Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday, Issue 18

Another Wednesday, another Waiting for. And boy do I need some time to hang out at the old comics shop and not think about work or anything else for a while. And that's just what I plan to do later today.

A little Nirvana in the middle of the week.

And that's definitely a Very Good Thing. Anyway, there's some really good stuff out from the publishers this week, and it appears to be one of the larger shipping days in quite a while, so brace yourselves. Now, instead of my usual Wednesday tradition of providing you with a laundry list of books I'm going to be checking out today, this week I'd like to focus on only one title.

For a couple of reasons.

First, the main books I'm looking forward to today are titles such as Madame Xanadu, issue 12, Lillim, issue 4, and Cleaners, issue 4--all series that I've talked about in previous issues of Waiting for.

So, if I haven't yet been able to convince you that these books are worth checking out, then even mine own brilliant and persuasive prose will likely never lure you to such comics goodness!

Second, as you'll see in the preview below, I think this week's featured book is going to be a rather important addition to the DC Comics Library.

Let's get right to it, then.

Today's book is one that I've been waiting not-so-patiently for. It's the first issue of the highly anticipated Greg Rucka/JH Williams III Detective Comics run, starring Batgirl. Sorry. Batwoman. The new Batwoman, who was introduced a few years back in DC's weekly series, 52.

While I wasn't the biggest fan of 52, or quite frankly, any of DC's weekly series for that matter, I did like the idea of a new Batwoman. Actually, I should amend that. I liked the idea of Greg Rucka writing a new Batwoman.

I've always been a big Rucka fan, and some of the first comics I read were written by him. I've always admired his skills when it comes to characterization and his ability to tell a story (and say quite a bit) with relatively few words is pretty amazing.

Add to that the beautiful, painted art by JH Williams, and this book is on top of my pull list. Williams' art is unique in the field of mainstream comics, and his pages just look different from anything else being published today. Take a look at a preview page from today's Detective Comics, issue 854.

Detective Comics #854 page sampleNow, I might be going out on a limb here, but I think this issue will mark a pretty important run in the history of the Batman books. First off, this new Batwoman is a fairly controversial character. This series was initially meant to hit shelves last year, but because of Warner Brothers' The Dark Knight film, the series was put on hiatus.

Why? Well, basically because the new Batwoman, Kathy Kane, is a lesbian. Now, many of you are most likely asking, who the heck cares? And I'm right there with you. However, apparently Warners did not agree, and felt that a character as "controversial" as a homosexual Batwoman would be bad for business.

Now, I get that production companies are a little not-so-sane, and that any perceived detriment to the potential bottom line of a movie must be addressed, but...c'mon.

Anyway, that's not really the point of this post, nor is it the reason why this book's shipping is important. This book means something because it will prominently feature a gay character in Detective Comics, the flagship book of DC. (That's what the "DC" stands for, by the way). And, while there have been gay characters in comics before, this run on Detective will certainly be the highest profile afforded to a gay character.

And that's great, and it will generate some attention in the media, and maybe even new readers will pick this book up today. And that leads me to my next point as to why this book will be important--it's about a very new character, written by a master of the comics form, and it will be accessible to all. It's part one of four, and anyone picking the book up today will be getting in on the ground floor of a character.

And how many times can you say that about comic books today?

Most importantly, I feel, is that Greg Rucka writes strong, confident, smart women better than any other male writer in comics. And it's about time a strong female character gets the lead in a big time book.

So, I think this book's potential to draw in new readers is quite high, and between Rucka's prose and Williams' brilliant and beautiful art style, maybe this time we'll be able to hang on to these new readers.

Anyway, here's the issue solicit info from DC:

"Elegy" part 1 of 4! A new era in the history of DETECTIVE COMICS begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. With a script by Greg Rucka and breath-taking art by JH Williams III, you've never seen anything like this!

Featuring the debut of a new co-feature starring The Question written by Rucka! Odds against you? Alone and nowhere to turn? Willing to fight, but you don't know how? When you're searching everywhere for an answer, sometimes all you need to do is ask the right Question. Renee Montoya again dons the faceless mask to help those in need, all the while searching for her own answers in this new adventure with art by Cully Hamner (BLUE BEETLE).

And here's the stunning cover by Williams:

Detective Comics: Elegy coverThat's all for today. So, what are you Waiting for?

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