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Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka

Batwoman: Elegy (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Greg Rucka, JH Williams III (Illustrator)

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3161535,147 (4.24)26
Title:Batwoman: Elegy
Authors:Greg Rucka
Other authors:JH Williams III (Illustrator)
Info:DC Comics (2011), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka (2010)

  1. 40
    Promethea, Volume 1 by Alan Moore (ryvre)
    ryvre: Both feature gorgeous art by J.H. Williams III.
  2. 00
    Watchmen by Alan Moore (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: I enjoyed the back stories in both, seeing how regular people end up as costumed vigilantes.
  3. 00
    The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis (MyriadBooks)

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The art in this book is absolutely amazing. It read like an art book set to story. I think the art probably overshadowed the story, but I'll just read it again and again. ( )
  inkyphalangies | Nov 28, 2014 |
This collection is like one long strange trip. It's Batwoman, who first appeared in 52, it's her origin story. And boy is it one. Kicked out of the military a bit of a player when it comes to women and with an interesting father/daughter relationship with her father. A lot of times the father/daughter relationships in comics are horribly written, but this one has push, pull, and love in it. Of course, there's also horrible tragedy in Kate Kane's past, and a meeting with Batman.

The art was okay. The only character I didn't like how they drew, was, ironically, Kate Kane aka Batwoman. The rest was pretty solid. A good collection. ( )
  DanieXJ | Sep 26, 2014 |
First Impressions!

This hardcover collection by DC Comics of Detective issues 854-860 attracted me for several reasons. Batwoman, Kathy Kane, has been out of circuulation for a few decades. [The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines] She was originally created in response to Dr. Wertham's (Seduction of the Innocent,[Seduction of the Innocent] a treatise on the "evils" of comic books and its supposed influence on juvenile delinquency in the paranoid 1950s) assertion that Batman and Robin were gay. Kane in those Golden Age stories was a character who kept her 50s femininity in place and beat up the bad guys with a few well-placed kicks and a few tricks from her utility belt.

Batwoman: Elegy is a different kind of tale. She's DC Comics' gay character in comics. I was curious how they were going to play it. Were they going to just placate the current token issue of the day or were they going to come up with a plan of action?

DC Comics has been at the forefront of controversy and telling its stories of realism and the issues of the day for many years. Neal Adams' Green Arrow/Green Lantern series with Denny O'Neill's stories of drug addiction and the anxiety and strain on families was one such awesome example. [Green Lantern/Green Arrow Collection - Volume 2

So I picked up 'Elegy'. What's it going to be, DC? Are you going to play this right? And they did.

First, let's clear up the word 'Elegy.' What's that mean, anyway?

n : a mournful poem; a lament for the dead [syn: lament]

Mourning. Death? What's this about?

Katie Kane in this tale is part of a military family. She was born as twins, with her sister Beth. As with Bruce Wayne's origin story, Katie has two major incidents of horror happen in her life: one, the kidnapping and killing of her twin sister and her mother. The other: being rejected by the military that she loves because it is found out that she is gay.

DC Comics takes the current controversy of 'don't ask - don't tell' and takes it to a young conflicted woman. With no real purpose, a few minor relationships here and there with other women (tastefully done by the way) what's she to do?

With the help of her military father and his resources they create a persona that will strike fear into the hearts of crime -- and to tackle her first big evil, a woman to rival the Joker in terms of bloodthirsty activity and a plan to kill millions!

So what's up with "elegy" then?

The Batwoman's origin story of the murder of her mother and sister to kidnappers is certainly a mournful tale. And the military's refusal to have her continue in the service because of her sexual orientation could be construed as a mournful tale as well. Death? Well, we have a crazy woman, Alice, whose religious cult of murder and death in Gotham, who want to sacrifice Batwoman for their own cult purposes, along with the help of shapeshifters, werewolves and other magical, strange creatures of the night. Murder is in her eyes. And she has no problem killing her own henchmen when they've served their purpose.

The crazy dialogue with quotes from Alice in Wonderland are particularly chilling if you have some familiarity with Lewis Carroll's work (as I do).

Bottom Line:

This gripping story is written by Greg Rucka, a writer who keeps you on the edge, creating a page-turner that I could not take a break from. Clearly the man has some mystery writer roots as he delves deep into the Kane character and her single-minded purpose (revenge or vigilantism, we're not really sure). And combine his tale of intrigue with the splash-page art of J. H. Williams III, and you have quite a great graphic novel that really makes me want to go out and buy more of Batwoman comics!

This is the first DC comic I've read that was not a Vertigo imprint that still confronted a controversial subject with taste but not without some blood, bullets and guts. A lot of guts.

Good job, DC.

Other work by Greg Rucka:

* The Last Run: A Queen & Country Novel
* Walking Dead: A Novel of Suspense

Other work by J.H. Williams III:

* Batman: The Black Glove
* JLA Vol. 8: Divided We Fall

The book references above can be found on www.Amazon.com! ( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
first time reading Batwoman. solid book. gorgeous art. loved the use of non traditional panel story telling. ( )
  fighterofevil | Aug 26, 2014 |
This is the first Batwoman story I've ever read and with one minor quibble I was very, very impressed. With one exception I LOVED the art, that one exception is the extreme whiteness of her skin and the extreme red of her mouth. It was constantly distracting and for me detracts from the overall look of the character. I liked how the art styles were different between the past and present story lines though I definitely preferred the art in the present story, it has a very lush and Art Nouveau look to it that I felt worked especially well with the Alice character.
I found the story and mystery very compelling and I definitely want to read more to find out what happens next. This is an excellent book to introduce someone to the Batwoman character. ( )
  Kellswitch | May 10, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Ruckaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, J. H., IIIIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maddow, RachelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kate Kane transforms herself into Batwoman and battles a madwoman who calls herself Alice, after the character Alice in Wonderland, and thinks that everyone in Gotham is expendable in the fairy tale she has created.

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