Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Pull List: Convergence: The Question #1 Review

Let's get one thing straight: I do not give a single shit about DC's Convergence or Marvel's Secret Wars events. It's already hard enough to keep up with the collective histories of each publisher's universes, but when you tie in all of your titles into one big giant smorgasbord, it gets too overwhelming for me, both in a monetary sense and a story one. I get what Big Events serve: it's publicity, pure and simple, designed to excite current readers and entice others. But it alienates others, like me. I don't expect that publishing to please me at all times, but it's a big reason that I tend to read indie comic series and don't get too emotionally invested in a lot of Marvel or DC titles.

That being said, I made exceptions for a few comics during Convergence because of my love for the characters: Catwoman, Justice Society of America, Swamp Thing, and The Question*. So far, the only one I've read is The Question, and I must say, I was pleased to see Renee Montoya again.

Oh, and possible mild spoilers below the cut!

Convergence: The Question #1
Via Newsarama
To be completely honest, I only started reading DC titles regularly when I began working at the comic shop in Kentucky, so my knowledge of Renee Montoya was sadly lacking until several months ago. I just read as many collections as I could with her in it, from Gotham Central to 52. Anytime Marvel or DC write a character who isn't a white, cis-gendered male, I'm hesitant to give it my full support, and DC is usually the one that fails the hardest** (see: Kate Kane as Batwoman or, most recently, Batgirl's Dagger Type). But I cannot say that Renee was treated pretty well. Sure, she was outed as a lesbian and subsequently lost her job (thanks, Two-Face), but I do know that many members of the LGBT+ community face similar issues, even in 2015, so it kind of seems like art really does imitate life.

But anyway, to the comic: if there was any major DC writer that I'd want to work on Renee's story, it would be Greg Rucka. He's done such a great job with the character in the past that it seems ludicrous that anyone else would agree to take over. He just has Montoya's voice down pat, as I would expect him to, and he also really gets the insanity of this version of Two-Face, enough that I may actually question his own mental balance.

Despite that, though, I feel like calling this The Question is kind of misleading, since this first issue of two seems to be more dedicated to the story of this world's Harvey Dent. After all, it begins with him attacking some hoodlums for medicine, and all of Renee's actions are simply following up on his choices. I guess that's okay - and Rucka partially makes up for it by the end - but I still feel a tad bit cheated that Montoya didn't really have her own story.

As for the art, meh? The cover (above) by Cully Hamner and Daniel McCaig was promising in its execution, but the interior art seemed a little lacking, unless you look at Harvey's righteous beard and the scarred half of his face. It wasn't awful by any means, and I guess since the whole Convergence thing has been called filler while DC moves its offices, I shouldn't have expected anything better. Oh, well. It could have been worse?

Now, while this isn't my favorite thing that I've read recently - that award goes to yesterday's RUNLOVEKILL or last month's Angela: Asgard's Assassin - it isn't the worst one, either, because that goes to Curb Stomp by Boom! Studios (I had such high hopes for this one). It's a good thing that The Question is only two issues because I probably wouldn't even bother picking up the second, but it did do the job of intriguing me enough to check out Detective Comics #41, which will feature Renee Montoya, so good job, DC?

* There are a few more that I'd like to at least read, but buy? Nah.
** Marvel is not beyond reproach in this area, but I cannot recall any major flubs like disallowing Kate Kane from marrying her girlfriend because superheroes are all sad sacks or whatever. Not only is that a bogus claim as a writer - to me, it's lazy writing to assume that a superhero is inherently a flawed person who cannot have healthy relationships - DC seemed to forget that Aquaman and Mera were married and were both pretty fucking powerful separately. But whatever, I'm heading down a very scary tunnel that may not ever end.
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