For our second entry we have a modern woman, a member of the Batfamily, and (arguably) DC Comics’ most-prominent LGBT+ character: out lesbian Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. A former student at the US Military Academy, she was discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Her father, also military, supported her decision to tell the truth, and uses his military connections to equip her superheroics.
She’s bold. She’s smart. She’s fierce. She takes no shit from anyone — including Batman. Although she has his name and his “family,” and works with the family on occasion, she really doesn’t answer to him. Her stories have dreamlike supernatural elements layered over hardboiled crime, and the art is truly exceptional.
Kate had several romantic relationships throughout her career, but my fave girlfriend is police officer Maggie Sawyer. That’s where it starts to get frustrating, though. They were engaged, but DC Comics wouldn’t let them get married. The creative team quit over it, and it still makes me mad, and now the series is getting cancelled… But her early stuff is awesome, and nobody can take that away!
- To start at the beginning — 52 Vol. 1-4 by Geoff Johns et al. (pub. 2007, ISBN 978-1401213534; 978-1401213640; 978-1401214432; 978-1401214869)
- The essential reading — Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka & J. H. Williams III. (pub 2011, ISBN 978-1401231460)