By Bree King (@Agreeablepossum)
My introduction to the hardened Gotham Police Detective, Renee Montoya, was through Batman: The Animated Series. Although she did debut briefly in Batman #475 (1992) before making an appearance in the animated series, Renee was created by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Mitch Brian. What has kept me coming back to the character since watching the Animated series as a child, is Renee’s dedication to uncovering the great mysteries of Gotham while adhering to her own values. Although Renee has faltered and struggled in very human and believable ways, she’s never “sold out”. When she realized she could no longer stay true to herself and be a member of the Gotham City Police Department, she resigns and take on the mantle of The Question (DC’s equivalent of a super Private Eye)
Renee has also been an out Lesbian since Gotham Central (2002-2006), a series by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker. Her “outing” was a difficult, but rewarding story to read. As a Bisexual woman that also didn’t have a particularly warm and fuzzy “coming out”- I found a sense of comradery in seeing Renee grapple with the outcasting and male violence that may be all too familair for many Queer women. Regardless, she never stops fighting. In a world of super-humans, aliens, and chemical-bath-murder-clowns, Renee Montoya is going to figure out what’s REALLY going on.
Although Renee’s personal relationships often take a backseat for her job(s), all of them have been spared from being written in a fetishized or hypersexualized way. Vic Sage’s (the original Question) faith in her competence is quite refreshing, there is no implication that who she is or who she loves disqualifies her from maintaining such an important role in the DC Universe.
- Gotham Central (2002-2006) – By Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark
- Batwoman: Elegy (2009-2010) – By Greg Rucka and J.H Williams III
- 52 (2006-2007) – By Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Keith Giffen
- The Question: The Five Books of Blood (2009) – By Greg Rucka
- The Question: Pipeline (2011) – By Greg Rucka
- Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
- Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)