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Monday, March 02, 2009 

Greg Rucka's character assasination of Renee Montoya

Some of Rucka's indie works might be done well, but his work for DC's mainstream has gone downhill for years now. I happened across this topic on the Dixonverse forum, where it's told how Rucka and Judd Winick will be taking over the Batbooks, and one of the posters tells the following about Rucka's work and what he had Renee Montoya, the new Question, doing in the pages of 52:
His first Detective run -- went downhill fast, since he seemed to think he is smarter than Batman. And I hated his ruination of the character of Vesper Fairchild. I found Sasha to be an incredible Mary Sue, which he could not write consistantly (it's appalling when OTHER WRITERS write the character you create better than you do). There was nothing about Sasha that justified her EVER finding out Batman's true identity, let alone being accepted as a side-kick. Rot.

I now generally try to avoid his work, so as not to mess with my blood pressure. That didn't keep me from wanting to throw up during 52 when he turned Renee into a promiscuous drunken pedophile. Why? No justification whatsoever.
And to explain what happened more clearly, the poster then tells that:
In 52, when she & Vic are in Black Adam's country, they're walking down the street, and Renee gets whiplash gawking at some teen girls that are obviously jail bait age. Later, she's found in bed with a teen girl.

Yeah. Pedophile. Crappy piece of writing.
And here I thought it was bad enough after reading a synopsis of another issue of that same weekly-produced series a few years ago that told how Ralph Dibny, who was already being written into a corner by either Mark Waid or Geoff Johns, offered Wonder Girl alcohol when she may be underage!

Renee Montoya was one of at least two characters first created in the cartoon series of Batman airing in the 1990s, and was introduced into the comics around the same time (Batman #475, March 1992). The other one was Harley Quinn. But unlike Marvel's Angelica Jones/Firestar, who'd first appeared in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends in 1981 and entered the MCU proper 4 years afterwards, Montoya and Quinn were either not handled well, or their characterization was destroyed in the years after they were intro'd to the DCU (I certainly don't think Harley Quinn's depiction was any good). Gotham Central was where things really went downhill as Rucka turned Montoya into a lesbian, and 52's story is a real nadir.

And while my memories of the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive crossover have gotten blurry over the years, I can say from what I remember that it was one of the worst stories I ever read. Sasha Bordeaux, who suffered the worst after Vesper Fairchild, seemed to be there just to create another needless rift between Batman and a female co-star for acting as badly to her as the authorities did. Maybe Rucka's got something good to offer in Queen & Country, for example, but he's yet another novelist and an indie comic writer who doesn't have enough understanding of what it takes to write a mainstream production without resorting to contrived elements, and if he's going to write Montoya as badly as he did in 52, he clearly doesn't know much about morale. Suffice it to say he's also embarrassed Vic Sage by making him look irresponsible in his choice of whom to pick as a successor. I am so glad I didn't dare waste my time on that awful miniseries. This is what Vic Sage had to be tossed out of his role as the Question for?

No matter how "minor" the hero role or the protagonist, that does not make poor depictions like that of Montoya okay. And if that's how Rucka is going to handle things, he does not deserve an audience.

Update: it may have been an exaggeration. Here's some scans on Scans Daily (new current site).

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