Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Batwoman is a Lesbian

Okay. There's been a shake-up in the wonderful world of Batman. Dick Grayson, the first boy partner known as Robin (who became known as Nightwing when he grew up) has taken over the role and costume of Batman, while Bruce Wayne, the original Batman, is either dead or missing. The new Robin is a snot-nosed ten-year-old with attitude. [Of course Batman could have been charged with endangering a minor were it not for dramatic license.]

But for our purposes, the more interesting news from the comic front is that the new Batwoman is an Out and Proud Lesbian.

This new take on Batwoman [there was another character by that name way back in the sixties] was introduced some time ago in a DC Comics maxi-series called 52. She was revealed as a lesbian when she was caught checking out a woman. [I thought it was kind of a tacky debut myself.] Now she's been given her own series in the front of Detective Comics, beginning with issue # 854. [This is the same Detective Comics in which Batman debuted way back in the 1930's. No wonder he retired. He's really old! By the way DC Comics takes its name from Detective Comics, not from AC-DC.]

In her real identity, Batwoman, Kate, is wealthy (like Bruce Wayne) and has a girlfriend, a lawyer named Anna, who is very jealous. She doesn't know her gal pal is Batwoman, so she thinks all those late nights out are spent in the beds of other women. She wants a serious relationship and thought that Kate wanted the same. "The thing that kills me is that I like you, Kate, I really do. You're smart, you're sexy, you've got a sense of humor, and you don't think fabrics begin and end with flannel." [Oops! Stereotyping alert anyone?]

The Batwoman series has interesting art by J. H. Williams III. The strip is written by Greg Rucka, about whom I know nothing. He's been quoted as saying that Batwoman is "Out and Proud" and will stay that way. I hope he resists making her bi and getting her involved in a straight relationship. There are so few gay characters in comics as it is. The lesbian community is as diverse as the gay male community, but will Rucka make her a realistic gay person? But how can anyone who dresses up in a bat outfit and fights crime be realistic? In other words, he'll have to be granted some leeway, but still ... At least she's not a super-butch caricature.

One of the most interesting lesbian characters in comic books was a female cop who appeared in Superman stories around ten or so years ago. The Man of Steel was definitely sympathetic and pro-gay in those tales. She was in a committed relationship and had a daughter from an earlier life. Don't know if she's still around.

Is Batwoman perhaps a leather lesbian? Maybe in one issue she can join the Lesbian Sex Mafia [this is a real group of lesbians into the leather/kink/s&m/fetish scene]. But that's too obvious a way to go.

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