Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: JH Williams III, Cully Hammer
Colors: Dave Stewart, Laura Martin, Dave McCaig
Letters: Todd Klein, Jared Fletcher
Editor: Michael Siglain
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Don’t bother with that bat signal because Rucka’s Dark Knight has their sights set on taking down crime wherever it may be hiding. In honor of the Comic Lounge’s week celebrating Greg Rucka, I took a look at his four-part story Elegy, which takes place in Detective Comics #854-857. The story follows Batwoman tracking down a mysterious coven and it’s leader that tried to kill her once before.
With Rucka’s writing, Williams III’s & Stewart’s colors, this four-issue story is a powerful display of Batwoman as Kate Kane’s character had been undergoing a reboot since 52. Bold reds standing out in a palette of dark colors, creative panel designs, and some grotesquely good violence make this an edgy, action-packed story in the middle of some crazy Wonderland vibes. The art in here plays extremely well with Rucka’s villain for this story, Alice. Named for behaving like they came straight out of the Alice and Wonderland world, the visuals surrounding this character are absolutely stunning and trippy at times.
Rucka’s Batwoman is a soldier whose mission isn’t over till she says it’s over. Already at the beginning of this story, as well as throughout, Batwoman has established her presence in Gotham as one for criminals to fear. A knife to the chest and some light poisoning aren’t things that keep Kate away from tracking down those that need to be brought down. Thankfully she isn’t going entirely alone as she has her father’s (also of military background) support as her sort of Alfred. The dynamic for the two is great as Rucka has papa Kane juggle between caring father, fellow soldier, and sympathetic supporter to Kate as the story alludes to them have lost Kate’s mother and sister (Batwoman’s origins continue in Detective Comics #858-860).
While we don’t get too much time with Kate out of the cape and wig (aside from talking mission reports with her dad), we do see Rucka focus in a bit on Kate’s sexuality as we see her go from one relationship to finding another confident woman in theirs who shares in great taste in tuxedos. One of these former love interests just happens to be the current Question at the time and from the bonus story featuring Renee Montoya, Rucka continues to knock it out of the park with writing these extremely strong and talented female characters.
Elegy was a fantastic read for diving into the Batwoman character (also her origin issues that followed). A similar but more fresh dynamic from Batman and Alfred, Rucka sets up great groundwork here in Kate and her mission as well as introducing her supporting cast. This read is a quick one and well worth checking out for those that are interested in Kate Kane as Batwoman as Rucka did a terrific job.