Honky Tonk… Batwoman.

Could DC’s Detective Comics possibly be better right now?

Almost certainly not.

Since I was in Prague between August and December, I’m still catching up on them good ol’ fashioned Amurrikan comics from the tail end of 2009, and having just gone through the three-part “Go” storyline in Detective Comics (a Batwoman origin story) I can only say this: Greg Rucka and artist JH Williams III are tearing shit up.

Their first arc in the monthly series (“Elegy,” soon available in hardback) was a truly first rate action-adventure story that assuaged many an on-the-fence soul that might’ve scratched their head a bit when DC announced that their flagship title would be converted to a vehicle for their dynamic lesbian following the “Battle for the Cowl” event, which overhauled the Batman line. This recent storyline? A lot better. Odds-defyingly better. Improving, somehow, on peanut butter and chocolate better. Seriously, we’re talking, “my girlfriend is going to get this shoved down her throat when she next enters my apartment” levels of good here.

Writer Greg Rucka (comic-book-famous for superb runs on books like “Gotham Central,” “Wonder Woman,” and “52”) is constructing his masterwork here, and though anyone who has ever opened a comic illustrated by JH Williams III cannot help but notice his insane brilliance, this, too, seems his most stunning work to date, surpassing even “Promethea” and “Seven Soldiers of Victory #0.” This is the sort of comic book that you show off to people who doubt the medium: the marriage between words and art here is staggering in its potency.

And for those less inclined to mess themselves over the, shall we say, technical side of things, this is, simply, a great, great story. Great characters, great pacing, innovative, the whole shebang. Pick up “Detective Comics” issues 858-860, or wait for the inevitable hardcover. Because besides, you know, everything else, there’s… Bat-gays!



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