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Montoya Week, Day III

Actually, I think it’s Day IV, now, but I direct those of you with an interest in such things to this roundtable discussion between Scott Anderson, Joe Palmer, and (now Doctor!) Amy Reads on “The Question of Gender and Sexuality.” Clever title, that.

It’s terribly late here, and I’m not feeling fully articulate at the moment (just finished whacking away at the novel, y’see), so I don’t have anything to add to what’s said there. I do think, however, that the conversation is one worth having. Thus I bring it your attention, gentle reader, that you may peruse and ponder, and comment upon it should you choose to do so.

Funny that the costume — the suit, the fedora, the faceless mask — engender such debate. Funny because The Question’s look is still evolving. I’ve actually spent more time than I should’ve done arguing about not giving her a costume, in the sense that, to me, the mask is the key element, and everything else is secondary. It is, in point of fact, one of the things I loved about Denny and Denys’ run…Charlie wore what was appropriate; in winter, he was in a down jacket and heavy pants, with gloves; in summer, he wore a muscle shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers. This is something that, incidentally, hasn’t carried forward with Renee, and the ongoing search for her “look” still continues, even into FC:R.

Just a thought.

18 Responses to Montoya Week, Day III

  1. jeditigger

    Huh. One of the things I like about The Question is that, to me, once the mask is donned, the character becomes someone that sort of transcends boundaries, a mysterious entity unique to itself. The Question should remain, you know, a question. QED.

    That said, the article presents an really interesting in-depth spin on Montoya’s evolution. And I like the amount of scholarly thought put into the discussion, because I think graphic fiction gets dismissed too easily. One day I’ll write an essay or two on why I think Bruce Wayne’s one of the most important fictional characters of the last century.

    Thanks for the link, Greg. Get some rest.

  2. will_eslinger

    I really like the idea of her wearing appropriate clothing and just letting the mask be the “costume”.

  3. lithera

    I’m pretty much with you on the Charlie parts. There wasn’t a costume because there didn’t need to be a costume. He didn’t have a face and chances are if you needed to know who the man without a face was, you did and if you didn’t it scared the ever loving hell out of you. I admit I got into The Question due to the connection with Shiva but I built up a love for Charlie.

    As for how that relates to Montoya, I’ve always seen the facelessness and the hat as being as much as was needed. It would be very odd for me for Montoya to be in a cape, cowl or spandex jumpsuit. The cognitive dissonance would be pretty impressive in my head. There is something about putting her into garb where she is still feminine but in a world where you have Catwoman and Power Girl, Montoya is almost masculine in comparison by look. And I find myself loving that as well because it plays into making me, at least, question (ha) gender and sexuality. There isn’t quite androgyny there but there is enough different signals to make someone uncertain.

    Which to me is a large part of The Question – someone who makes you uncertain, uneasy and ultimately questioning. Guess I had a few thoughts there.

    And I also have to wonder, on a total tangent, what Shiva’s reaction to Charlie’s death has been. He’s one of the few people she actually liked. As much as she likes anyone.

  4. lithera

    I’d like to read those when you write them.

  5. jeditigger

    I’m really tempted to do graduate work on the Bat. Because I find that when the character’s written, Bruce Wayne is such a deep, conflicted figure that hasn’t been blunted overmuch by his longevity in literature.

  6. lithera

    Yeah. And then there is the fascinating three people in one aspect as well. With the right person I can talk about that for hours. As you well know.

  7. oilyrags

    I am strongly in favor of RM’s ‘costume’ consisting of whatever street clothes are appropriate, minus eyes nose and mouth.

  8. electricvinyl

    I agree, but I have to say she looks awesome in the trench coat and hat. ^_^

  9. parakkum

    I’m still just disappointed that Montoya stopped being a straight-up homicide detective. My interest in her turned off when she costumed up.

  10. nealbailey

    I think hands-down the best part of the character, both your version and Denny’s, is that he/she’s more “Batman” than Batman, in that people say that Batman is just one of us that studied a lot and improved himself. I can see that in theory, but with Question, I believe it visually because of the way s/he approaches things bluntly (IE without the ex machina “batbelt”), which is why I love the hell out of both works. The mask is the slightest, most utilitarian way to conceal identity while fighting crime, leaving the rest of the “uniform” to be as user-friendly as the job requires… and I really dig that.

  11. oilyrags

    fwiw, in my doodles of her in her new persona, the trademark I give her is a question mark strand of loose hair falling toward her not-eyes. It’s a bit close to Superman’s spitcurl, I admit.

  12. enewsom

    Sorry about the delays in some of the content getting put up, Greg and everybody else. Karen had a tonsillectomy that was bumped up from next week to today, and so I spent yesterday getting things ready, and have spent today with her at the hospital and now at home being a fluid pusher. I plan on having everything back on track for Friday, though.

    I agree with everyone on the costume, or lack thereof, issue. I always liked that Vic didn’t have to duck into a phone booth when trouble presented itself. One thing I do want to know though: What was he wearing in the issue of 52 where he and Renee meet Kate Kane in the park? I want that T-shirt.

  13. hdefined

    Greg, keeping on the topic I brought up before about Renee and Two-face, I have a question for you regarding their “relationship,” or what you wrote of it.

    Did you intend Two-face to be the one courting Renee, or Harvey? Clearly Harvey had a thing for her, but I felt that Two-face approved, and though he didn’t mind putting that relationship in jeopardy over and over (threatening her parents, everything that occurred in Half a Life), I felt like he saw something in her too – maybe something that Harvey didn’t see.

    I really really really really really hope you follow up with this somehow, now that Renee has her own double life.

    And I know this is kind of a “no duh” request, but you HAVE to write a Question/Batman story at some point, given that Renee looked up to Batman throughout No Man’s Land and Gotham Central, and now that she can take care of herself.

  14. enewsom

    Just updated with Friday’s content, including a brief interview with Greg, and a talk with FC:R artist Philip Tan. Again, sorry for the delays everybody!

  15. dewline

    I’ll second that interest in Shiva’s reaction to the news. Something for the “when we’ve got a moment to spare” list, that.

  16. lithera

    *chuckles* It is a long list, isn’t it?

  17. dewline

    Not being Greg: it looked to me at times as if your take was correct, and at other moments as if the courting was a “joint operation” on the part of Harvey/Two-Face’s dual primary alters. The Two-Face alter, of course, had his own agenda all along.

    Would’ve loved to see how a sane Harvey from the period between “Hush” and “Face the Face” interacted with Renee. That one scene at the Asylum just didn’t seem enough.

  18. dewline

    Getting to the distance along Sussex Drive from the Peacekeeping Monument to Rideau Centre Mall(using Ottawa landmarks).

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