THIS WEEK: Happy pride from both The Beat and DC Comics as DC Pride #1 lets members of the LGBT community tell own voices stories about queer heroes!
Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
DC Pride #1
Writers: James Tynion IV, Steve Orlando, Vita Ayala, Mariko Tamaki, Sam Johns, Danny Lore, Sina Grace, Nicole Maines, and Andrew Wheeler
Artists: Trung Le Nguyen, Stephen Byrne, Skylar Patridge, Amy Reeder, Klaus Janson, Lisa Sterle, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Rachael Stott, Luciano Vecchio, Travis Moore, David Talaski, Brittney Williams, Kevin Wada, Kris Anka, Nick Robles, and Sophie Campbell
Colorists: Jose Villarrubia, Marissa Louise, Dave McCaig, Enrica Eren Angiolini, Rex Locus, and Alejandro Sanchez
Letterers: Aditya Bidikar, Josh Reed, Ariana Maher, Tom Napolitano, Becca Carey, and Steve Wands
Cover: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Tamra Bonvillain
I was over the moon when this project was announced. Almost every creator involved is queer, and all the characters are as well. The icing on the cake for me was that Nicole Maines was coming on to do a story about Dreamer, the first comic appearance of that influential character. That said, I do feel like last month’s Festival of Heroes issue stuck the landing a little harder than this issue did. I still loved most of the stories in it, I just feel like it was a bit weaker overall. I do hope we see more of this type of celebratory special though, allowing underrepresented characters and creators to shine.
The Wrong Side of the Looking Glass
The lead story to the issue is incredibly strong. James Tynion is currently the best writer at DC, with a bonafide creator-owned smash hit The Nice House on the Lake and a surprisingly likable run on The Joker. So it’s not surprising that his return to Batwoman is also spectacularly written. On top of that, it’s coupled with absolutely gorgeous Trung le Nguyen artwork. Trung uses a limited color palette to fully utilize the images to convey what hiding part of yourself for so long can feel like. So when Kate finally starts to accept herself and be honest we can see more colors starting to be added, and it just works so well.
Try the Girl
The Question story from Vita Ayala and Skylar Patridge is one of the more action-packed stories of the anthology but still manages to be very romantic. Ayala has a great voice for Rene, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them tackle the character in a mini-series or even an ongoing. Patridge’s art does a great job of evoking Renee’s noir roots too, feeling decidedly like an extension of Gotham Central. And the lipstick left on the mask is worth the price of admission on its own.
Another Word For A Truck To Move Your Furniture
This story was absolutely delightful. After years and years of dicking readers around in regards to the Ivy and Harley relationship (likely at the behest of bygone editorial), it’s nice to have it so plainly stated on the page. On top of that, the story reads as Tamaki and Reeder just absolutely annihilating those past editorial decisions with Harley’s joking spirit going a bit too far.
Clothes Makeup Gift
Danny Lore and Lisa Sterle’s continuation of the romance we saw in Future State is yet another remarkably fun and sweet story in this anthology. Jess is confident and snappy, someone who is confident in who they are, and not at all ashamed of it. It was a lot of fun seeing them prep for their date with Andy. I’d say my favorite part was Jess deciding on their outfit for the date and just how natural it all felt. And the last look is super hot.
Finally, we get to the Dreamer story, the one that gets to introduce a character that is monumentally important to me into my favorite medium. And it didn’t disappoint. Despite being a brand-new comic writer Nicole Maines is a natural fit for the story. As is former Supergirl artist Rachael Stott. Even if only for a panel it was nice to see her Supergirl again. And while the story didn’t firmly establish that it was set within the main DC Universe proper, I think having a villain that wasn’t from the television show really makes it feel less like an extension and more just a fresh new place for the character.
There are several other stories in this anthology, I just don’t have the time to talk about them all, but in the end, I absolutely recommend DC Pride #1.
How does The Joker continue to be so brilliant?! If you would have told me last year that I would regularly look forward to reading a Joker solo series, I would have laughed at you.
I actually didn’t hate this issue of Rorschach? I know, I know, I’m as shocked as all of you. Still not enough to redeem the series as a whole, but better than the other eight issues have been.
Batman: Urban Legends continues to have the complete audacity to make me care about the Red Hood and Grifter. As an added bonus there’s also a good Batwing story from Camrus Johnson who plays Luke Fox on Batwoman. Big week for DC TV stars writing stories about their characters. Lastly, there’s a wonderful Tim Drake story that digs back for supporting cast members from the Willingham era of Tim’s solo series from the 1990s.
Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!
Reviews of this week’s new DC Comics releases, including Green Lantern #2, Batman #108, and much more.
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