The comic book community can be very…male centered. In the 2000’s Marvel and DC revamped their super hero storylines, making a conscious effort to have their comic book characters do a better job of reflecting the world we live in. The decision to diversify the TYPE of comic book hero, villain, and general character we see in comic books was made in order to capture a new wider audience of buyer. We often hear that representation matters, and from a capitalist business standpoint it matters if you want people to spend their hard-earned money on a product that doesn’t reflect their aesthetics, values, or desires. But, from a less cynical standpoint the next generation of real life super heroes aren’t going to look like the old generation and the media we consume should reflect that. Some of the new class of more representative characters include: a Latino Miles Morales as the new Spider Man, Jane Foster as a female Thor, Carol Danvers a Female Captain Marvel, and Bobby Drake the gay iceman the campaign consisted of creating new characters that were of color, had disabilities, and were shockingly not men.
On October 6, 2019 the CW is going to take one of these updated narratives and bring it to our living rooms. The Batwoman comic series is a spin off from the iconic Batman character created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Not to be confused with Batgirl (who is younger and a tamer version of the big man in the bat suit), Batwoman is dark, independent, stubborn, and fearless. She is also a lesbian and the inclusion of this fact makes her a very unique addition to the Marvel universe. While there are more and more characters of color, queer characters seem to be the one boundary artists and writers aren’t quite ready to cross with as much fervor. Everything about this character’s aesthetic brought something new to the comic book narrative. She was a welcomed addition to the new and improved idea of inclusivity. Not only are young people of color and girls seeing themselves reflected in comic book pages, but now young LGBTQ people are seeing themselves as well.
Batwoman, Katherine “Kate” Kane, is just as wealthy as Bruce, and she is inspired by him and acts to protect Gotham in his absence. In the comic Kate She is a former US Military Academy student who was expelled because of her sexuality. Kate is not only a lesbian, she is an OUT lesbian which, let’s be honest, matters. There are a LOT of superheroes/characters who we THINK are gay or in the closest and artists/writers will often play with words and innuendo in order to draw in a queer base who will take any scraps given to them. After leaving the military academy Kate goes through a wild period. She gets a lot of tattoos, parties every night, sleeps around, and generally lives like a rock star with no hits. One night while out on the town Kate is attacked by a mugger, she uses her military training to beat the guy up and thus finds her higher calling.
With Kate Kane there are no scraps, no innuendo, no beating around the bush. The gays get an out loud and proud super hero. WE DESERVE. She has a dates women, have lovers quarrels with women, pursues women, is pursued by women (and men but you know how that is ** insert eye roll**) and best of all she doesn’t perform for the male gaze. She goes about saving the city on her own terms in her own way with her sexuality acting as just another part of her life. The CW’s interpretation of the comic book from all the previews I’ve seen appears to stay true to the comic book.
Kate will be played by Ruby Rose who is queer in real life. She looks every bit the part, showing signs of a hard life like she’s had some setbacks but also with a hopeful open face that shows strength, optimism, and resilience. The best part is that the queerness LEAPS out from the very start as Kate is intimate with a woman from the very first episode. She is strong and her super hero aesthetic is practical and well thought out (especially since it closely resembles the bat’s). I look forward to this premier and I think that we will all be rooting for this queer hero. This is exactly the future I dreamed about, look at the gay agenda making its mark.
Cover Photo: Entertainment Weekly