Robot 6

What happened to media’s love affair with ‘flame-haired lesbian’ Batwoman?

Batwoman, from J.H. Williams III, from "Detective Comics"

Batwoman, from J.H. Williams III, from "Detective Comics"

Following Wednesday morning’s announcement that the long-discussed Batwoman solo title would indeed debut in July — without Greg Rucka, but with J.H. Williams III, joined by co-writer W. Haden Blackman and, later, artist Amy Reeder Hadley — I braced for another onslaught of mainstream-media coverage.

After all, newspapers, cable-news networks and entertainment websites have a long fascination with lesbian socialite Kate Kane, aka the “lady-lovin’ Batwoman,” that dates back to her May 2006 unveiling in The New York Times, and continued through her July 2006 comics debut in 52. That fixation with the “hot lesbian” — or “flame-haired lesbian,” if you prefer — began anew almost three years later, after DC Comics announced that Batwoman would take the lead in Detective Comics during Batman’s “death”-induced absence.

So it stands to reason the official confirmation of a Batwoman monthly series would draw the same sort of attention, right? After all, the elements that fueled the previous media frenzies are still there: homosexuality, the familiar Bat-brand, the idea that comics are a children’s medium. But this go-around, things have been relatively quiet.

Sure, the coverage started off promising enough, with the comics-friendly New York Times and New York Daily News quickly taking note. The latter is surprisingly subdued in its coverage, reserving the “KAPOW!” for the second paragraph (but erroneously reporting that Batwoman is “the first openly lesbian superhero”). The comments thread, however, makes up for the paper’s restraint with remarks like “Is this a porno??,” “So the Villians will be yelling, ‘Yikes, It’s The Dykes !'” and a couple I won’t bother to re-type.

From there the story moved to SheWired.com, which is kind of creepy in its description of Batwoman as “the sly and sexy angel of darkness,” then to AOL’s QS blog — “Holy Kick-Ass Lesbian!” — and, this morning, to a brief mention on NPR’s Monkey See blog.

After that, nothing … at least not yet, anyway. There’s still a chance the story could pick up steam for the weekend news cycles.

It’s also possible, I suppose, that with all the hand-wringing about Kick-Ass‘ pint-sized Hit Girl, a lesbian Batwoman doesn’t seem quite so tantalizing.

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Comments

7 Comments

Because it’s been done already. They covered this story with 52 and what did they get? Nothing. The window for this character to generate a little mainstream press has come and gone and DC blew they opportunity to build on it.

Not to mention it’s hardly the scandal in today’s society you think it is. Do you see people freaking out over teenage girls kissing on the new 90210? Compare it to five years ago with The OC or ten years ago with friends or 20 years ago on Rosanne. Only in Mississippi is someone even remotely likely to be upset and even they are too busy cancelling proms to notice a comic book.

The only way Batwoman will get notice again is if she hooks up with a character the general public knows like Wonder Woman.

Well, it was hardly a “scandal” three years ago, or last year, but media outlets still jumped all over the story.

I understand the point of this post – the hyperbolic fanfare focused on her sexuality is disappearing – but it reads almost as if you’re disappointed.

Bottom line: any mainstream coverage of a comic book, with few exceptions, is good news.

‘So it stands to reason the official confirmation of a Batwoman monthly series would draw the same sort of attention, right?’

Not really, the news back then was the debut of a character with a supposedly edgy characteristic and her getting a monthly three years later doesn’t really move the story on. I work for a newspaper and very few of our readers would care whether or not she’s in a book titled Batwoman or a book titled Detective Comics starring Batwoman.

Bottom line, news has to be new.

“So the Villians will be yelling, ‘Yikes, It’s The Dykes !'”

I so want this to be a line before Kate kicks some @$$

Everybody loves Batwoman in her bra-less, pantie-less Batsuit!

Umm.. I’m sorry, but I honestly don’t see the point in this post..
Just because it’s a lesbian superhero doesn’t mean it has to be on everyone’s mind..

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