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Stumptown

Stumptown

Publisher: Oni PressIMG_0882

Writers: Greg Rucka

Artist: Matthew Southworth

In the span of 24 hours, Dex pisses off two rednecks, makes a reluctant deal with a local crime boss, gets shot point blank… several times, and ends up arrested. That’s quite an accomplishment for a moonlighting private investigator with a gambling problem. Dex is in the hole for about eighteen-grand, so when her credit is no longer good, casino management pulls her card. To pay off her debt, Dex agrees to honor a request by a casino manager, and sets course to find a missing person. The tale is gritty, dark, moody, and enjoyable. What appears to be a straight-forward missing person case morphs into gang wars, illegal drugs, and murder. Within the first few pages of Stumptown, Dex is shot and left for dead in a river. Quite the opener. From White Out to Lazarus, Greg Rucka consistently narrates a spectacular female tale. He creates strong female protagonists who do not lean on conventional stereotypes, and Dex is no exception.

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Cool Factor: Dex has a nonchalant attitude about everything, which may give the impression she is not interested or paying attention to people talking at her. Truth is, she is way more astute than the bad guys realize, and–nine times out of ten–she is 3 steps ahead of her enemies.

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Format: Floppies, Trade paperback

Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of Batman

IMG_1526Gotham by Gaslight: A Tale of Batman

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Brian Augustyn

Artist: Michael Mignola

What would happen if the great detective went up against one of London’s most famous serial killers? In 1989 DC Comics tried something a little different with one of their main characters; they allowed Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola to pen a one-shot Batman tale outside of Batman’s continuum. Gotham By Gaslight is set in Gotham during the 1800s, where a woman has been murdered a`la Jack the Ripper style. Thus begins a dark and suspenseful tale of Batman versus Jack the Ripper. Who is the killer? How did he come to be in Gotham? Is Jack the Ripper really Bruce Wayne? The story has a great period drama feel to it, with all the assumed pomp and circumstance. In Gaslight, as in the original series, Bruce’s parents are killed by a robber, which–in turn–sets Bruce on a quest for vengeance. Yet, in this story, he spends some time in London, learning detectives skills from Scotland Yard. Bruce happens to be in living during the time of the Ripper murders.

IMG_1520This version of Batman looks every bit the part of a highwayman and, of course, this is to strike fear in his enemies. Though Batman’s important utility belt is still present, it is full of anti-crime deterrents such as: rope, knives, and smoke pellets. The story was so successful that DC Direct created a Gotham by Gaslight Batman action figure in 2007. The detail was exceptional, and closely resembled the character concept of the graphic novel.

Currently there is a live-action version of Gaslight in the works by James Campbell, it is called Ripper. You can watch the teaser trailer here. Also feel free to visit the Facebook page for Ripper, as it has come very cool concept art to boot.

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Cool Factor: Gotham by Gaslight is the very first Elseworld title from DC and is one of the few with a standalone sequel.

Format: Trade paperback

The Stuff of Legend

Set in the 1940s, The Stuff of Legend is tale of friendship and bravery. The Boogieman really does exist, and he uses closets and shadows underneath beds to capture his victims; victims who are never heard from again.

Let’s Begin…

I read comics ‘cause I like them. I’m not here to speculate. I don’t fancy myself a talented writer, so I’m not looking to write or draw my own comic; I’ll leave that to the experts. Comic writers and artists can have my money. I just really enjoy the energy of this hobby, and reading comics brings me happiness.

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