batladyNo doubt, the big deal next week in comicdom is the arrival of  Detective Comics 854 on store shelves.  Detective Comics is a respected, noble title in the world of funny books second (arguably) only to the grand daddy of all superhero floppies Action Comics.  It is then of some substantial note that Batman publisher DC has chosen Detective Comics as the vehicle for Batwoman.

Why is that notable, you ask?

Batwoman is a lesbian.

You’ll recall that this incarnation of  Batwoman’s first appearance was in the pages of DC’s masterful weekly 52.  The character garnered a lot of buzz.  Expect even more next week.

DC is putting itself smack dab in the middle of social politics by placing Batwoman in the spotlight (which looks remarkably like the Batsignal).  This is huge both in terms of pop-culture and in consideration of the  increasingly heated political environment surrounding gay and lesbian rights these days.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing about some whack-a-doos wanting the book banned or sold under an adult ‘s only label.  Should be an entertaining week on the news channels, I think.

Gay and lesbian characters are not unknown to comics, but until now they have been relegated to b-list heroes.

Some of the gayest heroes (and villains) we know.

Placing Batwoman as the central character in Detective Comics is a ballsy move on the part of DC.  And who better to bring us the Batwoman than Greg Rucka?  Rucka has taken a direct approach in creating positive images of gay characters in comics. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has recognized Rucka with four media award nominations for his comic work.

batlady-01Rucka’s extensive comic career includes DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, Batman, Gotham Central, Action Comics and Checkmate, Marvel Comics’ Wolverine, Elektra and Black Widow and Oni Press’ Queen and Country and White Out. His comic White Out releases in September as a major motion picture starring Kate Beckinsale and Gabriel Macht.

The Eisner winning writer joins Eisner winner Zeus Comics in Dallas for a special appearance promoting Batwoman’s lead debut in Detective Comics #854. Zeus brings Rucka from Oregon for this special Dallas signing on Saturday June 27th from 10am to 6pm.

Yours truly will have the good fortune to interview Mr. Rucka for IoM.  And because we know you have questions, too, we’re going to give you the opportunity to ask them!  Write your question in the comments section and we’ll see what the Ruck-meister has to say on the matter.

Plus, three lucky questioners will win a Greg Rucka signed issue of Detective Comics #854!

One entry per person, please.

Winners will be chosen at random.

Books will only be shipped within the continental United States.

Contest ends Wednesday, June 24 at 5:00 pm Central time.