Renee Montoya: 1981 - 2007
Renee is the eldest child of Hernando and Louisa Montoya, immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Together, with her younger brother Benny, the Montoya family lived in a simple studio apartment in Burnley for the entirety of Renee’s childhood. Growing up, Renee spent her time trying to keep Benny out of trouble and the gangs that had taken root in their neighborhood.
Renee organized a community outreach program while in high school, gaining the attention of Senator Joseph Cray. Having survived the gangs of Gotham, Renee had become a headstrong and fearless woman who set her eyes on bigger battlefields and made use of her acquaintance with Senator Cray go get his sponsorship for her admission into the U.S. Naval Academy.
While training to become a USMC officer, Midshipman Montoya became romantically involved with another midshipman from Gotham City, Katherine Kane. As “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the policy of the time, the two kept their relationship a secret until both graduated from the academy as Marine Corps officers. Following the completion of their training, the two women parted ways due to being assigned to posts on opposite sides of the world. As a Marine officer, Renee worked as an investigator in the military police in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After just three years, Renee became tired of hiding who she was and came out as a lesbian to her commanding officer, earning her a discharge and a ticket back to Gotham City. Putting her military training to use, Renee Montoya enrolled at the police academy, where she graduated top of her class and was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit under Captain Gordon. Her first day on the job had her and her new partner, Detective Harvey Bullock, witness the beating of the Batman at the hands of the criminal who they would come to known as Bane. Montoya almost unmasked the unconscious Dark Knight until distracted by a suspiciously young paramedic (Tim Drake in disguise). That was the closest Renee likely thought she would ever get to one of Gotham’s many masked vigilantes, but little did Renee Montoya know that another masked vigilante had already taken an interest in this rookie cop.
The Question: 2007 - Present
During the Cataclysm, Renee Montoya remained among the police officers that stayed in Gotham to keep order. Like many officers in that tie, Renee’s commitment was recognized and she was promoted to detective during Gotham’s rebuilding and at Chief Gordon’s request, Rene remained with the Major Crimes Unit. In 2008, Renee encountered Kate Kane again and the two resumed their relationship, if only briefly, as Renee became upset with Kate’s self-destructive personality. The two broke up following Kate’s philandering with the Mayor and Police Commissioner’s daughters (Let me clarify: Commissioner Loeb was the commissioner at that time).
Shortly after the break up, Renee began receiving messages left for her all over: on her fridge, on fogged mirrors while she was showering, and on her office computer. Renee began to realize these messages were clues to landmarks across Gotham, eventually leading her to Cape Carmine Lighthouse, where she met Aristotle Rodor who instructed her that she was being watched by The Question, a vigilante from Hub City who had recently relocated to Gotham and need an ally on the GCPD.
Montoya was hesitant to help but continued to meet with Aristotle (or “Tot”) several times per week to exchange intelligence, perform tasks, and pursue leads. Montoya realized that she was not being groomed as an ally, but a replacement. It was then that Tot introduced Renee to Charles Victor Zsasz, better known as investigative journalist Vic Sage, who was a terminal cancer patient at Elliot Memorial Hospital. Vic confirmed Renee’s suspicions that he intended for her to become the next Question: Vic left the care of the hospital to finalize Montoya’s training in Nanda Parbat. According to Renee, Vic succumbed to his cancer in the care of the monks of Nanda Parbat. Following Vic’s cremation, Renee made her way back to Gotham, where she found Batman waiting for her in her Lighthouse lair. Batman welcomed her to the “family” by presenting her with her own Bat-Communicator.
- Master Investigator
- Mixed Martial Arts Expert
- Military Training
- Police Training
- Pseudoderm Mask
- Experimental Gas Gun
Trivia and Notes
- As The Question, Renee joined the Justice League in 2012, taking Vic Sage's number, #12-B.
- The Question's headquarters is the Cape Carmine Lighthouse in Gotham City.
- Renee and her current girlfriend, Alex Danvers, were set up by their exes Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer.
- She was one of original Holliday Girls.
- After learning that Vic Sage might have been poisoned, she recruited Batwoman to help her find the truth. It turns out Vic was indeed poisoned, but he wanted Renee to gain experience before trying to avenge his death.
- She owns lots of guns, including an energy weapon called quantum destabilizer. She might not own them legally.
- Her identity is known to Natalia Mitternacht.
- Renee's address is a nod to her first comic book appearance: Batman #474.