Renee Montoya (Not) in the New 52

“The few conversations I’ve had with DC folk over the past year made it very clear they had no interest in seeing Renee continue, either as the Question or not.”

Greg Rucka

Renee Montoya was created for Batman: The Animated Series to be a uniformed officer who works with Detective Harvey Bullock. Her role expanded a bit in the series and then she, along with Harley Quinn, made the move into the comics. Alan Grant wrote her first comics appearance in Batman 475, but it’s Greg Rucka who did the best and most character-defining work on her. As far as I know it was Rucka who decided to make her gay. He wrote her in the “No Man’s Land” crossover, then used her frequently in Detective Comics, she became one of the main characters of Gotham Central and later 52, where she took over the identity of The Question.

In an early issue of Batwoman in DC’s “New 52” universe, Montoya appeared on a wall of a GCPD. Speculation was the wall was meant to be a memorial wall for fallen police officers. Superhero universes being what they are, her death could of course have been faked, but Rucka’s statements make it seem that no one has any plans for her in the near-term.

I wonder if DC has plans for The Question in general. Montoya could potentially return to being a cop, possibly never having been The Question in the new universe, but that would probably be seen as a step back for the character. There’s even a similar character playing that role in Gail Simone’s Batgirl. The Question’s purpose is to be an odd conspiracy theory guy. Think Fox Mulder as a superhero. Is that character relevant right now, in 2012? I’m not so sure. Probably less so even in the New 52, which has less room for legacy characters.

Still, Montoya is/was a great character, and I have a nice set of hardcovers that Single Bound Studios made me containing her entire Rucka-written career sitting on my shelves, waiting for a re-read.