THIS WEEK: DC Pride continues with DC Pride: Tim Drake Special #1, and we look back at the two other Pride titles we couldn’t fit last week with Multiversity: Teen Justice and Nubia: Queen of the Amazons.
Note: the reviews 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: Tim Drake Special #1
Writer: Meghan Fitzmartin
Artists: Belén Ortega and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez, Nick Filardi, and Luis Guerrero
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover: Belén Ortega and Luis Guerrero
First things first, while this is a great book, most of it is a reprint. If you’ve already been buying Batman: Urban Legends, you’ve already read the first two stories in this special. That’s not a bad thing, but I wanted to make sure expectations were tempered. While the special clocks in at about 64 pages of story content, only 14 of that is brand new.
Like I said, I don’t think this is a bad thing, in fact, quite the opposite. Batman: Urban Legends is more of a niche book that a lot of people may have missed, especially the target audience for this particular book. It’s great to get the representation out in front of a wider audience.
The first story in this anthology is the three-parter that initially established Tim’s sexuality and romance with Bernard. The second story was the follow-up where he’s working through his own feelings and his relationship with Bruce near Christmas.
The new story is actually one I’ve been waiting for quite a bit, and I really like how the title of the story was a double entendre, since it was both a story about a giant elephant and about the giant elephant in the room that is talking to an ex after such a big shift in your personal life. I think the way that Fitzmartin showed Tim’s nervousness and apprehension was fantastic. It’s always nerve-wracking to come out to someone close to you, even when you know in your heart that it’s going to go well. Steph is of course supportive and excited for Tim, and it’s a wonderfully wholesome story to round out Tim’s coming out.
Multiversity: Teen Justice #1
Writers: Ivan Cohen and Danny Lore
Artists: Marco Failla
Colors: Enrica Eren Angiolini
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Pride Variant Cover: Stephen Byrne
This book was directly aimed at me personally, and as such I really enjoyed it.
As a closeted trans kid in the 1990s, I can’t tell you how many times I drew superheroes from what would become Earth-11 all the time. For no reason in particular I wanted to see gender-swapped versions of the heroes I loved. Whatever reason could that be? So now that there’s an official world that matches my teenage daydreams? It’s like catnip for me whenever it appears.
I am also a sucker for more Teen Titans-related content, and this is much better than what we’ve gotten in the mainline version of that book The personalities of all these characters shine through, and the novelty of their world is still a lot of fun, especially when surprising characters make guest appearances. I’m excited to see how the Sister Blood story plays out through this mini-series.
Also, I appreciate that much like the Tim Drake Special this first issue included one of the previously published stories for fans who may have missed it. Great way to make sure new readers are all on the same page.
Nubia: Queen of the Amazons #1
Writers: Stephanie Williams
Artists: Alitha Martinez
Inkers: Mark Morales and John Livesay
Colors: Alex Guimáraes
Letterer: Becca Carey
Pride Variant Cover: Chris Rosa
One thing I really love about DC’s Pride initiative is that while the Pride Special is all about stories about romance and sexuality, the other books in the initiative aren’t. They’re books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, but they aren’t what a lot of people may consider LGBTQ+ stories. But here’s the thing, any story with queer characters is a queer story. We need more representation than stories that are just about our romantic interests or coming into our identities. We are people, and we live and play and work like any other person.
DC publishing stories throughout the year that have the Pride label but don’t focus on traditional Pride storylines is really refreshing and exactly the kind of representation the community has been craving. It’s really easy to pinkwash your company for a month and blast platitudes on social media about how love is love. Its another entirely to maintain that focus throughout the year.
The story itself is just a continuation of the story that played out in the previous Nubia mini-series and the Trial of the Amazons, but doing more to actually add weight to Nubia’s title and characterization. Williams has done a great job over the course of the three series to breathe life into a character that had been so often passed over and ignored, and has built a fantastic supporting cast out of both new and existing Amazons. This issue is a lot of exposition, but with a very deep driving mystery of the new villain.
- It feels like Superman: Son of Kal-El is back to picking up some steam with the storyline it’s currently in. It seems that some closure on the Bendix plot is probably coming soon, but I’m really interested how this issue’s cliffhanger ties into next issue’s introduction of Nia Nal to the universe. I will say that Jon confronting a corrupt senator felt very cathartic until it didn’t because the corruption was supernatural in origin instead of just regular human corruption.
- I’m still loving Batgirls every month. Cloonan and Conrad balance their three main characters’ personalities really well and Rodriguez is really good at depicting the different ways they fight. The issues are always bright and fun, and one of the books I look forward to most every month.
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