In 1956, the head story writers for DC comics decided
that they had had enough of the rumors and the snickering about Batman and
Robin being in a gay relationship; their solution was to introduce the
character of Kathy Kane A.K.A Batwoman, who would be Bruce Wayne’s primary love
interest for the next twenty years. In perhaps the most ironic shift in pop
culture history, on May 31, 2006, it was announced that DC Comics would not
only be reviving the character of Batwoman in their new 52 series, but that they would also be re-imagining her as a lesbian.
What other incentive to start reading comic books could you possibly need?
In Batwoman #17, which was published in 2013, Batwoman proposed to her girlfriend Detective Maggie Sawyer. The character of Maggie was first introduced as Kate Kane’s love interest in 2011 (x).
After being killed off in 1979, Batwoman only returned to
the DC universe sporadically throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. It wasn’t
until the 52 comic book series, in
which DC chronicled the fifty-two weeks leading up to the comic event known as Infinite Crisis, that the company
decided to drastically reintroduce the world to Batwoman. Now going by the name
of Kate Kane (rather than the more stuffy 1950s name of “Kathy”), Batwoman was
introduced in Issue #7 of the 52 series
as a rich, Jewish socialite who is dating a Gotham City police detective by the
name of Renee Montoya.
In Batman #153, the first incarnation of Batwoman, now referred to as Silver Age Batwoman (A.K.A Straight Batwoman), kisses Batman for the first time. In the first panel, she declares, “I do love you! I never wanted to admit it before…Oh Batman…” (x).
Batwoman’s “coming out” in 2006 not only made her one of the
highest-profile gay characters in DC comics, but one of the highest-profile gay
characters in comic book history! The news was covered by many major news outlets
from CNN to Out Magazine. Although the inclusion of a lesbian character
garnered both praise and scorn from the general public, the high emotions
nevertheless translated into cold hard cash in the form of high comic book sales. In 2010, DC introduced a Batwoman
solo title comic which ran until 2014. You
can currently catch Kate Kane kicking ass and taking names in the ongoing Detective Comics series!