Tough Like a Girl #15 – Batwoman: Elegy

Lis and Nathaniel take a look at one of the more striking designed but slightly less well known members of the extended Bat Family. No, it's not Barbara Gordon all grown up. It's Batwoman, and you will not forget her anytime soon.

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8 responses to “Tough Like a Girl #15 – Batwoman: Elegy

  1. I think Nathaniel pointed or started to point out that the unusual structure of the “Elegy” (not “eulogy”) book is because it collects two separate story arcs, “Elegy” where Batwoman faces off against the Church of Crime and Alice, and “Go” her origin story. I agree that it reads a bit unevenly in this sitting. It’s even worse considering Greg Rucka only did three story arcs in this run before Batman took over DETECTIVE COMICS again. The third arc, called “Cutter” was only three issues long and saw Bette suit up as Flamebird. I don’t believe it has ever collected. Within two years, DC’s entire continuity was shifted by the New 52 reboot. Batwoman got her own ongoing series with that, written and sometimes drawn by J.H. Williams, but I don’t think it ever developed the Batwoman/Alice connection, or even acknowledged it. I could be wrong, though…

  2. Well, this sounds like an excellent trade. I’ll try to get it in the next Comixology sale.

    Batwoman has always interested me since her intro in the “52” maxi-series. I “think” the Church of Crime was part of her story then as well. Who says modern churches are dying? (oh that’s terrible)

    Re: “You have cool kids, Tim.” 1) Oh, I KNOW! 2) Thank you so much! My wife (English major) can take credit for their love of reading, and I provide their love of comics and graphic novels. But we let them find their own books (albeit with occasional suggestions), and they continually impress me with their taste. I haven’t gotten to listen to your show yet, because you know, kids. But they stood still long enough to hear this bit, and THEY LIT UP LIKE CHRISTMAS MORNING! Thank you again for making their day!

    Any other parents listening to the show? Hope so!

    Women superheroes with short hair. You got me thinking about that too much, with the criteria being not touching the shoulders. Besides the ones you mentioned, I came up with:
    Janet Van Dyne/Wasp
    Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane
    Rachel Summers/Phoenix/Marvel Girl
    Jean Grey/Marvel Girl (current version)
    Xian Coy Manh/Karma (some artists make her hair too long, but it *should* always be short)
    Secret from Young Justice
    Shrinking Violet
    Lightning Lass

    And characters with significant periods of short hair:
    Susan Richards/Invisible Woman
    Cassie Sandsmark/Wonder Girl
    Crystal of the Inhumans
    Rogue of the X-Men
    Saturn Girl

    Basically, you can count on the X-Men and Legion of Super-Heroes to bring the diversity.

    Another great episode. I’m almost caught up, honest. I was feeling bad in the last show, with my poor writing tripping both of you up. There’s gotta be better writers listening to this show. Come on people! Show some love for the Punchers! 🙂

      1. Black Widow has also gone through extended periods with short hair. Also, the more modern version of Hawkgirl introduced in JSA no longer had hair flowing from her helmet the way the Golden and Silver Age Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman did. Not sure if the helmet/mask changes the criteria for short hair; if so, you could add Catwoman in the late ’80s.

  3. Great episode! I’m a longtime listener, but a first time caller. Batwoman is one of the great character creations of the 2000’s. She is smart, tough, independent, and brings a much needed element to the bat mythos. Her military background, in particular, opens her up to a range of stories not available to other bat characters.

    I’m so glad that you highlighted the scene where she falls prey to “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and is discharged from the military. Rucka and Williams’ willingness to depict this scene adds a depth to Kate’s character that stays with me to this day.

    I know that she and Maggie Sawyer almost married in the New 52 series, but I will always have a place in my heart for the Kate-Rene Montoya pairing, especially if Rene is serving as the Question. That would be a book I would buy each month!

    Great show! If you are looking for more great female lead characters, I would check out My Faith in Frankie by Mike Carey and Mark Hempel from Vertigo comics. Great book with a very interesting premise.

    Thanks for a fun show!

    Sean Ross

  4. Nice episode. I love J.H. Williams art on Batwoman. Stunning.

    I had almost forgotten that Alex Ross actually designed the modern Kate Kane Batwoman, originally as a new design for a revived Barbara Gordon in the early 2000s. DC instead optioned it for use on Batwoman, who had literally been sitting in limbo since the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Did she exist, or not? Would they reintroduce her? She was teased over and over again until we met Kate in 52 after Infinite Crisis, 20 years later!

    Oh, and Bette’s super hero codename is Flamebird. Pre-Crisis, she was the original Bat-Girl, and was developed as a potential love interest for Robin, so when they needed a non-Bat-identity for her since her aunt was in limbo in the late 80s, they borrowed the name from the Kandorian identity Jimmy Olsen used in the Superman comics, while Superman was the original Nightwing. So you had Flamebird crushing on Robin…now Nightwing. Don’t you just love comics?


    1. And in the New 52 they changed her name to Hawkfire (weird, given we already have a Firehawk… somewhere) and gave her a horrible new costume, though a Detective Comics Issue recently teased Bette coming back with something else.

      Anyway, terrific episode. I like aspects of the new Batwoman, such as the art (even though the showy layouts separating every two pages into a distinct spread hurt the story flow), but gave up after the stuff in this book because it wasn’t connecting. I just don’t get on with Greg Rucka comics… boy, he loves his tough gals, but it’s all so grim. When you grew up with Kathy Kane with her purse of gimmicks, paleface Kate is hard to take. And that Church of Crime concept is really dumb.

      Flowing locks are impractical enough without adding them needlessly. Short hair kept under a cowl is surely the only option for a practical soldier type.

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