So this week's Detective Comics was pretty awesome. More of Kate's history, especially her days at West Point (ah, knew that was coming), the stepmother thing, her meeting of Renee (classic!), and her run-in with the Bat (I hope there's more to that, because it didn't seem particularly "fateful"; like Batman hasn't saved a billion women that are being mugged?). Which means this was a highly political issue, natch. Had to be, because Kate was washed out (well, dishonorably discharged) for violations of... uh, something numerical. I'm a little unclear on whether this was pre-DADT or post (DADT being Don't Ask Don't Tell), since, well. She was asked. Though she was also sort of accused. It seemed to be pre-DADT, but I don't think Kate's that old.
Back in the halcyon days of 2002, when my friends and I were convinced that President Bush was going to 1) re-instate the draft and 2) start drafting women in order to bulk up the military for the upcoming wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, my favorite law was Don't Ask Don't Tell.
I know, I know, Bad Gay.
Listen, I'm all for equality, but if someone asks me to kill someone else for "freedom," (or most other reasons, as I tend to be anti-killing) I'm going to go out and get gay married as soon as possible. Or make out with a lady. Or something. And I knew plenty of legit straight people who felt the same. My patriotism (and I am patriotic in my way, thanks) does not extend to ending other peoples' lives or being, in any way, responsible for ending those lives (though my tax dollars are, sigh).
So anyway, DADT is a really stupid law, which pretty much everyone ever agrees with. And Kate got herself discharged for making out with her room mate (wtf, why does everyone have a "room mate" story?) and her dad thinks that's just great. So her dad's cool, in case we hadn't figured that out before.
And her stepmom is cool too, but Kate doesn't want to give her a chance (understandable, if unfair). I didn't give my stepmom a chance. Then again, I was eleven (and she didn't really become my stepmom until much later). And I guess Kate's money comes from her stepmom now, and not old money? Maybe I'm forgetting 52, or maybe it was a retcon. Either one is likely.
I loved her meeting with Renee initially. Totally classic. I was hoping for a "frisk me officer" moment, but oh well. At least we got some ladies making out and in bed together. Huge! This doesn't happen anywhere but Showtime! And Logo, I guess. And independent cinema. Oh, and sweeps week. It really doesn't happen as often as I make it seem, particularly in a positive, normalized way. Props to Rucka for it, props to JH3 for the way it was drawn (the same way heterosexual love scenes are drawn) and props to DC for letting it through.
Hey, you know that American Idol guy who caused a furor over being gayish on TV? At least he didn't show nipple. Woo boy.
Quasi-random, don't mind me.
I was a little underwhelmed by her meeting with Batman, like I said. Wow, she beat some dudes up and then Batman showed up. She was living in Gotham, was it really that much of a surprise? I mean, was it really intense enough that she decided to slap a bat on her chest and become a vigilante?
I imagine the next issue will get more into that. How many times can someone see Batman (not even in action this time) and decide to emulate him? There's got to be something else, right?
While I enjoy that the reason she becomes a Bat doesn't seem to be directly related to her trauma as a kid (btw, I don't think Alice is dead for a second, weird Crime Bible people aside), I'm waiting for something else. Plenty of people don't become a Bat just because they see The Bat. So what's the difference between those plenty of people and Kate Kane.
I really enjoyed this issue overall, though. The art continues to be awesome and the origin story is engaging. There may be some clichés (the room mate thing, the hating the stepmom thing) but they work in the context of the story because the story is led by a lesbian. I dig clichés when they're being used in a way they aren't normally (and therefore normalize things that aren't considered normal).
I'm using the word normal a lot, but I'm not sure if I'm conveying what I'm trying to convey.
The reason Detective Comics can still kick ass where a book led by, say, Dick would be boring is because it's not a cliché for a woman to do these things. And while there are certain lesbian clichés that she's falling into, I'm okay with it for the purpose of this book just existing and being well written, well drawn and, most importantly, well received.
Go read this book.
(I also picked up a bunch of other things this week, including the entire run of Cry for Justice, because Supergirl and Captain Marvel were making out and I want to know what's up with that. And a bunch of Marvel titles, one of which was funny, despite my hatred of Spider-Man, and one of which almost made me cry, because Sam Guthrie is a Big Damn Hero. I'll write more on those later.)
And as a bonus, here's me in the 1991 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm one of the three Jewish elves on Santa's float: