The Question by Ammotu
The Question by Ammotu
Don’t mind me. Just having a bit of a Helena-Vic moment right now.
52 Week 27
“Why me, Charlie? Eight billion people, why me?”
“That’s the question, isn’t it?”
I needed some reading material for jury duty and in light of the DCnU being billed as the new 52 (An arbitrary number reference in the hopes of receiving the same success 52 had while doing literally the opposite. 52 removed the big 5 from the spotlight and was a group effort toward a singular project, while the new 52 is trying to push them back in and is dispersing writers across 52 singular titles) I picked up my trades of 52 for rereading.
Maybe it wasn’t the best idea. I forgot how watery-eyed some moments made me. We get a handful of vignettes for groups of characters throughout, and Charlie and Renee are done so well in parts. Every time I open a volume thinking I’m ready to see that friendship blossom and for Charlie to fade away I’m not. And yet it’s still one of my favorite “passing of the mantle” storylines. There are a few more pages I want to post, but this is the start of them, and in its own way the one that kills me most.
Charlie is Renee’s best friend. He’s her only friend now and it’s not because the audience is told as much. They talk and act and exist as best friends. You want them to be best friends. You need them to, not because the fact that Renee lost her former partner on the force is hammered into the reader’s mind, but because their need for one another is so real. And then we’re hit with the page that a lot of us knew was coming—that I knew was coming—and it still sinks like a stone.
I don’t know what it says about me, or how I must have looked in the waiting room—somber over my skin-tight suited space men and Batwomen, but story lines like these are my favorites.
The Question’s Revenge by Tom Fowler
The Question vs. Van Buren by Tom Fowler
Oh, wow, I had no idea! I guess that makes us bros for life, then.
You’ve put me in a hard place, however. I love a hard boiled man in a hat. They are practical
ly my kryptonite men, and a woman of lesser fortitude would swoon at the prospect of picking a single favorite. Here, instead, are the first three favorites that came to mind and who I’d pour glasses of whiskey or milk out for any day.
1. Dick Tracy Quite possibly one of the first dapper men in hats I fell for. Sure, canary yellow is a little garish, but there isn’t a person alive that doesn’t want his Two-Way Wrist Radio. And he was one of the first comic heroes to make use of forensic science. I loved how silly his comics could be sometimes, how he was just too hard-boiled to settle down with Tess, how Junior would tag along for no real reason. I’m a sucker for stories with orphans and Junior is just the best ever.
And guess whose birthday it is today? Warren Beatty’s. Clyde of Bonnie and Clyde. Bugsy Siegel. DICK TRACY. He was the first actor I had a tiny baby Friday crush on and I fell for him as Dick Tracy. He will always have a place in my heart. He paved the way for every single fedora clad crime fighter I’ve ever loved. Such as:
2. The Question Both of them. Vic Sage and Renee Montoya are some of my favorite characters in comics. In fact, my favorite time reading both of them was that brief time they traveled together during 52, before Renee donned the costume. Thanks to O’Neil, I think Vic is one of the most charming characters to read about. He was also retconned at one point into being a troublemaking orphan, so there’s that. The man also hung out with the Blue Beetle and his Justice League Unlimited is one of my favorite in the entire series. Those aglets, that singing.
And then came Renee. She is my favorite character to be imported from Batman: The Animated Series. She’s tough and clever and by golly, she’s well-written. Whose heart didn’t break for Renee when she lost another partner and another best friend? She turned to booze for a good while, and it was one of the most honest portrayals of alcoholism in comics. You could even see Renee gain her sense of humor back when Vic strongarms his way into her life, and you can see her pick up the pieces when he’s gone. You can see her move on from Kate Kane. You can see her fall back. Her stories continue to be some of the best.
3. The Spirit I love Denny Colt. I love Denny Colt no matter who’s written him, and that’s been mostly Will Eisner and Darwyn Cooke, so I guess that’s not really a hard decision to make. He’s charming and bumbling and ridiculous and he never really seems to notice how deep of a scrape he’s gotten himself into with all these femmes fatales. He’s brilliant and optimistic and just rolls with the punches. Given how serious so many characters are in comics and the nature of the genre he’s working in, Denny is so much fun to read. I love him and I love his comics because, despite the lousy stereotyping and blackface Eisner started with Ebony, he wrote surprisingly strong women. Who knew. Silk is dressed as practically a male Denny when we first see her and casually picking a bullet from her arm and heading a team of criminals. Every single woman his comics is a real threat and has her own agenda, which doesn’t change for Denny. If they reform, it’s on their own. They’ve been changed over the years, but for the most part Cooke did a good job keeping them alive.
And he kept Denny as Denny, a man who was totally cool with being buried alive and decided “they’ll never know it’s me! I’m wearing the same exact outfit I’ve always worn with a little mask!” He’s so ridiculous and happy and fun, and when he’s down he picks himself back up.
Anyway, this is already way too long, but there’s the haphazard answer.
I am going to make all of us regret this forever: