So I thought I would try something different this week. We have primarily been doing films and TV so far, but as a comic book fan, I would also like to give comics discussion a go. If you guys like this, and want to see more, or have any requests on what you would like to see, please comment below and let me know. Without further ado…
My top three ladies from Gotham! Anyone who knows me knows that Batman and the Batman comics are a passion of mine (once, a friend asked me to choose between Iron Man and Batman and I ended up crying because I couldn’t decide. I might have also been slightly inebriated). Gotham itself is a really interesting and complex city, full of some of the best characters in the DC universe. I have chosen my top three female characters from Gotham based on how much I like them, not based on their achievements or importance to the overall continuity of the universe.
Batwoman (AKA Kate Kane) –
My beautiful, red-headed lesbian. I love Kate, I really do. I have found that I have been pretty happy with DC’s treatment of women, particularly those in Gotham, with a few exceptions of course. Kate really is something special though. While she does share a similar origin to Batman (rich heiress who chooses to use her wealth to help those in need and fight crime), it still feels fresh and satisfying. That may be because she is not as broody at Batman, or simply because she has been lucky enough to be written by some seriously talented individuals. Using stolen military equipment, and inspired by an encounter with the Batman, Kate takes up the mantle of Batwoman. While I liked her enough during her early runs, it was her run in Detective Comics from 2009 to 2010 that really cemented her as a favourite. I don’t want to spoil it for you but it is one of the most captivating and emotional runs I have ever read. I’ve included the link to the collection in the essential reading part below, definitely check it out when you have the time.
Essential Reading: Batwoman: Elegy (2009-2010) collects Detective Comics #854–860 – http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/batwoman-elegy
Oracle (AKA Barbara Gordon)
Yes, I know she was Batgirl first (and yes she’s Batgirl again in the New 52 reboot, but please don’t ask me about it because it makes me mad, so mad I might make a post about it later on), but personally I feel like Babs absolutely shines the brightest as Oracle. Oracle is a computer hacker and intelligence expert, using her skills to assist other superheroes. She eventually becomes the leader of an all-female team of heroes called Birds of Prey, acting as the head of operations, and assisting her team from headquarters while they are out in the field. Barbara (formerly Batgirl) becomes Oracle after The Joker shoots her in the spine, making her a paraplegic. Confined to a wheelchair, she is unable to fight as she used to and instead becomes Oracle, allowing her to continue fighting in another way. She is one of the most resilient and inspiring characters in the DC universe, and I love her some much it sometimes makes my heart hurt.
Essential Reading: Birds of Prey – pretty much anything from 2003 onwards written by Gail Simone. Simone left the title briefly to write for Wonder Woman in 2009 and then returned only to have the title canceled before the New 52 Reboot.
Harley Quinn –
A controversial character, and the only ‘villain’ on my list, Harley Quinn is without a doubt my favourite Gotham lady. Harley actually started in Batman: The Animated Series (an amazing show by the way), and eventually became a regular in the comics due to her popularity. Dr Harleen Quinzel, a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, becomes Harley Quinn after falling in love with her patient, The Joker. The two had a very abusive relationship for many years, with Harley in the role as The Joker’s sidekick, and many comic readers did not like her primarily because she refused to leave him despite the abuse. Despite everything, though, Harley is one of the most interesting characters in Gotham, due in part to her evolution from supervillain sidekick to peppy anti-hero. And she is at her best whenever she is in issues with other ladies. Gotham City Sirens, a team up book featuring Harley with Poison Ivy and Catwoman, might be a campy trade but its also one of the most entertaining. Harley’s current adventures are excellent too; she has left the Joker and is now saving puppies, kicking ass in roller derby, and fighting crime (and she’s totally lesbianing with Poison Ivy, don’t lie to yourselves).
Essential Reading: Harley Quinn Vol 1: Hot in the City – http://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/harley-quinn-vol-1-hot-in-the-city
Honourable Mentions –
Poison Ivy and Catwoman, the other two members of Gotham City Sirens.
Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, the other two Batgirls.
And of course Tahlia Al Ghul, my favouite member of the League of Assassins.