I love you, Renee Montoya
July 16, 2012 2 Comments
What do you get when you mix a police procedural with a graphic novel? If you’re lucky, you get Gotham Central created by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. The series presents the mixed feelings regarding masked ‘heroes.’ For some reason, until this novel, I never thought they would be pissed at Batman. I had always imagined that maybe they were grateful for his help. At times, my logic is faulty. In fact, what initially kept me interested was the fact that a lot of them blamed Batman for the more creative fatal twist of crime in Gotham despite being run by a Commissioner who was pretty handy with the bat signal. My heart was not completely won, however, until the “Half A Life” storyline featuring my now favorite comic book character, Renee Montoya.
“Half A Life” ran through issues 6-10 and is basically the coming out story of Renee Montoya. She is ‘outed’ at her work place and to her parents before she was ready to tell anyone. It is unclear, in fact if she was ever going to come out. She deals with the expected harsh results from the work place (despite her immediate boss being famous lesbian cop Maggie Sawyer) and the more heartbreaking results from her parents. Oh yea, she’s kidnapped by Two Face who is in love with her during this time but that’s neither here nor there.
Gotham Central begins my fascination with Renee Montoya but not just because they featured a woman of color lesbian cop. It was because the series took the time to go into her problems with anger that eventually escalate throughout the series and result in one awesome cover. See?
Her sexual orientation was not forgotten but it was not the only thing that was ever going on with that character. I followed her story almost immediately throughout 52 which just resulted in me loving her more. I’m an all day sucker for a character who is going through a really hard time and becomes apathetic and drunk. I just love it. They were able to do this (and other great stories in that series i.e. Booster Gold) and still bring her back up without feeling as though we glossed over some bits.
In the end, thanks to great training and after pissing off Black Adam, which can’t really be that hard, Renee Montoya becomes what her original job and department despised…a masked ‘hero.’ She is *dramatic pause* THE QUESTION. She even had time to date and hook up with Kate Kane aka Batwoman. In the early issues of the revamped Batwoman, The Question was given her own storyline. And then…that was it. Besides her picture on a wall in an issue in Batwoman right before she dates aforementioned famous lesbian cop Maggie Sawyer.
Which leads me to THE QUESTION. Is Renee Montoya a victim of this Reboot that DC sells as a great idea? I sincerely hope not. She is great character and there is potential for more story should someone take the time to write it and treat her with the respect that Rucka did. I haven’t given up on hope. I’m pretty sure my “Please Don’t let Lafayette Be The Body in The Car” mental chanting campaign is what kept him around for latter seasons. So…I guess I’ll be using that same hope for a character that I’ve loved for years now. “Please Don’t Renee Montoya be just a picture a wall.” Repeat 3x a day.