~Post by Chris M.
If you are a fan of comic books in the slightest, then chances are you’ve heard of Greg Rucka. A veteran of the medium, and one hell of a talented writer, Rucka is responsible for some of the best comics writing of the last decade. When I was asked to do a Rucka write-up for the MysteryPeople blog my mind immediately raced in a dozen directions. What should I write about? Queen & Country seemed like a good place to start, but was that really where I wanted to focus my attention? How about his seminal word for Marvel or DC? But what about his indie stuff like Stumptown? There’s just too damn much!
Instead of going on and on about the illustrious career of Mr. Rucka, I decided I should make things a little more personal and talk about the books that really blew my mind when I read them. There are two: The Question (aka The Five Books of Blood) and Batwoman in Detective Comics. I still remember reading Greg Rucka’s run on The Question. It is permanently burned into my mind because I couldn’t believe how much I was having. After finishing the book the first time I immediately turned back to page one and read it again. This all happened in the span of two hours.
Rucka’s decision to cast Renee Montoya as The Question had been a topic of discussion among some of my nerdier friends, but I found myself convinced right away. I’ve always liked The Question because it is a character that doesn’t really have any super powers. Instead The Question functions more like a private eye and has to make decisions based on limited abilities, and because of this The Question is somewhat of an anomaly in the DC Universe. Rucka took Renee Montoya and turned her into a downright badass. The Five Books of Blood also introduced us to Rucka’s take on Batwoman, and I distinctly remember telling my local comic shop owner that nothing would make me happier than if Rucka could write an entire run on Batwoman. Sometimes dreams come true.
Batwoman in Detective Comics is on my list of greatest comics ever written. The story of Kate Kane as Batwoman is so unbelievable satisfying that – I dare say – it can’t be improved. Along with Rucka’s captivating story, the art of J.H. Williams III is some of the most breathtaking comic book art I’ve ever seen. The other great thing about Rucka’s run on Batwoman was the supplemental The Question story included in every issue. Sometimes I wonder if Greg Rucka can read minds, because he consistently delivers the goods on characters that I love.
I know this little op-ed has been a little gushy, but sometimes a nerd needs to vent! Over the years my admiration for Greg Rucka has grown and grown. He is one writer I will always follow, no matter what he’s writing. I can’t wait to meet him at Book People tonight, and I hope he doesn’t get too annoyed when I aske him to sign a bunch of stuff.
MysteryPeople welcomes Greg Rucka to BookPeople to speak about & sign his new thriller, Alpha, tonight (Thursday 5/31) at 7:30pm.