Minorities in comics and animation: Renee Montoya

On the heels of last week’s post about Batwoman, here’s a post about Renee Montoya. Renee originated in the 1990s’ “Batman: The Animated Series,” but has since migrated to the comics.

Background

On the animated series, Renee was a Gotham City police officer, and worked alongside Harvey Bullock. Unlike Harvey, Renee welcomed Batman’s presence in Gotham, and lacked Harvey’s surliness/sleaziness.

One of my favorite episodes, “A Bullet For Bullock,” featured an exchange where Renee asked Harvey what he’s doing for New Year’s. Harvey responds, “same thing I did for Christmas—my laundry.”

While a minor character on TV, Renee’s received a bigger role in the comics in recent years. First appearing in “Batman” #475 in 1992, Renee became a featured character in “Gotham Central,” a series about Gotham City’s police department. In that series, Renee was outed to everyone as a lesbian by Two-Face as part of an evil plot to destroy her life. This results in Renee’s conservative, religious family disowning her.

During the 2000s, we learn that Renee’s parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Renee was also shown as having dated Kate Kane (Batwoman) for a time.

Eventually, Renee left the Gotham police force, fed up with its corruption. However, this wasn’t the end of crimefighting for Renee—she eventually became the new Question. The Question was originally a character from Charlton Comics, moved to DC when DC bought Charlton’s characters in the 80s.

Since the New 52 reboot in 2011, Renee’s been reduced to a few cameos or references at best.

Other media

Renee’s become a recurring character on the live-action Fox TV series “Gotham,” about the pre-Batman years of the city. Actress Victoria Cartagena plays Renee. It’s shown her character once was the lover of Jim Gordon’s girlfriend, Barbara Kean.

(Updated 11/14/16)

Anthony
I'm Anthony, the owner of Diverse Tech Geek.