It's Wednesday, so as most of you know it is new comics day so every Wednesday this month I'll try to spot-light a new comics series from the past year that has wowed me.
Let's start off easy with what is without a doubt in my mind the best series of the year, though not new, it is certainly a new direction, Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III run in Detective Comics, featuring Batwoman. I've been a fan of Rucka's for quite sometime, starting with his initial comics work, Whiteout*. Since then, through his creator-owned series Queen & Country and his excellent work on my favorite series Gotham Central (along with co-writer Ed Brubaker and artist Michael Lark) he has created/worked on some amazing female characters. When he created the new Batwoman, Kate Kane, in the weekly series 52, I was interested, though the media centered on the fact that she is gay, I saw that there was much more possibilities with the character than what we was initially on display. I kept up with her appearance in other event series, but she was never given a spotlight until now and man, was it worth the wait. We're still mid-way through the origin arc of the character, but it's something special and unique and it's nice to see that in mainstream superhero comics there's still room for something new.
Obviously when talking about this series you can't ignore the art, J.H. Williams II I a truly great artist. His painted work on the Batwoman scenes is just amazing and the effortlessness that he moves between other styles is just amazing. If you'd shown me this book without the artist credits, I would have told you there were at least three other pencillers working on this book, but he just makes it work so well, and instead of seeming a mish-mash it blends together so well. Here's an example of a fight scene that he did that is just amazing:
The fluidity of the image is amazing. And also, it include two face-kicks, which is awesome.
Also, I shouldn't leave out the back-up stories featuring The Question, the secret identity of my favorite character from Gotham Central, Renee Montoya. It's unfortunate that these stories are getting overlooked or criticized simply because they are very good rather than great. The first arc told a nice action story about human smuggling and Cully Hammer's art is perfect for it. It's good stuff, but it can't help but be overshadowed by the main story.
This is a great book, and easily one of my favorite things of the year.
*We won't speak of the, shall we say unfortunate, movie adaptation from this year.