Black History Month 15: Detective Tiegel

February 15th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , ,

hitman-48-16.jpg hitman-48-17.jpg hitman-48-18.jpg hitman-48-23.jpg
art from dc comics’s hitman, #48. words by garth ennis, art by john mccrea
Shorty, I’m there for you anytime you need me
For real girl, it’s me in your world, believe me
Nothin’ make a man feel better than a woman
Queen with a crown that be down for whatever
There are few things that’s forever, my lady
We can make war or make babies

–Method Man, “All I Need” (ain’t that a classic joint right there)

I mean, you, you and these guys who drink here– you’re killers, all of you! …and yet you show more love and care and loyalty for each other than any group of people I’ve ever known. You and Natt are like brothers. You look after the big stupid one, and that thing behind the bar. And Sixpack… I watched Sean last night, sitting with you ’til dawn and tending your wound, and I saw the fear in his eyes…

And “My God,” I thought. “No father ever loved his son more.”
–Deb Tiegel

What’s a ride or die chick? Deborah Tiegel is a perfect example, I think.

Tiegel, or Deb, was a Gotham City cop. Correction: she was a Gotham City cop who was a) female and b) not corrupt. You can imagine how well she got along with the get along/go along types in the GCPD. She made some noise about doing the right thing on the wrong day at the wrong time and caught a suspension, and then firing, for her troubles. She went on to become a zookeeper for a while, until she finally left Gotham City for good.

In between all of this, she met Tommy Monaghan. Originally, they were on opposite sides of the law. Tiegel was chasing him down for his crimes until circumstances forced them to ally. That blossomed into a rocky, but loving, relationship. She slowly began to accept the fact that he killed people for money, though it was a constant source of consternation for her.

Tiegel was kind of our window into Tommy’s world in a way. She illustrated the fact that, yes, these people are murderers. They have killed kind of a lot of people. But, at the same time, they’ve got their own code. They have their own relationships. They are people, not monsters.

Some would see Tiegel as kind of naggy with that sort of thing. But, no– she’s necessary. She keeps the reader grounded, as well as providing some quality relationship drama. Tommy and crew are just barely anti-heroes.

Tiegel serves another purpose, too. She was a cop who only ever wanted to do right. She suddenly finds herself hanging out with guys who kill bad guys, have tons of guns, and live by something of a moral code. She’s in a position to do more right than she ever did with the GCPD.

In the scene above, Tommy’s been stabbed. The first three pages are most of their conversation. The fourth page comes a scene or two later, when the bad guys have found where they’re at and come ready for war. Tommy is out of commission with his wound and all, and Sean Noonan offers his friends a way out. What’s Tiegel do?

She picks up the gun like, “This ain’t no thing.”

It’s like a wise man once said… “All I need in this world of sin, is me and my girlfriend. Down to ride to the bloody end, me and my girlfriend.”

That’s ride or die.

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One comment to “Black History Month 15: Detective Tiegel”

  1. I’d like to see Tiegel working as a sheriff for Turk County just outside of Opal City…