Comics

Broke-Batwoman Beats Crime, Ex-Girlfriend

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The folks over at To The People call attention to the latest news from Gotham City: Batwoman, nee Batgirl (Yvonne Craig invented Spandex before it ever existed), is out of the closet, kicking ass, and taking names:

DC Comics is unveiling a new, lesbian Batgirl. One who "introduces herself to comic book readers by striking her ex-girlfriend right across the jaw," according to Out.com.

Ka-Pow! Whole thing, with links a-plenty, here.

More power to DC, Batwoman, and alternative lifestyles among costumed do-gooders. But what took DC so long? Ever the Avis to Marvel's Hertz, Stan Lee's minions already outed the Rawhide Kid years ago.

And of course Dr. Fredric Wertham outed Bruce Wayne years and years ago (give Wertham this much credit: his 1973 book The World of Fanzines was the first treatise on the subject). As interesting, his opposite number, Willam Marston, also an insane doctor (albeit a Ph.D.), created the oh-so-sapphic Wonder Woman partly in response to Wertham's denunciations of comics as gender-bending crapola. Read all about it here.

How will California textbooks deal with it all?

Bonus question: What sort of revelation would Aquaman need to cough up in order to make him interesting to ground-dwellers?

Update: Apologies to Batfans everywhere for confusing Batgirl with Batwoman, which is like confusing Alfred the Butler with Edwin Jarvis, fer chrissakes. Sentence me to a lifetime subscription to The Forever People.

NEXT: No, My City is the Biggest Deathtrap!

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  1. Nice. A stereotypical lesbian, committing partner abuse right on page one. What kind of example does this set For Our Children?

  2. oooh. sweaty pillowfight with indignant codpieces!

    shudder.

    Paging Stevo!

    cut to stevo’s office where he’s rolled up in a ball, rocking back and forth, and making pigeon noises to himself

    (to quote Mr. Darkly)

    /trods off.

  3. DC Comics is unveiling a new, lesbian Batgirl.

    Excellent! When’s the movie coming out and who is going to play the part? 🙂

  4. they proabably won’t even make her out to be a real lesbiuan…which is in this day an age…i sleep with boys and girls…or more presise i get drunk at bars make out with girls but go home with boys…or at least a boy and a girl.

  5. “Batwoman, nee Batgirl … “

    Okay, even though I haven’t read a comic book in almost three decades, even I was once dweeb enough to know that Batgirl was a totally separate character from Batwoman.

    Batgirl and Batwoman (niece and aunt, respectively) were DC Comics’ sop to Dr. Wertham and all those of us who think that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson not only hid in caves, but closets. In the TV show, she became Gordon’s daughter, and in the 90s movie, Alfred’s niece.

    This change of lineage for Batgirl in the comics, TV, and movies led to the groundbreaking children’s book, Batgirl has Two Mommies, An Aunt, An Uncle, and a Daddy.

    As for Dr. Wertham, I learned to grow and stop seeing him from the puerile eyes of the Fat Comic Book Guy of the Simpsons, to those of Ralph Ellison, who praised Dr. Wertham for helping many impoverished folk in Harlem get mental health care they had previously gone without. (Ellison devoted a whole chapter to Wertham in his second book, Shadow and Act)

    On a final note, I’m assuming that the new Batwoman’s nemesis will be The Dutch Boy, an evil villian who insists on sticking his finger in dikes …

  6. “But what took DC so long?”

    DC has had gay characters for many years. See, e.g., Capt. Maggie Sawyer, head of Metropolis’ Special Crimes Unit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Sawyer (She’s been “out” since the early 1990s, IIRC)

    See also Tasmanian Devil (Justice League member, not Warner Bros. cartoon character) who has also been “out” since the early 1990s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Devil_%28comics%29 (click on the link to “gayleague” for info on when he came out).

  7. In DC, Green Lantern had a gay friend, as well, who got gay-bashed. The resulting storyline (the chasing down of the suspects, etc.) was so tramatic that it led to GL giving up on Earth and heading to space for awhile.
    But I think the issue was whether or not the main character is gay, not the everlasting “best friend who’s gay” situation many gay characters get relegated to. Not to diminish the mighty Tasmanian Devil’s impact, but he and Maggie Sawyer are rather small beer.
    But note must really be given to Marvel here, much as I am a DC fan first and foremost. In Marvel’s re-boot continuity (the Ultimates) Colossus is gay, and in the regular universe, two of the new Young Avengers are a) gay and b) dating. Teenagers, no doubt, which will I am sure lead to a boycott by the AFA any day now to stop Marvel’s advocacy of such a destructive lifestyle. [eyeroll]

  8. Isn’t Renee Montoya (another Gotham PD functionary and central narrative character of the new 52 serial) also a lesbian?

  9. “In DC, Green Lantern had a gay friend, as well, who got gay-bashed.”

    Sure, that was Terry, IIRC. I was just reciting some examples of “heroic” characters.

  10. “In DC, Green Lantern had a gay friend, as well, who got gay-bashed.”

    Sure, that was Terry, IIRC. I was just reciting some examples of “heroic” characters.

  11. Paging Stevo!

    Lesbian catfights in which at least one woman is wearing tight black leather? Yes SIR!

    Now, if we can only get Wonder Woman to come by to break the fight up, preferably by making use of her magic lasso …

    On a final note, I’m assuming that the new Batwoman’s nemesis will be The Dutch Boy, an evil villian who insists on sticking his finger in dikes …

    LOL! (Leather on Lesbians)

  12. “Isn’t Renee Montoya (another Gotham PD functionary and central narrative character of the new 52 serial) also a lesbian?”

    Yes, but I’m not sure when Montoya came out of the closet.

  13. SR – I don’t follow DC much (and Marvel less) but my fan boy friends seem to believe that she was never *in* the closet. *shrug*

  14. VM,

    Besides economics, I think you might have a calling as a screenwriter. Good stuff!

    Stevo,

    If you get offered a part in a VM flick, take it for sure. I’m thinking that he’ll get you into a part that nicely exploits your umm …unique persona.

  15. More power to DC, Batwoman, and alternative lifestyles among costumed do-gooders.

    But aren’t some folks gonna come unglued about this. Won’t someone of some gravitas say that the major dude in the sky is gonna visit some freaking calamity on us cuz of this lesbian comic hero? Won’t they say that this will result in lotsa girls insisting on going out for football and stuff?

  16. I have a confession. Portrayals of lesbian sex don’t do much for me. I mean it doesn’t gross me, and sometimes I even find it kinda appealing. But only kinda. Is it that it’s just not natural? Or is it? That’s another interesting question. I’m thinking that there are lotsa other guys who really dig gals but aren’t into watching em do each other. It’s happened a few times when I’ve gotten hooked up with two gals simultaneously that they asked if I wanted to watch em do each other first. I always declined, on occasion feigning that I was just too excited to wait but the truth is that the prospect of watching em first just didn’t appeal to me.

  17. Just thinking…I’m sure my tastes in this matter aren’t in the minority cuz if they were, lesbian based porno would dominate the sector, and I’m guessing that it doesn’t. Perhaps in common parlance, you hear lots from lesbian sex fans cuz they’re a very vocal minority. (“dominate” hah!)

  18. Rick – we can work that into the subplot, but at any rate, the third option (“not really”) is always a good one.

    🙂

  19. Aw c’mon, everybody knows Aquaman is “that way”. It’s been an open secret for years, people. No use keeping it under wraps any longer.

  20. Aw c’mon, everybody knows Aquaman is “that way”.

    Aquaman says, “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful in speedos …”

  21. Aw c’mon, everybody knows Aquaman is “that way”. It’s been an open secret for years, people. No use keeping it under wraps any longer.

    Selma: Are you gay?
    Troy McClure: Gay? I wish! If I were gay they’d be no problem! No, what I have is a romantic abnormality, one so unbelievable that it must be hidden from the public at all cost.

  22. “Yes, but I’m not sure when Montoya came out of the closet.”

    She didn’t really come out. She was outed in “Gotham Central” 6-10, the “Half a Life” storyline. Good stuff- beautifully illustration by Michael Lark and sharp writing by my friend and sometime collaborator, Greg Rucka.

    Rick Barton: people DO become unglued by these things, but that usually means posting a string of huffy messages somewhere on some message board, complaining that all this talk of homosexuality is keeping them from enjoying their stories about muscular men in flamboyant clothes, flexing and posing and smacking each other around.

  23. Don’t forget Northstar of Alpha Flight! To my knowledge he was the first.

  24. Isn’t Renee Montoya (another Gotham PD functionary and central narrative character of the new 52 serial) also a lesbian?

    This new Batwoman is actually supposed to be her ex-girlfriend.

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