As excited as I’ve been about the launch of DC’s New 52 — mostly because it means I’ll finally be able to get my hands on Batwoman #1 — there’s been a niggling worry in the back of my mind about Renee Montoya. DC has deflected every question that has come their way about, well, The Question — until this week, when Dan DiDio said on Facebook: “Renee will be seen as a member of the Gotham City Police Force.”
My feelings about that statement can best be described as BOOOOOOOO!!!
Here’s a quick refresher on Renee Montoya: She started out as a detective on the Gotham City Police Force. She was the victim of a cruel outing by Two-Face, who hoped that exposing her as lesbian would drive her into his arms. (Yeah, it’s convoluted, but it was also horrible.) Her Roman Catholic parents disowned her, other Gotham City detectives ridiculed her mercilessly, and then her girlfriend was framed for murder and killed. She left the police force and almost drank herself into oblivion before beginning a journey with Vic Savage that ultimately led her to taking over his role as The Question after his death. (His role and his fedora.)
She is the only Latina lesbian in DC’s superhero universe, and she enjoyed prominent status in the Batverse for a full year during Greg Rucka‘s 52, and then as the back-up to Detective Comics during Rucka’s Batwoman run.
And now she has been relegated to a “member of the Gotham City Police Force.”
I’m guessing that means we won’t see her very much at all. We won’t see her dealing with the homophobia that prompted her to leave the force in the first place. We won’t see her reconciling her Catholic upbringing with her sexuality. And, worst of all, we won’t see the almost baptismal journey from hopeless, outed lesbian to badass lesbian heroine. Plus, we’re losing our only lesbian woman of color. (I know, I know, we’ve got bisexual Voodoo, but we don’t know her like we know Renee Montoya.)
Here’s hoping Greg Rucka returns to DC to pluck her from obscurity once again. Or, if that doesn’t happen, here’s hoping J.H. Williams & Co. makes good use of her in Batwoman. Renee Montoya deserves her own title, but if she can’t have that, maybe she can at least have Kate Kane again. We already know they’d make a helluva team.
What’s more true to life than a pair of lesbian exes hooking back up for the purpose of tag-team crime-fighting?