Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day-And-Date: Batman & Robin 2, Batwoman 2, Batgirl 2

My apologies for the sparse posting lately, folks (pretending that anyone is reading). Between shingles, a move, and a divorce, I've been pretty busy.

Tonight I read three Bat-comics that each made me happy:

Batman and Robin 2
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray
Rating: 4 out of 5 Pixels

This comic is all about Batman being a dad, which I didn't realize is something I've always wanted to read until I read it. Of course there's always been that father-son dynamic between Batman and Robin, but now with Damian actually being Bruce's son and Peter J. Tomasi explicitly making that the theme of this title, it's just... well, a feel-good comic. Imagine that--a Batman feel-good comic. To top it off, in this issue, Bruce adopts Scooby Doo:

Batwoman 2
Creators: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Rating: 4 out of 5 Pixels

Batwoman fights bad guys with Plebe (aka Flamebird), Kate goes on a date with Maggie, who in a fun twist is suspected by Cameron Chase of being Batwoman, Batwoman has a talk with Batman in a way that nicely establishes a relationship of equality and mutual respect between them, lots of people die, and Batwoman investigates. I especially enjoyed Kate's interaction with Maggie, as these scenes really showed off Kate as an interesting character beyond her Batwoman identity. And the art, of course, is simply beautiful. Or rather, complexly beautiful. The only part of this issue I didn't totally dig was the little everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-character blurb at the beginning:
I don't like that the blurb highlights "proud lesbian" as one of the essentials of the character. I don't think this is how Kate would describe herself. Yes, she's a lesbian, but to be proud implies that it's something she goes around bragging about. There are people who are proud to be lesbian or gay, and more power to them, but I just don't see Kate as the rainbow flag-waving type. She seems like the type that would very comfortably hold hands with her partner in public and who would gladly tell you about being expelled from West Point under DADT because she refused to lie about who she is, but she's not going to walk up to you, reach out for a handshake, and say, "Hi, I'm a lesbian." Which is basically what this blurb does.

(And yes, this is a case of a me as a minority critic being hypersensitive about the representation of a character from my minority class.)

Speaking of DADT, it occurred to me that Kate's origin will quickly become dated now that DADT has been repealed. Way to ruin one of my favorite superheroes, Obama. Jerk.

Batgirl 2
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes
Rating: 4 out of 5 Pixels

In this issue, among other things, Babs goes to the library to do some research. Which on the one hand is cool because it calls back to her librarian roots and besides libraries are just plain cool, but on the other hand she's Oracle and has way more info in her own databases than any library would, but on the other other hand maybe she's just enjoying her newfound mobility so doesn't want to hang out in the clock tower, but on the other other other hand wasn't it established at one point that she had a van with hand controls so it wasn't like she was ever really immobile, but on the other other other other hand maybe buildings in Gotham are not very wheelchair friendly, as older buildings and even some newer buildings tend not to be. You know, like maybe there's a ramp at the library but it's way around back and you need to get special permission to go through the staff area just to get in.

Also, we still don't know how she got her legs back. But I still enjoyed this issue, in part because of this panel:
Between the lady's craziness and the look on Babs's face, this panel just makes me happy.

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