- Some questions can only be answered with a mask.
- -- Renee Montoya src
- -- Renee Montoya src
Renee Montoya was a police officer in Gotham City. She was partnered with Harvey Bullock when she was promoted to homicide detective by Commissioner James Gordon. As partners, Bullock and Renee became close friends. After Bullock was promoted to Lieutenant, Crispus Allen became Renee's new partner. After Crispus died, Renee left the force and eventually became the new Question.
When Gotham was destroyed by an earthquake, Renee formed a friendship with the criminal Two-Face. She was able to reach the kinder Harvey Dent persona, and he fell in love with her. However, Two-Face was still mentally unstable. Believing that the only way to have her was by taking everything else away from her, his more sinister side later outed her as a lesbian to the public and had her framed for murder.
He then had the bus carrying her to prison attacked and kidnapped her, making it look like she had escaped. When Renee discovered that it was Two-Face who was behind everything, and that he did it because he was in love with her, she was incredulous. Two-Face then became more unstable and the two fought for control of his gun. Batman arrived in time to prevent the two from killing each other. Two-Face was put back in Arkham Asylum and Renee was cleared of all the charges. Her life was still in chaos, however, especially her family; while her younger brother knew about her sexuality, her very religious parents didn't, and disowned her upon discovering the truth.
Montoya and Allen were ambushed by the second Black Spider. To save both himself and Montoya, Allen shot the villain. A corrupt crime scene investigator named Jim Corrigan stole and sold the bullet that killed Black Spider on the internet. To prove that Allen killed in self-defense, the GCPD needed to recover the bullet. In her pursuit of the bullet, Montoya clashed with Corrigan, eventually beating the name of the buyer out of him. Allen was cleared, but Montoya's obsession with exposing Corrigan escalated from there.
Allen noticed his partner's obsession and gradual change in overall attitude and behavior and tried to persuade her to let the Corrigan issue drop. Montoya refused, so Allen began his own independent investigation on Corrigan, thinking that if he could get Corrigan exposed and brought to justice, it would help halt Montoya's downward spiral. He started to build a case against Corrigan, where he later found one of his informants on Corrigan murdered. He was then shot fatally in the back by Corrigan.
In the GCPD's investigation, they failed to build an airtight case against Corrigan; who had a fake alibi provided by his girlfriend and paid off the officer who had loaned him the gun he used to kill Allen from the gun locker. Corrigan walked, and Montoya took it upon herself to bring him to justice. Tracking him down at his girlfriend's apartment, Montoya beat his girlfriend unconscious and drew a gun on Corrigan. He begged for his life, and Montoya ultimately couldn't pull the trigger. She walked out of the building and quit the GCPD the next day, disgusted and broken.
She began drinking to excess, apparently having developed alchoholism. Her girlfriend Daria had walked out on her three months ago, unable to watch Renee "destroy herself." As Renee was drinking at home, The Question aimed the Bat-Signal (which he changed into a question mark signal) directly upon Renee's apartment. She closed her blinds and ignored it, thinking it was a mistake on the operator's part.
After Renee fell asleep after a one night stand, the Question appeared in her bedroom, leaving behind an address of an abandoned building. Meeting her there, the Question hired her for two hundred dollars a day, plus expenses, to look into the building. Renee kept watch for two weeks before seeing a large, strange, humanoid creature enter the building. Renee followed the creature and, after the Question joined her, they found it moving crates in the building's basement level. In the ensuing confrontation, Renee broke her arm and some ribs, but also found a futuristic gun which dissolved the creature but resolved none of their questions.
As Renee recovered from her injuries, Captain Maggie Sawyer arrived at her apartment with unanswered questions from what Renee told the police. There was no evidence at the scene to substantiate Renee's claims, however while Sawyer believed Renee, she was upset that Renee wouldn't reveal her client. Alone in her apartment, Renee removed the mysterious weapon from its hiding place. After the Question's money had run out, Renee noticed an overlooked connection between the abandoned warehouse and Kate Kane, a millionaire socialite and Renee's ex-girlfriend. She arrived at the Kane estate to see Kate in person. Although Kate was somewhat emotional during their conversation, when Renee asked her to look into whether her family still owned the building, Kate agreed.
Later, Renee was watching a baseball game in a lesbian bar when a man named Charlie walked in to join her. He revealed himself to be the Question without his disguise on, and in a show of trust, demonstrates how he changed into his faceless alter ego. As their conversation shifted to their investigation, Charlie said that Gotham was being targeted for an invasion by Intergang. Together they met Kate Kane at Gotham Park, where Kate confirmed that the 520 warehouse was being leased by Ridge-Ferrick Holding up until six weeks ago. When Kate asked what this was about, Renee refused to tell her and that she didn't owe Kate anything before leaving somewhat abruptly with Charlie. Later, it was revealed that Renee was trying to protect Kate by keeping her away. Charlie also said that he understood Renee's situation and that she did the right thing by not killing Jim Corrigan.
As the Question and Renee went investigating Ridge-Ferrick's Gotham building, they were attacked by Kyle Abbot and two other shapeshifters under the command of Whisper A'Daire, who ordered them killed. The Question and Renee attempted to defend themselves, with Renée trying to ready her strange gun, when the new Batwoman appeared and defeated two of the beasts. As Renee was about to fire at the third, Batwoman stopped her and kicked the creature out a window just before Batwoman said police were coming, asked not to be mentioned and left.
Following their Intergang links, Question and Renee went to Kahndaq. Kyle Abbot was there as well and murdered the employees of a shipping company that the two were going to investigate. As they left the murder scene, Question and Renee were arrested by the local authorities. They escaped, however, after being imprisoned only a few days. She was able to prevent a suicide bombing at the wedding of Black Adam and Isis, an action that earned her the Order of the Crescent, however she was haunted by the fact that she had to kill a young girl to do so.
Parting ways with Black Adam and his family, Renee and the Question traveled to Nanda Parbat so Renee could train with Richard Dragon. The Question revealed that he was dying of lung cancer, and is grooming Montoya as his replacement. After returning to Gotham to save Kate Kane, the Question is forced to enter hospice care at Kate's, but is moved to a hospital after not breathing for three minutes. He continues his descent in near-death madness, reliving moments from his early moments as the Question and singing "Danny Boy" as the new year approaches. Renee opts not to perform assisted suicide, as death is the one question he has left. Finally, Renee decides to take him back to Nanda Parbat, in the hopes of saving his life. However, Charlie does not survive the journey, and dies after asking Renee who she "will become".
The Question began to study the Crime Bible, in an effort to stop the Religion of Crime. An apostle of the cult Order of Stone, believing The Question to be The Faceless One from the Crime Bible used her quest against them to teach her the four lessons of crime: deceit, greed, lust, and murder. Kate, seeing that Renee was being changed by her mission, tried to convince her to stop. Renee told Kate that she was doing this to save her life, since the Crime Bible demands the death of Batwoman.
The apostle murdered another follower of the religion after Renee defeated him in combat and told her that her besting the man is the reason he had to die, therefore she's committed murder, the last lesson. He then challenged her to a battle to the death, saying he would kill everyone she loved if she refused. When they meet to fight, he told her it is her destiny to lead his people, but that she must kill him first. Renee beat him, but refused to kill him. She attempted to free a hostage the apostle's people held, but the apostle charged at the hostage, trying to kill her. Renee knocked the apostle away from the hostage, and he was impaled as he fell, killing him. Renee looked on as the Order of Stone bowed to The Faceless One.
During the Crisis, Renee had escaped from the Order of Stone and was now following their apostle, Wrack, in order to prevent her from finding the Spear of Destiny and raising Cain. The Spectre intervened, claiming Renee's soul for the crimes she's committed, and transported her to Gotham to allow her to say farewell to Batwoman before killing her. Renee was granted mercy from Radiant, God's agent of Mercy. However, Wrack was able to use the spear to turn Vandal Savage into Cain.
At the same time, Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation spread throughout Gotham, and Radiant and Spectre were helpless to prevent its destruction. Before Renee was fully exposed to the equation, they whisked her away to a chapel, outside which Vandal Savage (seeking retribution on the Spectre), used the Spear to separate the Spectre from his host, Crispus Allen, and used the Spectre to spread the Anti-Life Equation to all beings on Earth. Renee and Huntress made a last stand, as Renee realized that because she, the Faceless, did not give Vandal Savage the Spear, she had a chance to reclaim it and purify it, so it could heal the Spectre. Allowing herself to be run through by the spear, Renee then used it for a selfless act, healing Crispus' spirit and restoring his son to life, instead of healing herself. With the Spectre restored, Vandal Savage was no longer a threat and the Radiant healed Renee. 
Darkseid, however, was still at large, and Renee traveled to Metropolis to continue the fight. While there, Checkmate caught up with her and asked for her help in their plan to breach the Multiverse and evacuate people to a new world, with her as the lead of the Global Peace Agency there. Darkseid's death made this impossible, and instead Renee assisted in the gathering of Supermen from all the worlds, which returned the Earth, and Renee, to their rightful place in the Multiverse. Renee announced her intent to retire from costumed heroics during the Final Crisis events, feeling such actions are affecting her sanity. 
Ask The Question
Following Final Crisis, Renee had been living with Tot in the lighthouse left to them by Charlie. She continued to investigate questions no one else will answer as a private detective. Accepting cases from her website http://ask-the-question.net/, Renee followed a human trafficking case to California.
At the behest of the new Batman, Renee came back to Gotham to help solve the mystery of the Eighth Sin. She deduced quickly that the current Batman was once Nightwing, and called him 'wimpy Batman', jokingly. While there, she ran into her former partner, Harvey Bullock, who was protecting a boy wanted by the cult La Saligia, and recognized Renee even with the mask.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Renee is a master combatant, she received training from the GCPD and later by the Question and Richard Dragon. She can control her nervous system, enabling her to deaden her body to physical pain, control her emotions, and even her bleeding rate.
- Investigation: Renee is an incredible detective, she's deduced Batman's identity and solved crimes for years both with and without her mask. She may not immediately pick up on details as other detectives can, to her merit her investigative skills are attuned to bigger pictures which cost her more time.
- Renee Montoya was born on September 7th, 1970.
- Gotham Central
- Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat
- Detective Comics
- 296 Appearances of Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- 40 Images featuring Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- 10 Quotations by or about Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Renee Montoya (New Earth)
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This character is or was an officer of, or held a title in the Gotham City Police Department, in any of its various incarnations. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "GCPD members" and "Police Officers" categories.