By: Hess Shalollbey
Detective Comics: Rise of the Batmen
Writer: James Tynion IV Artist: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez
How would batman pass on the torch to the next generation? We see the answer to that question in Detective Comics where Batman recruits a team of protégés to help him defend Gotham City.
This team of crime fighters includes Red Robin, Spoiler and the former villain, Clayface as they go against a special-ops team of Batmen. While each member of wide cast gets their moment to shine, Clayface’s sympathetic role makes him a standout in the ensemble.
One major aspect that sets this title apart from the other Batman comics is the co-lead role of Batwoman.
Batwoman, a lesbian who is also of Jewish descent at times serves a more prominent role than Batman. Batwoman also provides the writer with the opportunity to break the standard comics mold. Whereas most superhero comics feature white, heteronormative characters, Detective Comics incorporates and explores religion as well as LGBT themes in the title. This exploration will continue as Batwoman will be getting her own solo series next month.
While Detective Comics writer James Tynion IV may not be experimental in his storytelling but he makes up for it with a solid, straightforward team book with excellent art from a rotating cast of artists.
Wonder Woman: Earth One
Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Yanick Paquette
Whereas Batman and Superman both have simple origin stories, Wonder Woman’s origins have always been far more complex. With this graphic novel, the team of Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette set out to provide a unique retelling of her beginnings.
For thousands of years, the Amazons that live on Paradise Island have created a thriving utopia far removed from all of mankind. Diana, aka Wonder Woman, however desires to know about the world and to travel beyond her island. Her desires get answered one day when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor crashes onto the shores of her island.
In telling this story, Grant Morrison didn’t shy away from Wonder Woman’s early origins. William Moulton Marston, who created the character of Wonder Woman in the 1940’s envisioned her as having all of the strength of Superman while also being a doctor and scientist.
Grant Morrison also incorporated Wonder Woman’s position as a positive lesbian icon by depicting her taking on many female lovers and living happily as a queer person on an island surrounded by beautiful women. None of that would be possible of course without Yanick Paquette’s gorgeous art. Paquette, a fellow Canadian from Montréal, renders a stunning Greek paradise.
With Wonder Woman finally making her big screen debut this summer, Wonder Woman: Earth One is the perfect appetizer.
Can’t make it to the comic store? Hamilton Public Library branches offer free accounts for Hoopla, to access these eBooks and comics.