexual characters in DC or Superhero comics in general are faceless? Why is this case much more different than what occurred with Vic Sage? Why does the metaphor for him change so drastically when applied to a character who has very similar motivations but has a difference of sexuality?
I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but I'm confused to as why you are coming from this direction and in all honesty, I want to know why you feel this way.
"Are you saying that the mask marginalizes Renee?"ReplyDelete
"Why does the metaphor for him change so drastically when applied to a character who has very similar motivations but has a difference of sexuality?"
If you truly don't understand why, I won't be able to answer that in a simple comments section.
Here is a good place to start when analyzing how lesbians are portrayed in the mass media:
If masks marginalize Lesbians within superhero comics, and masks are important function of the genre, to the point many heroes still wear them when they are already have revealed their secret identities, then how do we handle a Lesbian character to avoid such a marginalization?ReplyDelete
Must we treat them differently than straight female superheroes? Or straight male ones, or even gay males ones?
Do you believe the portrayal of Montoya pre-question in a smaller supporting role, was less marginalizing than her current mini-series staring role?
I am very intrigued. Could you consider writing something more in depth than comments if you feel they are limiting. Please answer any or all of my questions if possible. None of them are rhetorical in any sense. I really want to pick your brain here.
Also, the Question's "mask" makes him/her look like a person without a face. This is fundamentally different to, say, Batwoman's cowl, or even Spider-Man's all-over jobbie.ReplyDelete
Do you feel comfortable, as Renee is shown?ReplyDelete
I have a few difficulties that the pursuit of their sexuality is as frank and free displayed in a so-called "youth book".
I find it strange that there exist no hetero presentation of this type, because it just goes into the pornographic, but lesbians can be displayed that way.
Incidentally, I am including lesbian.
But not only. ;)
And my way to love is perhaps the social context of my colleagues and friends an issue: e.g. I tell, I was dancing with my wife or in the cinema. More, I do not tell them.
And I expect similar in an adult comic book.
What should this exhibitionism in 52?
And is the Crime Bible actually made for teenagers?
I think it is hypocritical, since what is done.
And only because I am a lesbian, but like superhero stories, I must refrain that there is a positive figure, which I could identify or their fan I could be.
That is a pity.
This text is performed with a little help from Google translator. ;)
Google was wrong with:
"And I expect similar in an adult comic book."
I expect similar in an youth comic book.
Oje. Das ist schon nicht einfach. ;)
Montoya pre-Question was a great character. She was her own character. Her homosexuality grew organically out of who she was. And, to DC's credit, they stood by that decision even though originally it freaked out Time Warner.ReplyDelete
There was no reason to make her The Question. You could have left her as one of the long line of great DC detectives, without superpowers.
Batwoman, by virtue of her very name, is the female counterpart to Batman. She is a very high-profile character. Whereas The Question has had more of a history with older audiences and more mature storylines. The Question, unlike Batman/Batwoman, is not a mega-star in the larger pop-culture world.
When you make Batwoman gay and put the spotlight on her, you are making a very bold statement as a company as to your stance on homosexuality. You are saying: we accept this so much that we choose to give it the "branding" of our most famous character.
That is a very big, gutsy thing to do. It is the equivalent of making Spider-Girl gay.
For a long time, gays in popular culture have "hid." They have first "hid" in sterotypical "butch" or "femme" roles where it was implied that they were gay but were never allowed to actually refer to themselves as such.
Then, as they got more visibility, they were allowed to refer to themselves as gay in movies, but not show outward affection to their partners (or even have partners). They were the "fun gay best friend," or the "repressed lesbian who turns out to be a psycho killer," but in terms of real physical romantic positive scenes -- nothing.
Batwoman is a no-nonsense "Out" superheroine -- bold colors and costume design. The Question has no face, and men's clothing.
I would say neither character is, to my mind, "ideal." Renee Montoya, as a detective, was "ideal." She was almost on the level, in terms of the Batman mythos, of Commissioner Gordon.
From a purely story-driven perspective, issues of sexuality aside, making Montoya The Question was like making Harley Quinn an Amazon. WTF?!
I couldn't disagree more. Montoya as the new Question is one of the best things DC has done post-Infinite Reboot.ReplyDelete
Montoya's coming to be the Question and Vic seeing her potential in taking up the mantle was one of the more natural and believable superhero origins I ever read. In some ways Montoya always had a desire for the unfettered truth. I don't see how that changed now that she is the Question.
Who gives a shit about her sexuality? Montoya was already out before she became the Question and she still is. I don't see her entertaining men in her book or appearances or suddenly being timid or inept.
Other than the costume, which is more about legacy; their is no disservice to her character at all.
Hell, Montoya spends most of her time out of the Question costume. She usually adapts the costume & mask to bust chops.
Agree to disagree. Though I find the suggestion that Montoya was marginalized by boosting her profile via a popular series weekly series and spinning her naturally into the legacy of one of DC's best heroes more than a little ridiculous.
I'll agree to disagree, Juan.ReplyDelete
There was nothing natural about spinning Montoya into The Question. Forcing characters into "Legacy" roles just doesn't do it for me. Frankly, I'm fascinated that every time I have a problem with a DC character, the answer is: "It's a Legacy role!"
The heroic legacy is kind of the bedrock of the DC Universe. And a lot of people, of various different genders and sexual persuasions, enjoyed Renee's story in 52, written by the same guy who outed her as gay in the first place. I'm confused as to what this has to do with DC's treatment of homosexuals anymore rather than whether turning Renee into a legacy character was a smart move or not.ReplyDelete
You answered my questions, but I don't really agree with your opinions that you have here about Montoya pre/post Question considering that Rucka has been the character's steward throughout nearly every moment of her use.ReplyDelete
I also have some general issues in regards to things that are conceits to existing in a superhero universe. I don't believe that it's possible for a non-superhero character to get as much page space as a mask. DC is really not that kind of universe, and as much as I love those books, they just don't sell well. Without Rucka making these changes, the character would have languished and disappeared easily. I liked tons of characters from Gotham Central that had great hooks, however the only two even getting considerable play are the ones that have powers.
I will await any future comments you may have in regards to the proper way to handle a superhero lesbian character in regards to masks.
There was nothing natural about spinning Montoya into The Question. Forcing characters into "Legacy" roles just doesn't do it for me. Frankly, I'm fascinated that every time I have a problem with a DC character, the answer is: "It's a Legacy role!"ReplyDelete
The Question costume is a legacy element, yes. That's DC's thing. How one feels about that is their own business. It does not, nor has it, changed who Montoya is as a character.
Come now, what was bad or mystifying about Montoya- during a period of difficulty in her life coming to find friendship, respect in her abilities and purpose Post-GC in friendship with Vic Sage?
Was it too much a stretch to believe an individual lost to alcoholism and disillusioned with the way their life turned out, would find direction & purpose through friendship?
To be frank, I don't understand what is the problem.
Is Montoya being written out of character? No. Is Montoya betraying her sexual identity? No. Does she have superpowers or fly around the city with a rainbow flag? Um, no.
She's just Renee in a trench coat and theatrical mask punching criminals in the face.
"The heroic legacy is kind of the bedrock of the DC Universe."ReplyDelete
to a hardcore group of fans that DC has been boxed into pleasing, at the detriment of giving their books a broader appeal.
"I'm confused as to what this has to do with DC's treatment of homosexuals anymore rather than whether turning Renee into a legacy character was a smart move or not."
well, as I did specify before, outside of talking about issues of sexuality, I don't think the Montoya/Question thing is awesome.
If you see absolutely nothing wrong with Batwoman not having her own series, and nothing metaphorical about faceless Montoya being DC's biggest lesbian character -- or if you cannot see any faults in the way DC has dealt with issues of diversity -- what could I say to you?
The other day a friend of mine commented that hardcore Marvel fans have a relationship with Marvel like you'd have with a buddy, while hardcore DC fans have a relationship with DC like they would with a creepy uncle that they defend and defend regardless of the uncle's actions.
"It's a Legacy character! They meant to do that! Everybody loves the multiverse!"
Since when did I say I didn't have a problem with the lack of a Batwoman ongoing? Last time I checked, I was posting with information that there was, in fact, most likely still a Batwoman ongoing in production.ReplyDelete
"I'd rather have Devin Grayson than than Judd Winick."
If I'm ever forced to make that choice, I'm either committing suicide or I'll enter myself into a psychiatric hospital to try to figure out just where my life went drastically wrong.
All Grayson brought to DC was Dick Grayson fan-fiction. There was nothing redeeming or good about her writing. Writers like her and Winick are exactly why I stopped reading mainstream comics - if mainstream comics were a real big kid business, people like Winick and Grayson would never ever have jobs. DC's tossing Grayson out was just the first step in a *massive* housecleaning that should be done at both DC and Marvel.
If the point is both Grayson and Winick suck, but Winick keeps his job because he's a man, then yes, that's unfair. They should both be fired. Writers like Simone should be given work because they're talented, it should have nothing to do with gender.
Just for discussion, I have no problem with Batwoman not having a series. I wish every other superhero had the same fate unless there was something redeeming about the stories being written for them, like Iron Fist.
So, to bring this full circle, if my choice were between Grayson, Winick, and Fraction, I'm going with Fraction. If the choice were between Fraction and Simone, then I wouldn't know what to do, because they're both good. I think the Big Two do a massive disservice to their customers by not giving them that choice more often.
There was a Batwoman ongoing being worked on with Devin Grayson, and then it suddenly went *poof* and it was gone.ReplyDelete
I don't think it was because Grayson was a poor writer. If I had to take a guess, it was probably too real, too powerful, too original, too controversial, too sensual, and it scared the shit out of DC.
But I argue that we need more female writers who can take those chances. Or rather, more opportunities for them.
If, in fact, DC Comics no longer plans on publishing a Batwoman comic, ever, I think that's pretty sad. I also think it's completely unlikely, and there's really no evidence to support this. It's already been demonstrated that Didio's initial statement that set off this blog post was a transcription error, so now this discussion has become about whether or not Renee Montoya being faceless is offensive to lesbians, and whether or not being a legacy character is a good "excuse" for this.ReplyDelete
But I find it incredibly hard to believe that Greg Rucka, of all people, put Montoya in the trenchcoat and binary gas to implement a metaphor that lesbians in the DCU are faceless. And, if this was on purpose, I've also got faith that Rucka has read enough about gender and sexuality theory that this is supposed to play a thematic role for the character.
Also, I'd really love to know what happened with Devin Grayson, because I loved her Gotham Knights work and even her maligned Nightwing and I'd be curious to see what she had in mind for this character. I'll admit that disturbs me.ReplyDelete
"I find it incredibly hard to believe that Greg Rucka, of all people, put Montoya in the trenchcoat and binary gas to implement a metaphor that lesbians in the DCU are faceless. And, if this was on purpose, I've also got faith that Rucka has read enough about gender and sexuality theory that this is supposed to play a thematic role for the character."ReplyDelete
But, of course, if it wasn't intentional, that doesn't mean the metaphor isn't there.
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Oh yeah, Valerie...I agree. God Bless the internet. But the interactions aren't any good when they aren't open and genuine...or get closed down prematurely.ReplyDelete
"But I argue that we need more female writers who can take those chances. Or rather, more opportunities for them."
I 100% agree with you there. I think more opportunities for women is always a good thing.
I'll take it one farther, though, and say opportunities need to be given to more *good* female writers. I find it hard to imagine Simone is the only good one out there. Probability dictates there *has* to be more. I think firing guys like Winick and staffing those jobs with decent female writers can only produce better comics.
"I don't think it was because Grayson was a poor writer. If I had to take a guess, it was probably too real, too powerful, too original, too controversial, too sensual, and it scared the shit out of DC."
That is where you and I differ. But I suppose assessing Grayson's talent is moot if we both arrive at the same conclusion, more books should be written by good women writers.
"For all the cries of inequality in the industry, aspiring female creators have the option of sleeping with ex-editors/current hot writers, assuring their pitches get read by someone. What? Someone acknowledge it. If we're going to boo-hoo her losing a gig, her beginnings put it in perspective."ReplyDelete
you are an asshole.
Further, I don't tolerate such personal accusations like that against other freelancers, or posters, or anyone, on this blog. That sort of misogynistic tripe has no place here. Kevin, go take your readership elsewhere.ReplyDelete
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we don't discuss the private lives of freelancers here.ReplyDelete
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Kevin, please stay off this blog. You're saying things that can eventually get you sued for libel. Stop.ReplyDelete
The only thing Rucka's "departed" is Checkmate, in which Montoya doesn't appear. Batwoman does appear in that Crime Bible miniseries that's running right now; I can't imagine DC would abandon plans to do something with her, given the buzz about her. And it's pretty clear from Crime Bible that Rucka knows there's some really uncomfortable subtext to Montoya being "faceless," and is working with that.ReplyDelete
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Kevin, trust me, you do not want a legal notice from Grayson. Drop it.ReplyDelete
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"But, of course, if it wasn't intentional, that doesn't mean the metaphor isn't there."ReplyDelete
Yeah, but Greg Rucka is a really smart guy with a background in this material, so my point is that it's really unlikely that this is unintentional, and that it is, in fact, part of what Rucka's going for thematically. Montoya's an uncomfortable character and Crime Bible's an uncomfortable book.
who Devin Grayson dates is of no concern to this discussion. I find your persistence in this extremely disturbing. please go find another blog or forum.ReplyDelete
So can we say that a lesbian wearing a faceless mask is bad that having multiple gay men being shapeshifters is worse?ReplyDelete
And I always figured that the hardcore Marvel fan was more like a fanatical fundamentalist. Only what they like is fine and everything else is horrible horrible shit.
I'd mention a DC one, but I think the average DC fan gets enough insults as is coming here. ;)
Henry, you're right. Montoya being faceless has no subtext to her character whatsoever. And Power Girl's big boobs are really there as a female-empowerment statement.ReplyDelete
Seems like you can pick apart any use of a minority character if you try hard enough. I don't think DC writers are doing anything other than making comics. If you read interviews with Rucka you can tell pretty easily he is really smart and isn't trying to portray Renee as anything other than in interesting/realistic character. There may be some exceptions and homophobic writers but this doesn't seem to be one of them.ReplyDelete
I don't really think DC fans are apologists for DC, its not like everyone is out there saying Countdown is a masterpiece or something.
I'm just saying it might be interesting to see someone other than a straight male write lesbian characters. I know that is a shocking thing to say, so full of hate and unfairness.ReplyDelete
I've heard DC fans turn a debate on diversity in the DCU into a "Legacy Heroes" defense. Had to really bite my tongue on that one.
I think to say that the sexuality of Batwoman plays no part in her delayed series is pretty willfully blind. I think to say that one cannot see the metaphor of the faceless lesbian is at least understandable, as it's an issue of interpretation.
I've had more than one person tell me that the intensity of the extreme hardcore DC fan scares them.
The intensity of the hatred and viciousness I see sometimes towards female comic creators scares me much more, so I'm willing to drop the DC thing for now in order to parse this new wrinkle out for myself.
I love how this entire argument revolves around the quality of a Devin Grayson Batwoman script absolutely none of us have ever read. Again, as someone who enjoyed a whole bunch of Grayson's work, and doesn't really care how she broke into the industry, is it really that difficult to believe, despite her gender and sexual orientation, that her pitch just wasn't as good?ReplyDelete
I mean, the logical and obvious counterpoint here is that Didio can't tell good from bad if his life depended on it. There's also the question of how much of this Batwoman delay is down to DC editorial and how much is because of Warner Brothers. There's clearly a lot of internal working gears moving here on this issue with a lot of passionate people involved, so I'm just loath to claim malevolence in this case.
Wait...isn't Spider-Woman gay?ReplyDelete
Also, WOAH the thread went crazy! I hadn't scrolled down there. I'm glad someone is finally calling out women for all the unfair advantages they have in the work place. Like having their jobs threatened for sex. SO LUCKY, them dames. ANYHOW.ReplyDelete
I kind of agree that making Montoya into the Question was a mis-use of the character, BUT I think that could be redeemed by there being a good Question series.
& the Riddler as the bad guy.
Spider-Woman is not gay.ReplyDelete
I cannot comment on why DC dropped a Devin Grayson penned Batwoman title, but I would have to say I'm actually surprised she got the gig for such a project in the first place.ReplyDelete
Devin had a stretch for a number of years where she got a hold of some major titles/characters... and in my opinion, did a fairly bad job on them, thus killing my interest in every single title.
The Arsenal Mini, Batman Chronicles, Catwoman, The Titans, JLA/Titans, BOTH runs on Nightwing, and Year One: Batman/ Ra's Al Ghul.. ALL were titles I had interest in (or was reading monthly at one point).
I've met Devin a few times at past comic conventions. She's a nice woman and I respect both her love/enjoyment of comics and her drive.
However, I just plain do not like her writing. From what I have gathered, I'm not alone. Her run on Nightwing and the Year One: Batman/ Ra's Al Ghul mini were both much maligned.
Perhaps someone just re-thought the idea of having her work on a Bat-family related title?
Of course,I'm the guy who thinks that both Dan Didio and Joe Quesada BOTH need to be let go because they force their own pointless maindates on their respective companies and seem (to me) to talk down to comic fans... so who knows.
I think if we have one more comment, the post goes supernova...ReplyDelete
oh...wait for it...
(4 more comments and I think there is a "silver jubillee." tea cakes are served.)
oh, I just read what "jubillee" means in slang. I can't win, can I?ReplyDelete
no tea cakes!
Didn't Spider-Woman's pheremones originally make men like her & females dislike her? EXCEPT her co-worker? Who she started taking out to dinner? & Then ended up living with? In San Francisco? I haven't read any of these comics, nor can I find my source on that (I think it was an old Wikipedia edit of her article) but I totally read that somewhere. That the subtext was clearly meant to be read as lesbian. Anyhow, I TOTALLY would support that version of the character.ReplyDelete
I used to think Spider-Girl was gay, and I thought it would be so wonderful if she could just come out in one issue.ReplyDelete
Then I kept reading the book. But it was fun while it lasted.
You know, I just thought of something.ReplyDelete
Going to back to Val's line: "The other day a friend of mine commented that hardcore Marvel fans have a relationship with Marvel like you'd have with a buddy, while hardcore DC fans have a relationship with DC like they would with a creepy uncle that they defend and defend regardless of the uncle's actions." made me think of two things...
1 - People seem to get defensive over their favorite comic companies the same way people get defensive over critizism towards their favorite sports teams. I mean, rip into the Mets, or Yankees or Phillies or whatever and people go CRAZY like you've just insulted them. Why does ANYONE take this stuff so personally?
2 - I'm not sure why Marvel is a "buddy" and DC is the "creepy uncle" in anyone's eyes. To me, Marvel has come across the last number of years as the 'arrogant' company and DC has come across as the 'chip on their shoulder' company. I don't think either one really is particularly "buddy-like". I'd describe both as the partly crazy guy down the street who's kind of cool to hang with once and a while, but you still watch yourself around him.
I myself find it pretty hard to believe that Rucka made Renee the Question basically because she was a lesbian and it was time to "cover" her up by making her 'faceless'... especially since Renee became the Question in the SAME series that introduced Batwoman (and revealed she was a lesbian) in the first place!
However I certainly CAN believe that Batwoman being a lesbian and being connected to the "franchise" Bat-Family is a reason behind the continued delaying of a Batwoman series.
I also agree that the series would benefit being written by a woman. Maybe someone like Amber Benson, Jo Duffy (who should still be working in comics althought I'll admit I don't know if she is) or Fiona Avery. Heck if you want to try and make a "name" splash: try and get Christina Z or Rosario Dawson.
"I'm just saying it might be interesting to see someone other than a straight male write lesbian characters. I know that is a shocking thing to say, so full of hate and unfairness."
Has anyone other than *maybe* Kevin H. said anything to the contrary? Has anyone on this blog said it's hateful or shocking to have someone besides a straight male write a lesbian character?
It seems to me you're setting up a straw man argument here. There has been no debate on how gender or sexual orientation plays into writing skills, just a small debate on Grayson's writing talent and a larger one on Rucka's use of Rene Montoya.
Didn't Spider-Woman's pheremones originally make men like her & females dislike her? EXCEPT her co-worker? Who she started taking out to dinner? & Then ended up living with? In San Francisco?ReplyDelete
You mean Lindsay McCabe?
I'm a *huge* sports fan, much bigger than comics, and I can tell you why sports fans take their teams personally. It's part of our identity. The same thing that makes us happy when they win is what gets hurt when someone insults them. Maybe comic fans are the same way?
Reading your thoughts on the mainstream/ uncle analogy, I know I think of both Marvel and DC as creepy pedophile uncles who would kill their own mothers for a dollar! lol
Crap. I was really hoping for a jubilee.ReplyDelete
I think Rucka was doing what he thought was best for Montoya's continued use as a character. I was sorry to see her being groomed for the Question, not because of the facelessness, but because her identity was so strong already. But I can understand his concern that, with rare exceptions, non-super characters don't get a lot of play in superhero books.
But that was what I liked most about Renee -- that she could demand our attention, despite the lack of costume.
As for Batwoman, I echo the sentiments of those saying a comic featuring a lesbian Batwoman is fine, but think that DC really hasn't laid the groundwork to make the average reader want such a book. The iron was hot for a while, and the book would have sold -- but now it's cooled (probably against the chilling power of Time Warner's cold feet), and reader interest needs to be stoked a bit more before it'd be worth publishing. But that *is* what marketing departments are for, and it's hardly an insurmountable problem if they thought the job was worth doing. I hope they eventually get to it.
I'd like to be a bit more intrigued by Batwoman before her solo title shows up, though -- or at least reminded why she was intriguing in the first place. As it is, she feels a bit like old news.
"I'm just saying it might be interesting to see someone other than a straight male write lesbian characters. I know that is a shocking thing to say, so full of hate and unfairness."ReplyDelete
True. I wonder how the ratio of men to women comic fans corresponds to men to women comic writers?
"I've heard DC fans turn a debate on diversity in the DCU into a "Legacy Heroes" defense. Had to really bite my tongue on that one."
They do have a hard time selling new characters... I really liked the new direction of Shilo as Mister Miracle and the Great Ten but both are under-used.
"I think to say that the sexuality of Batwoman plays no part in her delayed series is pretty willfully blind. I think to say that one cannot see the metaphor of the faceless lesbian is at least understandable, as it's an issue of interpretation."
Yeah the metaphor is pretty interesting, but I'd be pretty sure it was unintentional.
"I've had more than one person tell me that the intensity of the extreme hardcore DC fan scares them."
I feel lucky to have never met any of them then :)
"The intensity of the hatred and viciousness I see sometimes towards female comic creators scares me much more, so I'm willing to drop the DC thing for now in order to parse this new wrinkle out for myself."
Yeah well hopefully its not that common, just a minority of loud people?
"True. I wonder how the ratio of men to women comic fans corresponds to men to women comic writers?"
Mainstream comics? I bet the ratio of women writing comics is higher than the ratio of women reading comics. I mean, it seems implausible to us because we're comics people, but the comics buying consumer base is *tiny*. Very, very tiny.
If there actually is a bigger percentage or women writers than fans, and you assume most of the people who write comics were originally fans then maybe we already have the natural number of female comic writers?ReplyDelete
You mean Lindsay McCabe?ReplyDelete
I think so. For "some reason" the pheremones affected (effected? I suck at telling those apart this week for some reason!) her positively, if I remember what I read.
(By the way, I'm SO not googling "jubilee.")
Wow. First search result for jubilee isn't Buckingham Palace, or dictionary.com, or anything you'd expect.ReplyDelete
It's the Wikipedia for Jubilation Lee.
Oh, Internet nerds.
Right the first time -- it's "affected". And hey, at least you know there is a difference. And knowing is half the battle.
To Pedro and others about the mask,ReplyDelete
Hi! I'm a lesbian! I thought I'd let you know that the term "lesbian invisibility" is a term that is widely used among lesbians in relation to their position in society. It has specific meaning within our community. That's why the mask is significant.
However, I'm also a Chicana, and the mask is significant within Mexican culture as well. So I get that the mask has other valences and meanings. I also like the irony of a lesbian character having a mask because frankly, I don't think our society is particularly liberated where gays are concerned, so having a superhero with mixed or ambiguous symbology seems more "real" to me than having a SuperLesbian character that's all about empowerment. I love the Question and I hope she gets her own series.
Teresa, thanks hugely for the clarification - now that there's an explanation, yeah, I totally agree that there's a subtext there. But, like you say, I don't think the subtext is ignored so much as it's part of the themes Rucka is playing with.ReplyDelete
I really hope Batwoman sees the light of day eventually, because unlike Montoya she's closeted, and that creates an interesting identity matrix that totally screws up the standard secret identity formula (in a good way), because you have people who think she's Paris Hilton, people who know she's gay, people who know she dresses up in a fetish suit and beats the shit out of criminals at night, and people who know both. I mean, the arguments about Batman and the mask dialed up to eleven -- which one is the real Kate Kane? It'd be interesting.
Now I wanted to see what Kevin had posted. I love reading hateful bile so I can laugh at it!ReplyDelete
On the subject of Devin Grayson, she's hit or miss for me. Fact is, her JLA/Titans and her run on the Titans got me into comics to begin with. As such, there are times when I like her (Titans!) and times when I don't (Nightwing!). That being said, I'd like to think the real problem here is that she was writing a Batwoman ongoing and was never told it was canceled.
Devin Grayson is kind of like Hillary Clinton in that she is a capable woman in her field who is the target of a lot of senseless personal hatred that is not her fault, yet has also made some astonishingly bad decisions which have alienated the more reasonable members of her intended audience as well. Who can forget the "A Very Special Damage" storyline during her Titans run? And don't get me started on what happened to Nightwing on that rooftop in his solo book.ReplyDelete
Still, I remember that she got shafted during her New York mob storyline in NIGHTWING. I mean, could DC editorial possibly have given her any LESS support? She had NW deep undercover in the mob and donning a different costumed identity (Renegade) and none of Dick's numerous guest appearances (with the exception of Simone's BIRDS OF PREY) even addressed Devin's storyline. Dick generally appeared in those books in his normal Nightwing outfit. I mean, when Spider-Man had his black costume or Superman his red-and-black insignia over extended periods in their own books, they appeared in those outfits in their guest appearances in Avengers or JLA or Wonder Woman or wherever. With Dick, it was like Devin's story was an Elseworlds saga for all the play it got elsewhere.
On the subject of Montoya in the mask in terms of its subtext of facelessness... when did we all decide that subtext is bad? No, i don't mean gays and lesbians SHOULD be faceless, but rather, as recognition of the maligned status in our society, Rucka wrote this as a form of social commentary, one he intends to expand upon? I mean, Rucka has stuck to his guns when it comes to Renee and her sexuality and treated her with a maturity and respect that is woefully lacking in the writing for a good amount of gay and bisexual, so I don't find it unbelievable that he may have had Renee "lose her face" in a sense to show that a character can rise above this societal invisibility and embrace who she really is.ReplyDelete
The real paradox of the Question is that, in becoming the character, I feel Renee as a character has never been more self-aware and confident. sure they didn't need to give her superhero status, but it's a editorial and creative choice which I feel was done in a surprisingly adept way (think about how involved her story in 52 was compared to, say, Wonder Woman's).
Which is, admittedly, what I took from her entire storyline in 52: she just came from a serious trauma that shook her morally, character-wise, and totally destabilized her. It took her "asking the question" of who she is to regain her confidence. And she's been just as strong as she ever has been (as well as out) and even more high profile since then, so I don't feel her becoming the Question really hurt her.
Truth be told, I'm not sure I buy a huge amount of subtext in the spin, simply because the stories told using Renee becoming/as the Question have been so damned good. Maybe this is just a testament to Rucka as a writer being able to feed me social messages without me realizing it, but whatever floats your boat.
Honestly, aside from it being a worthy social cause to champion (which might by itself not be enough), I can't say I really care that I'll never see a Batwoman book, especially one that seems so... inexplicable. The total left-fieldness of it, plus the fact she wasn't terribly well-developed in 52 makes me really question her worth as a character (vs. a political/social statement). I'm willing to chalk it up to simple lack of space in 52, but seriously, they got me to care about lame characters like Rip Hunter and Skeets. SKEETS, A FLYING, GOLD, WISE-CRACKING ROOMBA FROM THE FUTURE.
True, maybe Greg Rucka or someone else will have a totally golden origin for Kane as Batwoman, but until I see it, I wont cry for something that didn't really feel to begin with. Of course I'll give a Batwoman series a shot, I just... I just kinda want a character reason to pull for her, not a social justice reason first.
I just... I just kinda want a character reason to pull for her, not a social justice reason first.
I knew I was beating around the bush about something, and that's exactly it! Thanks for nailing it.