So DC Comics, originator of such comic book heroes as Superman & Batman, is now unveiling a new lesbian superhero: Batwoman, who is actually a recast of a minor DC Comics character who I gather was killed off in the late ’70s.
Per the New York Times:
Another effort to link old and new characters [several already having been mentioned in the article] centers on Kathy Kane, the gay Batwoman who will appear in costume for the first time in a July issue of “52.” Batwoman was introduced in 1956, but she was one of several, often silly additions to the Bat family, including Ace the Bat-Hound (1955), Bat-Mite (1959) and Bat-Girl (1961). In her latest incarnation, Batwoman is a wealthy, buxom lipstick lesbian who has a history with Renee Montoya, an ex-police detective who has a starring role in “52.”
Well, that’s good. And bad. It’s nice to have a lesbian enter the realm of superheroism — much more one who actually has a relationship of some form with another lesbian, instead of being the only lesbian in her world — but a wealthy socialite lesbian? Okay, I guess some do exist, but geez, how many more of us are just regular everyday people who have to work their hineys off to pay their bills, without the help of an accountant.
And whaddaya bet that Kathy Kane & Renee Montoya are the only two lesbians you ever even see in Gotham City? You know how it goes in mass media: it’s either only one lesbian all alone (more likely a gay man), or it’s just one couple. When we have a pretty wide & various community ourselves, y’know?
The NYT goes on:
Even so, it’s something of a surprise that there are any gay characters hanging out in Gotham City. Last year DC issued a cease-and-desist letter to a New York art gallery for displaying watercolors by Mark Chamberlain that depicted Batman and Robin in intimate positions. “That’s not what this is about,” Mr. DiDio said. “We’re basically showing a different cross section of the world.”
Oh now, that’s a shame. No slash? What are you gonna do about all those horny lesbians just hankering to see Laura Croft get it on with…? oh well, whoever, just so long as Laura looks just like Angelina Jolie, & the other character looks just like whoever the horny lesbian reader happens to be.
And why no Batman & Robin? Why, it just positively makes you hunger for the Rage comic books as written by Michael Novotny & drawn by Justin Taylor in “Queer as Folk.” Queer superheroes, living & protecting in queer communities, complete with sex. Do us dykes deserve any less?
Which is just another way of saying: I really really doubt that Marvel & DC Comics can give us the kinds of lesbians that really reflect anything real about our lives.
Not that we should expect them to, I guess. Mass media never does, no matter whether you’re talking about lesbians & gays, or anyone else. It’s still good that they’re doing a lesbian Batwoman. But if I were looking for dyke heroes, that’s not where I’d look. I’d look in our own writings, & our own lives.