PICKS OF THE WEEK! Thursday, June 10th
This weeks pick...
As stated in the introduction by Marc Andreyko, the fact that we can be holding a Pride issue in our hands in 2021 is a wonderfully glorious thing. As LGBTQIA characters have become gradually more mainstream, especially in comics, and more than just stereotypical villains or throwaway gimmick characters, they have finally begun to become actual flesh and blood characters in their own right. Celebration of those characters, and the community they represent, isn’t just a once a year thing, but should be all the time. That said, it’s amazing that DC comics published this issue, and with so many great creators involved.
Contained within is 9 different stories, featuring different LGBTQIA characters in the DC Universe. I’m going to focus on two of those stories, both of which reduced me to a blubbering mess. And for completely different reasons.
First, the opening story focuses on Batwoman, written by James Tynion IV, is a hugely identifiable story. Batwoman (Kate) shares the story of growing up with her sister Beth, who enjoyed playing an elaborate game of dress up. Kate recalls always feeling insecure, comparing herself to her more perfect, feminine sister. Always feeling like the other, broken side of the looking glass. That feeling continued, as Kate grew up, as she never quite felt like she fit into society’s expectations of what she was supposed to be, and the anger she carried with her as a result. As she came to terms with who she was, not who others thought she should be, she learned to be proud of herself and what she stood for.
The other story that very much touched my soul, even as I still fragilely stumbled along after the emotions poured out of me reading the Batwoman story, was the Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy tale written by Mariko Tamaki. As the two fight a random plant monster, Harley is being Harley about things and seemingly belittling the potential relationship she has with Ivy. Upset that Harley can’t call it what it is, she asks for Harley not to play with her or her heart. In a beautiful moment, drawn superbly by Amy Reeder, Harley proclaims that Ivy’s heart is the most important thing to her, and the two share a kiss, before then dispatching the monster and leaving to talk about defining their relationship!
An absolute beautiful collection of stories about love, in all forms, regardless of status, gender, personal identity or anything else. Perhaps the most important lesson imparted in a few tales, including the Batwoman story, was the importance to be yourself and to love yourself first. Life is too short, too hard and all the rest to worry about what other people think (or what other people are doing, not to put too fine a point on it). That a major comics company put their seal of approval on this collection of stories is heartwarming and a great thing to be celebrated. Happy Pride!