Okay, I had just read my way through two fairly lacklustre lesbian books (which I'll review later), and picked up Elegy in a somewhat depressed mood. And then I got hit in the face with vibrant reds and dramatic black and white. That woke me up all right - and got me interested! But I was still afraid for the first couple of pages that I was in for a slutty, sex appeal sidekick superheroine story.
Greg Rucka, my heartfelt apologies for doubting you.
The story picks up after the events of 52 Week 11, where there's a mystery cult trying to sacrifice Batwoman, for unknown reasons. She's a little pissed about this and is on the warpath after the new leader of the cult, who arrives in Gotham for at the start of the story. The modern day storyline follows her struggle and drama with the peculiar and ethereal 'Alice', who only speaks in Lewis Carroll quotes, and holds a traumatic secret for Kate in her blood.
|Kate attends a function with her dad and stepmother - and gets to dance with Maggie,|
- Renee's old boss, from the Gotham police department.
Batwoman is no-one's sidekick, and her army dad's support means she doesn't depend on anyone for back up and technology either. She's honest and upfront and desperate to serve, following her father's footsteps - ever since her mother and sister were murdered. Sadly, she's a little too honest, and won't lie about being gay even to follow her purpose.
|Renee and Kate Kane share a kiss|
... and a fair bit more
The art style shifts a lot, making it easy to tell apart the various stories - the present day action is vivid and mainly black and red, while the flashbacks and 'civilian' activities use a fuller spectrum of colour, and toned down a bit.
|Batman gets one-upped. And responds with unnecessary advice on the next page.|
I also liked the fact that they deliberately made her uniform more practical - there are some sketches and notes at the back of the book, showing it was quite deliberate. (For example, the boots are no longer spiky heels, the belt isn't loose - lots of little tweaks like that - apart from the cape, which just got larger!)
All in all, very worth reading. Especially if you're a fan of Batman-style comics (if you don't like the Batman stories, then this may not be quite to your taste, but give it a chance - it's good).
- GLAAD 21st Comic Book Awards (under the title 'Detective Comics')
- Outstanding Comic Book at the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
- Eisner Award for best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist