Batwoman is Back — And She’s a Lesbian
DC Comics is reviving the Batwoman character. As a lesbian.
Years after she first emerged from the Batcave, Batwoman is coming out of the closet. DC Comics is resurrecting the classic comic book character as a lesbian, unveiling the new Batwoman in July as part of an ongoing weekly series that began this year. The 5-foot-10 superhero comes with flowing red hair, knee-high red boots with spiked heels, and a form-fitting black outfit.
“We decided to give her a different point of view,” explained Dan DiDio, vice president and executive editor at DC. “We wanted to make her a more unique personality than others in the Bat-family. That’s one of the reasons we went in this direction.”
The original Batwoman was started in 1956, and killed off in 1979. The new character will share the same name as her original alter ego, Kathy Kane. And the new Batwoman arrives with ties to others in the Gotham City world. “She’s a socialite from Gotham high society,” DiDio said. “She has some past connection with Bruce Wayne. And she’s also had a past love affair with one of our lead characters, Renee Montoya.”
Montoya, in the “52” comic book series, is a former police detective. Wayne, of course, is Batman’s true identity — but he has disappeared, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, leaving Gotham a more dangerous place. The “52” series is a collaboration of four acclaimed writers, with one episode per week for one year. The comics will introduce other diverse characters as the story plays out. “This is not just about having a gay character,” DiDio said. “We’re trying for overall diversity in the DC universe. We have strong African-American, Hispanic and Asian characters. We’re trying to get a better cross-section of our readership and the world.”
I haven’t been a regular comic book reader in a decade and stopped collecting seriously almost twenty years ago. Still, I find this kind of thing annoying.
I enjoyed the post-Crisis revamping of the D.C. universe in the late 1980s, where Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, and other characters who had been around since the late 1930s/early 1940s were updated. In that case, though, they all remained true to their original conception.
Conversely, I hate radical redesigns of established characters. For example, I almost invariably dislike movie adaptations of television series because they tend to tarnish the originals. While it was a good action flick, “Mission Impossible’s” turning Jim Phelps into a villain for shock effect was an insult to fans of the series. They even do it with comedies. The “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Dukes of Hazzard” movies turned the Clampetts and Dukes into caricatures.
If DC thinks they need more gay superheroes, then invent some. Don’t take a 60-year-old character and reinvent her as something she wasn’t.