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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Detective Comics #861 (DC)

Well. I'm not sure what to think. What does it mean when a comic-book is this good and still a let down?

Oh! Almost forgot the quote: "Perfectly executed, if I may say so myself--": some random would-be super villain about to be kicked in the head by Batwoman.

For those not in the know, the past few issues of Detective have starred that media darling Batwoman, while Batman Junior has been covorting around the other Bat-books. Batwoman gained the spotlight by being a lesbian in tight leather. Or at least the first lesbian in tight leather to star in a comic-book. You know......besides Catwoman for a while. Or Ghost, I think. Or Xena in some specials.

Media doesn't really pay attention to anything, does it?

But, I digress. Aside from being a useless stunt, Batwoman--Kate Kane to her friends--is actually quite an interesting character. Released from the military for telling when they asked, Kate decided she needed to be a soldier somehow, so she decided to become part of the "Bat-army" after being "saved" from a mugger by Bruce Wayne/Batman (she didn't really need his help.......).

In "Cutter (Part 1 of 3)", series author Greg Rucka is joined by Jock on art (replacing regular artist JH Williams III), and tells the story of Batwoman and Dick Grayson (;-9)/Batman racing time & each other to catch a serial killer.

Being the first of three parts, the story is only starting, but shows promise........really a given for any story by Rucka. There's not quite enough character development for me, but seeing Kate hold her own against Gray-Bats (again.....:-9) is good enough for the moment.

The artwork's by Jock, so of course it's good.......except it unfortunately fails to live up to Williams' work. But the dark and angular style is probably more suited to the gritty serial killer story anyway.

The colors by David Baron and letters by Todd Klein are great (it's hard to judge good color & letters, since the best are the ones that go unnoticed). And, just so I can gush over him some more, Williams does provide that glorious cover........even if it only hints at Kate's existence (but Gray-Bats is always welcome--;-9).

And one more thing......note that Bette Kane, namesake of the original Bat-Girl and cousin of Kate and re-introduced only a few issues ago, plays a big role in this issue......but might be short lived.

So quick review this week.........

RATING: 7.5 paparazzi cameras out of 10

But wait! Why so short?

Well, because Detective Comics has one of those "Second Features" that takes up half the issue, that's why! :-D

And that second feature is also a gay woman......but without the leather: Rene Montoya, the Question. With guest star, and leather wearer, the Huntress.

"Pipeline". Story by Rucka. Art by Cully Hamner. Color by Dave McCaig. Letters by Jared K. Fletcher.

You know I just realized: 1 book, 3 female leads.......not 1 female creator. Huh!

Anyway, I personally like the backup as much as the lead. But then I've always had a soft spot for the Huntress.......I like the dichotomy of a vigilante who's a mafia princess, a cross-wearing Catholic who's willing to kill the bad guys, a superhero(ine X-P) by night and school teacher by day.

This too is a multipart story, so not much happens in this issue, but the art's pretty and the ladies show off their brains while getting chastized by sidekick Aristotle ("Tot"). All in all, it doesn't hurt the main story, so rather than rate it separately, consider the 7.5 above to be for the book, not just the story.

And since I've been pretty DC heavy so far, I'll try to find something from Marvel I want to read next week (Models Inc. has pretty covers, but nothing's really interested me since Nextwave.......).

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