Comics · Queer

A to Z: Batwoman

I can't approve of smooching and speech bubbles at the same time, but I will always love how Kate is drawn!
I just can’t approve of smooches and speech bubbles at the same time, how does that even work, but I will always love the art in these books!

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!

Recommended Reading:

  • 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)
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43 thoughts on “A to Z: Batwoman

  1. For a while, DC seemed to have this thing against any of their characters being married. It’s great they’ve finally shaken up their editing team, because for a while with the New 52, every single one of their books felt the same in some way, and they seemed to be actively antagonizing long-time DC fans. Hopefully the better variety of books out today is a sign of things to come.

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    1. Yes! I got the impression they said no to Kate and Maggie as part of a lot of dumb editorial stuff, without quite realizing how that would look to everyone else who was attached to their ONE lesbian superhero.

      I’m still behind on New 52, around volume 3 I was starting to get pretty tired of it. I’m glad it’s looking up!

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  2. I had no idea Batwoman was a lesbian either! I agree the art is fantastic and worth more of my attention. Now I know what I’m doing this morning before the household wakes up…

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  3. I’m sad that the series is getting cancelled before I even started to read it. 😦 The art really is beautiful… but I can’t see how it’s any more controversial than women pretending to be men in the 1800s so they could marry other women. 😛 This stuff is old hat!

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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  4. Wait a minute…Batwoman was a lesbian? How did I not know this?! It’s so cool to learn about a lesbian superhero! Thank you for highlighting these tidbits of the comics world. I’ve probably read way more webcomics than those published in book form and can only last recall having an X-Men comic book during childhood. It’s nice to see LGBT topics being written about in the blogging community.

    ~Nicole
    A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    The Madlab Post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup! The original Batwoman from decades ago wasn’t, she was created solely to add a love interest for Batman after all the Batman/Robin homosexuality allegations. So I think it’s cool they twisted that around this way! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I’m with you on the smooches and speech bubbles. 🙂

    Some days I can’t believe we’re still in a world where lesbian marriage is “too controversial” for comics. Really?? So sad.

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    1. Thanks! Yep, it’s actually cancelled as of this month. Announced back in November I think… Part of a whole set being cancelled in prep for another big crossover event, I’m told.

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  6. This is one of the ones I guessed ahead of time! Thats 1 out of 2 so far! lol

    I was really angry about the whole marriage fiasco too… I mean, jeebus, they’re perfectly happy to have lesion characters but they get all jittery over marrying them? Ridiculous. I’m glad that the team stood up for the stupidity though, and didn’t just roll over for the sakes of their jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gold star! 😀 And I know, right? Guess they wanted to be edgy… but not toooo edgy. But I’m glad for the team, too. They do high-quality work so I guess they were in a good enough position where they could just move on.

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    1. Yup. I haven’t read any of the handful of issues that came out after that, so I can’t say how the new team handled it, but no matter what the new guys did I’m pretty sure this whole thing and the team change are why the book’s cancelled.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seems right to me. The chemistry of a creative team can make or break a comic, especially these days when they seem to be starting and ending so many titles!

        I worry about that with Ms. Marvel – that no one else is going to be able to write her like G. Willow Wilson does!

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        1. It’s the same with The Authority from yesterday. It’s still good after volume 2, but no one would’ve been able to just pick up where Ellis left off. Fortunately the first two volumes tell a complete story to themselves.

          I worry about that with Ms. Marvel all the time too. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Have you seen the FCBD cover with Ms. Marvel in the new Avengers team? That’s the real test, I figure! I imagine that’s the team that will be taking over when the Secret Wars are over!

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          2. From what I read on the Marvel site from the writer, it’s going to be a lot about the old guard and the new… So her and Falcon/Captain America butting heads. Could be interesting!

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          3. KINGDOM COME. MY FAVORITE OF ALL TIME EVER ANYWHERE.

            He also did a killer run on Legion of Superheroes, contributed to 52, X-Men: Onslaught, and Age of Apocalypse (a bit), and a bajillion other comics I either enjoyed or haven’t read! (He’s also from Alabama, but we’ve never met. 😉 )

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