Not About the Answers

You’ve all been very patient with me, but here it finally is, the Renee Montoya reading list! Nee was originally created for Batman: The Animated Series, though she made her debut a bit earlier in the comics. She existed as a supporting character, to put another name and face to the GCPD crowd along with Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. Because of this, she’s shown up in a lot of comics, but a lot of times only as background fodder, set dressing.

I’ve tried to keep this list to stories that feature her prominently, but I don’t have access to many of the 90s Bat-books (or hell, even the non-Rucka 00s comics) or any the DCAU comics, so I’m unable to judge those properly, unfortunately, but all of her major storylines should be here.

(also, i’ll prolly be a little more lenient for her appearances as The Question and follow the same rule I did with Vic: if she shows up  and says at least something, it’s on here)

And check out the one I wrote for Vic, too!

~ Batman 475 (art by Norm Breyfogle)
~ Detective Comics 642 (art by Jim Aparo)
~ Batman 476 (art by Norm Breyfogle)
The Return of Scarface, written by Alan Grant, featured Nee’s first appearance. I’ve really only flipped through the first two issues, so I couldn’t tell you the story’s overall quality. But Nee makes her debut by pulling a gun on Batman, and tells off a total creep in her second appearance, so there’s that.

The following stories are ones I haven’t actually read yet, they were recommended by a friend to get an idea of Nee’s dynamic with Harvey Bullock. She…was kind of his sidekick, I guess.

~ Batman 515 (written by Doug Moench, art by Kelley Jones)
~ Shadow of the Bat 35 (written by Alan Grant, art by Barry Kitson)
~ Detective Comics 682 (written by Chuck Dixon, art by Graham Nolan)
~ Robin 14 (written by Chuck Dixon, art by Tom Grummett)
Troika involves something about KGBeast and a nuke in Gotham City. According to Comic Book DB, Nee only shows for the last two issues. Bullock apparently goes into a coma for a bit, whether that carries on into later issues I couldn’t say.

~ Batman: GCPD 1-4
Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Jim Aparo and Bill Sienkiewicz
Nee makes the cover of the fourth issue.
(this was followed up with a Gordon’s Law mini with art by Klaus Janson, don’t know what kind of showing Nee had in the issues she appeared in)

~ Batman Chronicles 13
In a story written by Bill Majeski and with art by Yvel Guichet, Nee is on the trail of a murderous Harpoon Man. She’s partnered with a sexist idiot who thinks women aren’t cut out for police work, though, so she has to show him what’s up with that, too.

~ Batman 80-page Giant 1
In “The Last Bite” by Chuck Dixon, with art by Flint Henry, Harvey Bullock has to go on a diet.

~ Batman Chronicles 14
The third story, “Random Encounters”, a short prose piece with illustrations by Sal Buscema, is the first thing Greg Rucka ever wrote for DC Comics. It introduces Nee’s brother Benny as they discuss an encounter they had with Two-Face while helping the survivors of Cataclysm/Aftershock.

~ Batman: Bullock’s Law
Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Flint Henry
This is a one-shot that prolly doesn’t involve NML, so I’m putting it up here.

Throughout this year-long status quo throughout the Batbooks, Nee was one of the officers that stayed behind with Jim’s Blue Boys to try to maintain order in the NML. There are…a lot of stories involving Nee here.

Much of it (at least the stories from the main titles) are collected in 5 TPBs. If they keep them in print still, I couldn’t quite say.

~ Batman Chronicles 16
In “Two Down”, by Rucka and with art by Jason Pearson, gvies us a first-hand account of the events described in “Random Encounters”, in all its sequential glory. This was the beginning of many things, for Rucka, Nee, and Harvey.

~ No Man’s Land 1
Written by Bob Gale, art by Alex Maleev
An extra-sized kick-off issue, this shows how people are making it out in the NML from a variety of perspectives. Nee’s really just part of the Blue Boys crowd at this point.

~ Legends of the Dark Knight 117
~ Shadow of the Bat 85
Bread and Circuses, written by Ian Edginton and with art by D’Israeli
More appearances as just a part of the GCPD crowd, but this also began Jim’s alliance with Harvey that would shape a lot of Nee’s arc through NML.

~ Detective Comics 735
Part two of Mosaic by Greg Rucka, with Frank Teran on art.
It’s funny how her face-time goes up when Rucka’s writing, even if her role in the plot is strictly supportive.

~ Legends of the Dark Knight 119
~ Shadow of the Bat 87
Claim-Jumping by Greg Rucka, with art by Mike Deodato.
As the Blue Boys move towards a land-grab, Jim recruits Nee to be his liaison with Harvey. But Two-Face has ideas of his own as he uses the opportunity to move against both Penguin and Batman.

~ Shadow of the Bat 88
~ Detective Comics 735
Written by Greg Rucka, with art by Dan Jurgens and Bill Siekiewicz
These are parts one and three of Fruit of the Earth, where Batman heads into Robinson Park to see what Poison Ivy’s up to and fights Clayface. The first issue has a tidbit where the GCPD kicks out troublemaker Petit from their crew. The third has a subplot where Jim tells Nee to call things off with Harvey, but after she does, Two-Face comes around and tells Jim he’ll be keeping her for a while. D:

~ Batman 572
~ Detective Comics 739
Jurisprudence by Greg Rucka, art by Damion Scott
After being in captivity with her parents and brother for FOUR MONTHS (and to be fair this is Rucka’s first arc on NML since), we finally see what’s up with her. Two-Face breaks into the Blue Boys HQ and kidnaps Jim. He brings him back to the courthouse to put him on trial, with Nee as bailiff and witness. She and Jim managed to talk Harvey into acting as Jim’s defense while Two-Face is prosecuting. It works, and Jim goes free while Nee arrests Harvey.

~ Robin 71, 72
Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Gordon Purcell
Nee returns to the Blue Boys, she and Bullock help Tim take down Killer Croc.

~ No Man’s Land Secret Files

Nee gets a blurb in the Blue Boys profile. The timeline manages to completely ignore her, though.

~ Shadow of the Bat 93
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Paul Ryan and Bill Sienkiewicz
A catch-up issue setting events up for the final two arcs. One beat has Petit trying to storm Gotham Central to execute Two-Face. Nee’s the one standing in his way. Also Sarah calls Jim out on the way the whole thing went down with Harvey.

Endgame, written by Greg Rucka and Devin Grayson, art by Damion Scott and Dale Eaglesham
~ Legends of the Dark Knight 126
Nee is promoted to detective second-grade, enjoys Christmas dinner with her family and Bullock.

~ Detective Comics 741
Part three, while everyone’s searching for the kids Joker kidnapped, Nee and Bullock run into a bomb, she pulls them both away from the explosion. Later, they’re the first to discover Sarah’s body.

~ Shadow of the Bat 94
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Pablo Raimondi
No Man’s Land ends, loose ends are tied up. Sarah’s funeral happens. Nee doesn’t have any spoken lines, but she’s the one to notice Jim not being able to deal at the wake.

After NML, Rucka took over ‘Tec and Nee was frequently featured rather prominently. Art is by Shawn Martinborough unless otherwise noted, and while the art can be iffy on it’s own (i like it myself), the two-toned coloring is simply gorgeous!

~ ‘Tec 742
This double-sized issue mostly deals with Jim getting back into the swing of things in post-NML Gotham and Sarah’s death, also Bruce figuring out how to deal with Jim in this situation. It also featured Bullock being promoted to Sarah’s position as Lieutenant, so Nee got a new partner in Crispus Allen, recent transfer from Metropolis’ homicide division. They start out a little tense, catching Jim in the middle of taking some perps a little too hard and not really seeing eye-to-eye about it when they take the perp into interrogation.
This issue also features a license plated number TEC-742, and I really love that.

~ ‘Tec 743-746 - Evolution
This arc has rather sparse Nee, she has maybe two pages through the whole thing, but it is notable for introducing Whisper A’Daire and Kyle Abbot, who she would come up against later in 52.

~ ‘Tec 747 (art by Will Rosado)
“Happy Birthday Two You…”
Nee spotlight issue! \o/
It’s her 29th birthday and it hasn’t been a good one. Jim tells her to take the day off, so she tracks down the secret admirer her that sent her tulips (two-lips? oh harvey). It’s Harvey Dent, so she brings cupcakes to the prison. They share a moment, but obv not the kind Harvey thought.
Also Bruce Wayne totally trolls her.

'Tec 743-750 is collected in the New Gotham: Evolution trade. Out of print, but you never know what you'll find at your LCS! I actually found one just a few weeks ago.

~ Batman: Turning Points 5
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Paul Pope
Turning Points is a five issue mini from various creators about Bruce and Jim’s relationship throughout their careers. The last issue was the contemporary era. Jim sits in with Nee and Cris on a stake-out, and when they move in Nee is totally fierce and amazing. She also shows up for, like, one page of #4 (by Chuck Dixon, with Brent Anderson on art), which is Knightfall era, so not untrue to the period.
Turning Points is available in trade and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

~ ‘Tec 753 (art by Steve Mannion and Brad Rader)
“The Janus Double-Down” is actually a comic-within-a-comic, one created by Harvey as part of his therapy at Arkham. It gives you a lot of insight into the way Harvey sees his relationship with Nee, which feeds a lot of context into Half a Life.

~ Batman 587 (written by Greg Rucka, art by Rick Burchett)
~ Robin 86 (written by Ed Brubaker, art by Jacob & Arnold Pander)
~ Birds of Prey 27 (written by Chuck Dixon, art by R. Steven Harris)
~ Catwoman 90 (written by Bronwyn Carlton, art by Mike Lilly)
~ Nightwing 53 (written by Devin Grayson, art by Rick Burchett)
~ Detective Comics 754 (written by Nunzio Defilippis, art by Mike Collins)
~ Gotham Knights 13 (written by Greg Rucka, art by Rick Burchett)
Collected in the Officer Down TPB.
In this Batfamily event, Jim Gordon is shot and it’s up to the Bats and the GCPD to get to the bottom of it. Nee gets a pretty heavy showing through many of the issues, but parts 1, 2, 6 and 7 especially. At Jim’s party she, Cris and Bullock get the best face-time out of everyone who isn’t Jim. She’s the first on the scene when Jim’s shot, she and Cris lead the initial investigation and eventually interrogate the perp. How close to home this hits her and Bullock gets a lot of focus, but it’s the last issue that plays the biggest part in her future, though. When the perp walks, what she intends (and fails) to do, this isn’t the last time we’d see something like that. And Bullock’s response would have major consequences on GCPD stories in the future.

~ ‘Tec 758-760
The Mad Hatter’s latest scheme involves mind-controlling nanites in coffee, and he’s selling it to cops! Guess which two detectives find themselves unwittingly trying to rob a strip club, with shotguns? If you said Nee and Cris, you’re right! The wild thing about this arc is it handles the consequences for the two of them the way you’d expect for a world that doesn’t have a mind-control clause. They’re arrested, interrogated, put in jail, and one point it really looks like they’ll be put one trial and have their badges taken away. Not to mention they’re still under investigation by IAD well after this arc wraps up.
Oh, and Sasha Bordeaux confronts Bruce after finding out he’s Batman. That’s happening throughout this arc, too (though it feels like sometimes i’m the only one in the world who cares about her anyway).

#758 also features a back-up story by Ed Brubaker and Steve Lieber with Nee and Babs hanging out! But because it’s Bru, it doesn’t even manage to pass the Bechdel Test as all they end up talking about is Michael Akins, Jim’s replacement as police commissioner.

~ ‘Tec 761
In Thirty Days
This issue’s really something special for the way it interweaves it’s two main plots. While in one, since Sasha’s dead-set on continuing to be Bruce’s bodyguard, even while he’s doing Bat-things (oh my god how great is Sasha), Bruce has set up a training regimine she’ll need to complete if she’s going to keep up with him. She has thirty days to complete it.
Meanwhile, more relevantly, after over a third of the department had been compromised due to Mad Hatter’s recent scheme, Gotham Central’s undergoing a full internal review. Guess how long it takes. ;)
The great part about how these are interwoven is that much of Sasha’s story is told in huge wordless panels on the side while the other two-thirds give us glimpses into the GCPD plot. Neither of them need to go into a lot of detail throughout the thirty days, glimpses are perfect for a passage of time like this. It’s also an interesting reminder of how Rucka portrayed his run as moving in something like real time, where a month passed in-canon between each issue.

~ ‘Tec 762 (art by Rick Burchett)
As Inspector Esperanza continues his investigation, reopening the Jordan Rich case from Officer Down, Nee tags along to get to the bottom of the incident. It culminates with her confronting Bullock, and him turning in his badge. For five years after, she would be the only iconic member of GCPD still on the force.

~ ‘Tec 766 (art by Scott McDaniel)
~ Batgirl 24 (written by Kelley Puckett, art by Damion Scott)
Collected in the Bruce Wayne: Murderer TPB
When Bruce is implicated in the murder of Vesper Fairchild, Cris and Nee take charge of the case. They oversee the initial investigation (while Cass shadows them!), discuss their thoughts on the case, and interrogate the suspects (Cris takes Bruce, Nee takes Sasha). Then promptly aren’t seen again through the rest of the storyline.

~ Nightwing 68 (written by Chuck Dixon, art by Trevor McCarthy)
~ Gotham Knights 28 (written by Devin Grayson, art by Roger Robinson)
Collected in Bruce Wayne: Fugitive vol. 1 TPB
These are both tiny tiny moments. The Nightwing issue has Dick swiping the Bruce Wayne file off Cris’ desk and having to hide as he and Nee walk in. The Gotham Knights issue opens with Nee looking into a murder and finding the perp was already dead when he committed it, and then she isn’t in the story anymore.

~ ‘Tec 768-771 (art by Steve Lieber)
Collected in Bruce Wayne: Fugitive vol. 2 TPB
Cris isn’t buyin the whole line about Bruce Wayne fleeing to Santa Prisca, starts looking into leads that might put him in Gotham, including some unwanted visits to a certain butler! I say Cris because he pretty much take the lead on this, though Nee’s pretty much always there too, being his partner and all.

An ongoing starring the GCPD’s Major Crimes Unit, and you may remember who the only iconic member of that force is at present. One shift is written by Ed Brubaker, the other by Greg Rucka. Nee and Cris are on Rucka’s shift, obviously. Art’s by Michael Lark unless otherwise noted.

~ Gotham Central 1 & 2 (with Ed Brubaker)
In The Line of Duty
Collected as part of the TPB and HC of the same name.
Mr. Freeze is looking to strike at the heart of the GCPD, and Nee’s in charge of the case.

~ Gotham Central 6-10
Half a Life
Collected in TPB (along with the Chronicles 16 story and ‘Tec 747) and the In The Line of Duty HC.
Half a Life is the final chapter in the Two-Face arc. We’ve seen in ‘Tec 753 that Harvey has some funny ideas about their relationship, so he sets out to make Nee his. He does this by outing her as a lesbian, implicating her in the murder of a P.I., and springing her as she’s on her way to prison. The idea is if she loses everything else, all she’ll have left is him. Doesn’t really work out that way.
Definitely one of the definitive Renee Montoya stories. Also introduces her girlfriend Dee, and serves as the last time her mom or her brother Benny appear in any comics.

~ Gotham Central 12-15 (with Ed Brubaker)
Soft Targets
Collected in the Unresolved Targets TPB and Jokers and Madmen HC
The Joker’s on a sniping spree over Christmas, and the GCPD are caught right in the middle of it. His first victim was the mayor. Some good scenes of Cris and Nee being good partners, they also get assigned a journalist as a ridealong. They also, as usual, handle the initial interrogation when Joker turns himself in.

~ Gotham Central 21 (written by Ed Brubaker)
Unresolved part three
Collected in the Unresolved Targets TPB and Jokers and Madmen HC
Nee meets Bullock for the first time since he turned in his badge. Strong words are exchanged.

~ Gotham Central 23-24
Collected in The Quick and The Dead TPB and On The Freak Beat HC.
Cris has been accused of excessive force, and the bullet the would’ve cleared him has disappeared, having been auctioned off by corrupt CSI tech Jim Corrigan. It’s up to Nee and IAD Inspector Esperanza to track it down. Nee gets Corrigan to talk by publicly beating the shit out of him, which complicates Esperanza’s case against him. When Nee asks Esperanza why he let her do that if those would be the consequences, he tells he he owed her one. For Half a Life, prolly.

~ Gotham Central 25
Collected in The Quick and The Dead TPB and On The Freak Beat HC.
After War Games. As Akins has the Bat-signal taken down, Nee and Cris argue about Batman’s place in Gotham. Nee mentions that seeing the Bat-signal for the first time as a teenager is what inspired her to be a cop. Also Michael Lark’s last issue.

~ Gotham Central 28-31 (art by Stefano Gaudiano)
Keystone Kops
Collected in The Quick and The Dead TPB and On The Freak Beat HC.
A lab owned by Flash Rogue Doctor Alchemy is unearth in the neighborhood Nee grew up. Obviously she is taking the case. She has a short meeting with her father that is not at all pleasant. She and Nee have to fly to Keystone because Doctor Alchemy is currently locked up in Iron Heights. Things go badly from there, Nee ends up beating the shit out of Alchemy. Also Dee talks to her dad, he and Nee have a sort of reunion, but he’s never seen in another comic anyway.

~ Gotham Central 32 (art by Steve Lieber)
Presently uncollected. Should be included in the eventual vol. 4 HC.
A look at the corrupt culture surrounding beat cops. Our POV characters hold the MCU, and Nee and Cris in particular, as prime example with what’s wrong with the force (and yes, we’re talking about racism and homophobia). Poison Ivy has plans for our beat cops, though.

~ Gotham Central 33-36 (with Ed Brubaker, art by Kano)
Dead Robin
Collected in the TPB of the same name. Should be included in the eventual vol. 4 HC.
When a corpse shows up in the Boy Wonder’s outfit, Nee and Cris are secondary on the case. As they interview various people of interest, such things come up as Harvey still have a thing for her, Cris still being in the dark about how things went down back in “Corrigan”, and Nee might’ve started smoking (it was kind of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing, i previously thought she might not’ve started till after Cris died).

~ Infinite Crisis 1
Written by Geoff Johns, art by Phil Jiminez. Collected in TPB and HC.
There’s a few pages where Nee and Cris are working out this crisis thing when Captain Marvel crashes into their squad car, while the Spectre shows in the skies above. These events are more fully explored in Gotham Central #37.


~ Gotham Central 37 (art by Steve Lieber)
Collected in the Dead Robin TPB. Should be included in the eventual vol. 4 HC.
Infinite Crisis tie-in. Red skies come to Gotham, and after Cris and Nee finally have it out over the way she handled Corrigan, news comes over about the prisons being blown open by the Secret Society and the Seven Sins freed from the Rock of Eternity. With all this going on, it’s all they can do just to get home, especially after Nee gets possessed by Wrath for a bit (luckily Captain Marvel scares it away). Also Nee makes fun of Cris for calling Dore “baby” only to turn right around and call Dee the same thing later!

~ Gotham Central 38-40 (art by Kano)
Corrigan II
Collected in the Dead Robin TPB. Should be included in the eventual vol. 4 HC.
Nee’s been drinking more and fighting harder lately. She’s been absent enough nights that Dee’s getting worried, calling Cris and his family to see if they know anything. Not long after Cris confronts her about it (including the ultimatum “it’s got to stop, or you’ll have to find a new partner”), Nee discovers that Cris has been running his own private investigation on Jimmy Corrigan. He can’t let her or IAD in on it because their names can’t be attached to it after how things went down with him before.
But, as it would happen, Corrigan finds out, too. And once his leak is plugged and the fix is in, Cris ends up with five bullets in his back. Nee’s slowly breaking down as the rest of the MCU pulls together to bring down Corrigan, but when he walks, it’s more than she can stand. She walks out on Dee, gets good and drunk, a barges into Corrgan’s apartment with a gun and a plan. But same as in Officer Down, she can’t go through with it.
So instead she walks into Maggie’s office the next day and turns in her badge.

~ Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre 1
Written by Will Pfeifer, art by Cliff Chiang. Collected in TPB.
Infinite Crisis left Crispus Allen as the new host for the Spectre, but while I haven’t read this issue, I can’t say whether Nee gets an actual appearance or just a sort of flashback mention.

52 weeks 1-2, 4-5, 7, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 18, 23, 26-28, 30, 33-34, 36, 38, 41-42, 44, 45, 47-48, 52
Collected in 52 TPB vols. 1-4.
Nee’s only gotten progressivley worse since leaving the GCPD, until Vic Sage, The Question, recruits her to join in his investigation against Intergang and the Relgion of Crime. Also introduces her ex and the new Batwoman, Kate Kane, to the world. Eventually, Vic lets Nee in on the fact that he’s dying of lung cancer, and when he finally does, she reluctantly takes up the no-face and becomes the second Question.
The Vic&Nee beats are chiefly written by Greg Rucka, though Geoff Johns, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison might’ve had some hand in them. Various artists, from quality guys like Drew Johnson and Chris Batista, to the middling to bad Eddie Barrows, to the just plain awful Joe Bennett.

~ Countdown 40-38 (issues are in reverse order)
Collected in Countdown TPB vol. 1.
Head-writer’s Paul Dini, indvidual issues with Tony Bedard, Sean McKeever, and Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray respectively. Art by Manuel Garcia, Jim Calafiore, Jesus Saiz, respectively.
Nee shows up with Kate, helping the Birds of Prey track down Piper and Trickster in Gotham. Rucka was actually really annoyed with these issues, since, during the time between 52 and Crime Bible, Nee was supposed to be in Nanda Parbat, finishing her training with Richard. Also her one panel in 40 makes the no-face look like a full-headed number with a ponytail sticking out. Nee’s mask is not Spoiler’s mask, Manuel Garcia. :/

~ Birds of Prey 114
Written by Sean McKeever, art by Nicola Scott. Collected in the Metropolis Or Dust trade.
Nee shows up for just a panel to break the ear-piece Babs gave her so she’ll leave her alone. Like the Countdown appearances, I don’t want to count this one (it breaks my shippers heart).

~ Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood 1-5
Collected as The Question: Five Books of Blood TPB and HC.
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Tom Mandrake, Jesus Saiz, Matthew Clark, Diego Olmos and Manuel Garcia (he gets the mask right this time).
Nee’s first major romp as the Question has her still investigating the Dark Faith, though Brother Flay, the leader of the Order of the Stone, has other plans for her. What results is a case that takes Nee around the world (including to both Gotham and Hub City) and through the four chief lessons of the Black Book, before she must finally fulfill the Parable of the Faceless and take charge of the Order of the Stone herself.

~ Final Crisis 1-7
Written by Grant Morrison, art by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke. Collected in TPB and HC.
I don’t even know where this fits with anything. Nee first shows up giving Dan Turpin an anonymous (well, faceless at least) tip about the Dark Side Club, and is later recruited by Amanda Waller and the Global Peace Agency to collect the Supermans of the Multiverse. The coat she shows up in as a Global Peace Agent is pretty awesome, that’s about all I can say about her appearances here.

~ Final Crisis: Revelations 1-5
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Philip Tan. Collected in TPB and HC.
Now this one fits much better into her overall narrative. I suppose that’s easier when that narrative is under the control of a single writer. Anyway! Nee’s abdicated the Order of the Stone and they want blood. She’s also trying to intercept the Spear of Destiny before they can use it to reawaken Cain. But The Spectre has other ideas, he wants vengeance against the leader of the Order of the Stone, which she officially still is! But thn there’s this whole thing the The Radiance, who’s apparently God’s Mercy and has to argue with Cris a lot.
But then Anti-Life happens, and the Order gets the Spear to Vandal Savage (who is totally Cain), and everything just gets very bad. Our heroes have to whole up in a church with Gotham’s remaining survivors, including the Huntress. There are good times in dark times.

~ Detective Comics annual 11
Written by Fabian Nicieza, art by Tom Mandrake.
There’s a lot of blahblahblah about the eighth deadly sin and the new Azrael, something about Damian being kidnapped. None of it matters. What you need to know is this is an absolutely outrageous and fun team-up between Nee and Dick (as Batman). Read it, it’s amazing.

~ Detective Comics 854-865
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Cully Hamner
To be collected as The Question: Pipeline TPB, slated for early 2011.
Nee’s ‘Tec back-up! While investigating a human trafficking ring, she uncovers a much larger criminal enterprise. Teaming up with Helena again to track it to the top, they discover none other than Vandal Savage, still sore over FC: Revelations! He demands one of them voluntarily take the Mark of Cain from him, but things go screwy with the ritual. All we now is Hel doesn’t have it, but Nee doesn’t feel like taking off her mask. This was Rucka’s last story for DC, so who knows if we’ll ever fid out what the deal was there?
If you like the idea of Nee/Hel, this story provides endless shipping fodder. If you don’t, it’s still a cool story with a great friendship and fantastic art!


~ Question v1 37
Written by Denny O’Neil and Greg Rucka, art by Denys Cowan, with Bill Sienkiewicz on inks!
As a part of Blackest Night, DC “revived” a number of old titles for a series of tie-in one-shots. One of them was The Question! It came out the same week as my birthday, I was exstatic. So, Lady Shiva visits because she wants a fight. Nee obliges, doesn’t fair too well. Vic comes around, now a zombie, fights them both. Tot has to put his grief behind him. After zombie!Vic leaves, Nee says she’s going after him, but nothing ever comes of that.

~ Wonder Woman 600
Written by Gail Simone, art by George Perez.
In the first story, Wondy pulls together a team of super-ladies to fight some dudes. One of them is Nee! She even gets a line!

~ Green Lantern 56
Written by Geoff Johns, art by Doug Mahnke.
Nee shows up for a couple pages putting Vic’s body back to rest with Saint Walker after Blackest Night. They talk a bit about grief.

~ Detective Comics 867
Written by David Hine, art by Scott McDaniel.
Nee shows up for a few pages to help Batman put down a riot against the GCPD. It’s pretty unsubstantial, but you can make interesting inferences out of it.

And hopefully we’ll get lots and lots more in the futures!

~ Gotham Girls 4-5
Written by Paul D. Storrie, art by Jennifer Graves (with help from Rick Burchett in 5)
Nee teams up with Babsgirl! @fuckyeahbatgirls posted some from this a while back.

I’m gonna have to admit here how very few DCAU comics I’ve read, so I have no idea if Nee features prominently in any of them. Most DBs I’ve checked have her in the other issues of Gotham Girls, so those might be worth checking out, too!

Again, Nee has a lot of appearances due to her original role in the Bat-books, but not many of them had her as much more than set dressing. If there are more here I’m missing, please let me know and I can add them to this list (and check them out myself!)
Do you know of any I’m missing?

Everyone everyone everyone! It’s my 500th post!
To celebrate this momentous occasion, I put together a comprehensive and chronological reading list of all Vic’s major appearances! (i wanted to do one for Nee, too, but oh my god this one took so long. i’ll write it tomorrow, promise!)


By Steve Ditko

~ Blue Beetle v5 1-4 (Question back-up feature)

~ Mysterious Suspense 1 (Vic’s first solo book)
~ Blue Beetle v5 5 (also appears out-of-mask in the main feature, faces the same villain in his back-up)

These stories and the one below are collected in the Action Heroes Archive vol. 2 hardcover. Mysterious Suspense #1 is also collected in 52: The Companion. They’re the only Question stories I don’t own.

~ Charlton Bullseye v1 5

When Bob Layton and Roger Stern both were rather young, they ran a comics fan-zine called CPL, which featured the early work of John Byrne and printed the otherwise unpublished sixth issue of Ditko’s Blue Beetle (no Q? back-up to that one). In the early ’70s they partnered with Charlton Comics to create Charlton Bullseye, a magazine featuring news and comics devoted to the Charlton characters.
The Question story in #5 is written by Stern and Michael Uslan, with art by Alex Toth.

~ Charlton Bullseye v2 1

Charlton Bullseye v2 was pretty much a showcase title. This story is a Blue Beetle/Question team-up. It pits Vic against a robot shark, which it advertises on both the cover and the splash page. It was very excited to feature a robot shark.
It’s written by Benjamin Smith, with Dan Reed on art.


~ Americomics Special 1

AC Comics were commissioned by Charlton to do a team comic based on the Action Heroes for Charlton Bullseye v2. Unfortunately, the title was cancelled before the story was finished, so AC was granted a limited license to print it themselves. It featured the four characters created by Ditko, Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, and our man Vic. I remember there being good banter between him and Ted. Also featured The Banshee, a villain introduced in the Question back-up from BBv5 #2. The story continued beyond this issue, but they had to create new characters to replace the Charltons.
AC also used this limited license to put out a Blue Beetle one-shot in Americomics #3. I’ve never read it.
It was scripted and drawn by Greg Guler, with a plot by Dan St. John and backgrounds drawn by Matt Feazell.


~ Crisis On Infinite Earths 6

Vic appears for three panels, hanging out in Ted’s Bug when the DC heroes investigate Earth-4. Marv Wolfman and George Perez, obv.
Collected in the Crisis On Infinite Earths trade.

~ Blue Beetle v6 4-6

Ted’s fight gainst the the Alchemist in #4 is televised by a familiar looking reporter. Through the following three issues, Vic and Ted team-up to investigate youth gangs! These are actually really good comics.
Written by Len Wein, with art by Paris Cullins.

By Denny O’Neil

~ Question v1 1-36

Denny’s series wastes no time, he only spends one issue with Ditko’s “outrageous asshole” Vic, and over the course of that issue completely tears him down, to the point where it ends with his death. And then he spends the other 35 issues building him back into something completely different. I’m not terribly fond of Denny’s Vic, he’s a little too grim and mulleted for my tastes. But he is the journey, not the destination, and that’s one of the themes simmering just below this series. It’s, well, not always great comics, honestly. It is horribly dated, and the level of corruption in Hub City descends so far into caricature that it’s hard to take seriously. But it has its moments, and Myra’s struggles during the mayoral election are interesting.
Art mostly by Denys Cowan (#20 is Rick Magyar and #26 is Bill Wray; Cowan’s art changes a lot with his inker, so there’s a big difference from Magyar’s inks on 1-19 and Malcolm Jones III’s from #21 on)
The whole series is collected in six trades, Zen and Violence, Poisoned Ground, Epitaph for a Hero, Welcome to Oz, Riddles, and Peacemaker, the last of which was released just a few months back. They tend to go for about $20 per.

"Fables" crossover
The O-Sensei, best known for teaching the martial arts to Richard Dragon, Bronze Tiger, and Lady Shiva, has set out to find the gravesite of his wife before his death. To do this, he has Shiva help him recruit three warriors, Batman, Green Arrow, and The Question, to locate it.

~ Detective Comics annual 1 (art by Klaus Janson, his Vic is very pretty)
~ Green Arrow annual 1 (art by Tom Artis, Vic is not actually in this one, but it is soooo gooood, Dinah and Shiva spar a bit!)
~ Question annual 1 (art by Denys Cowan, with Ric Magyar)

~ Question annual 2 (art by Bill Wray and Shea Anton Pensa, contains the story of how Vic became the Question)
~ Green Arrow annual 2 (art by Ed Hannigan)

Both of these annuals tell the story of Ollie and Vic teaming up to take on a gang of terrorists (?) utilizing an agent similar to Vic’s bonding gas to put people in a state of mindless bliss. Each is told from a different perspective, but given the order of when they end, I’d say read Q? ann2 first.

~ Green Arrow annual 3 (art by Tom Artis)

This takes place directly after Q?v1 #36. He goes to Seattle to hang with Ollie and dinah and try to figure out what he’s doing now that he’s left Hub City. Also coming to terms with becoming Jackie Connelly’s guardian. They end up settling in South America when a job Ollie and Dinah take brings them there.

~ Question Quarterly 1 (art by Denys Cowan, inking himself!)
And then everyone in the village they settle in is killed. :/

~ Question Quarterly 2 (Cowan again)
And Vic returns to Hub City. So much for the wealth of stories to be told about him after leaving! :/ And Jackie dies. ;_;

~ Question Quarterly 3 (art by Joe Quesada)
This one’s about a movie made in Hub City. It’s kinda funny at points. Also, Joey Q’s mainstream debut, if I recall.

~ Question Quarterly 3 (Cowan on art)
This one was actually written by Adam Blaustein. Aaaaand it’s kinda racist. :/

~ Question Quarterly 5 (art by various)

~ Brave and the Bold v2 1-6
Vic doesn’t actually appear in the first issue, but whatever. This is a mini-series written by Mike Grell and Mike Baron, with art by Shea Anton Pensa (who’s kind of awful), starring Ollie, Vic, and The Butcher. Largely deals with social unrest on a native reservation in Quebec.

~ Showcase ‘95 #3 (art by Rick Burchett)
The third story in this issue involves Vic visiting his old orphanage (i guess there was more than one?) and beating up some burglars. The art is fab.

~ Azrael 10 (art by Barry Kitson)
In this issue, Robin and Alfred watch a fake Azrael fight people in a boxing ring, making sure he doesn’t go overboard. He does, obviously. Also in the audience are Lady Shiva and Vic Sage.

~ Azrael Plus #1 (art by Vince Giarrano)
Establishes Vic’s love of gambling. It’s apparently how he makes bread money now that he’s not reporting anymore? I always preferred thinking he just freelanced. Anyway, he’s trying to protect a politician’s daughter, JPV just wants a vacation. The dudes who are after the politician’s daughter have other ideas. They’re led by Junior, a recurring villain from Q?v1. JPV is weird and almost adorable in how naive he is. This is an odd comic.

~ The Question Returns 1 (art by Eduardo Barreto)
Vic returns to Hub City (AGAIN), even though we barely knew he left. Apparently Myra’s in danger? Anyway, he gets there and finds she’s okay and has a boyfriend. His mask has eyeholes due to a coloring error. >:(
The end of Denny’s run, and the last time we will ever see Vic in Hub City (THANK GOD)

~ Steel 38
John Henry Irons is in Casablanca looking for a friend who disappeared. He gets tossed in jail for snooping, and who does he find sharing his cell but Vic Sage? Vic lost a card game. Anyway, team-ups commence.
Written by Priest, art by Denys Cowan.

~ Batman Chronicles 15
Third story. After Cataclysm, before NML, Vic meets Helena for the first time while investigating the theft of vital relief supplies.
Greg Rucka’s second story for DC (and the first one that’s a comic), art by Roger Cruz.

~ L.A.W. 1-6
This is an event mini featuring a team made from the Charlton heroes. A lot of them get rebooted or revamped. Some of them are just assumed to be in generally the same place they were when DC bought the characters. Ted has carpal tunnel. :3 Vic is suddenly an anchorman again with the same hair Christian Bale had in American Psycho, he’s also the team grump. His characterization is incredibly slim until the last issue.
There are also some really uncomfortable race issues with Judomaster’s whole arc, which is pretty much the main arc.
It’s a collaboration between Bob Layton, who did Charlton Bullseye, and Dick Giordano, former Charlton EIC. Layton writes and inks, Giordano pencils. The best thing about this series is easily the extras at the end where they talk about the history of Charlton and their experiences with it.

~ Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood 1-6
If you need a summary, Huntress’ past is catching up to her in the worst way, Vic is there to help. GREAT AND AT TIMES SEXY EVENTS FOLLOW. it is soooo goooooooooood
Written by Greg Rucka, art by Rick Burchett. Loved by me.
It was collected in trade, but it’s prolly out of print. You might be able to stumble across it though, I know I’ve seen it at my LCS.

~ Gotham Knights 38-40
In this arc, Helena’s recruited by Checkmate to be their new Black Queen. Vic shows up in the first two issues to…suposedly provide help, but really he’s just there, and only barely. And nothing ever happens with Hel’s Checkmte connection because she joins Birds of Prey almost immediately after.
Written by Scott Beatty, art by Roger Robinson.

~ 52 weeks 1-2, 4, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 18, 23, 26-28, 30, 33-34, 36, 38
Vic recruits Nee, they go investigating the Dark Faith together. Much snark is had, many fun-times, they help Black Adam a bit. Then Vic dies of lung cancer. :(
It’s a very good story.
The Vic&Nee beats are chiefly written by Greg Rucka, though Geoff Johns, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison might’ve had some hand in them. Various artists, from quality guys like Drew Johnson and Chris Batista, to the middling-to-bad Eddie Barrows, to the just plain awful Joe Bennett.
Vic’s origin is also summed up in the back of week 18, and just my luck it’s drawn by Joe Bennett. :/

52 is collected in four trades, though I think Vic’s only in the first three. Get the fourth one anyway, you owe it to yourself.

~ Question v1 37
As a part of Blackest Night, DC “revived” a number of old titles for a series of tie-in one-shots. One of them was The Question! It came out the same week as my birthday, I was exstatic. So, Lady Shiva visits because she wants a fight. Nee obliges, doesn’t fair too well. Vic comes around, now a zombie, fights them both. Tot has to put his grief behind him.
Written by Denny O’Neil and Greg Rucka, art by Denys Cowan, with Bill Sienkiewicz on inks!


~ Adventures in the DC Universe 8
In the main story, Boostle are on a scheme to make money cleaning up a chemical spill…in Hub City! They find criminals to fight while they’re at it. Then, there’s a second story that goes through the whole thing again from another perspective, and it’s our man Vic’s.
Written by Steve Vance, art by John Delaney

~ Justice League Unlimited 8
The Justice League sattelite has been infiltrated by a mole, and Vic’s on the case! He may be surprised when he figures out the culprit, though.
Written by Adam Beechen, art by Carlos Barberi

~ Justice League Unlimited 36
The League has just quelled an alien invasion, but some questions remain unanswered! Vic travels the world trying to put the pieces together, but things are starting to feel a little too convenient about the trail.
Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Min S. Ku

~ Solo 5 - Darwyn Cooke
Vic has a small story in Cooke’s issue of Solo where he…fights terrorists. :/
It’s very pretty, at least.

~ Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Vic shows up in the second and third issue, accompanied by Ditko-esque narration boxes. He is in high-Ditko mode, which is a bit funny during the Crossfire-style segments with Ollie, but generally just annoying.
I am ashamed to admit this is the first thing I’d ever read with The Question in it.
Story and art by Frank Miller.

~ Question v2 1-6
This is a very interesting story that shows what happens when you put a Vertigo writer in the DCU. It reimagines Vic as a kind of urban shaman-detective with trace elements of Ditko filtered through some sort of warrior’s code. There are elements I liked, but others I really didn’t. The diatribes I could do without. The crush on Lois Lane, too. Seeing Vic so freely kill his enemies was jarring, especially after the end of Cry For Blood. This Vic is some kind of Vic, but he’s not quite mine. I’m glad it didn’t take permanently, but as a one-time deal it wasn’t bad. The art is gorgeous.
Written by Rick Vietch, art by Tommy Lee Edwards.