Monday, June 18, 2007

A Tale Of Two Lesbian Superheroines
1. Batwoman: I gots nothing other than: stabbed, bound to a table, smoochies with new Question. Where is she now? Where is her series?

2. Quasar (Phylla-Vell): Has a four-issue limited series coming out.

Phylla who? Quasar gay what?

As I said in an earlier post, the the differences are:

* Quasar is not a top tier character -- she is second/third tier, like other gay characters such as Pied Piper, Hulkling, Holly Robinson, Moondragon, etc. So there is a feeling of more freedom to be bold, to be creative, to be more diverse. Batwoman, as "Wikipedia" describes her, is "the female counterpart to DC Comics' popular superhero Batman."

* Quasar is not "marketed" as a gay character. That is to say, there is not a publicity campaign focusing specifically on her sexuality. Like Hulkling & Wiccan from "Young Avengers," the sexual preference of the character is just one facet of a multi-layered character. In contrast, Batwoman was specifically "pushed" in the media as a lesbian character first, superheroine second.

But I think since DC initially traded off of the publicity surrounding Batwoman's sexuality, I would hope that they have a series starring her in the works soon and are ready to promote it. Yes, there may be fears that having a character so "close" to the Batman brand (if only by name and design) be gay might spark controversy -- might set off the "Boycott Tinky Winky" contingent.

On the other hand, America loves "Ellen." If the networks were chicken-shits they never would have found this out and made lots of money.

So grow a pair and give "Batwoman" the spotlight again. And give her good stories. If I want to read slash fan-fiction with a liberal dose of girl-on-girl bondage scenes I can get that for free online.


  1. Don't forget how Northstar got killed in like 4 different universes in the same couple of months.

    I would be down for a Batwoman miniseries, but I don't know if she could hold her own title, it might be a bit redundant...

    Of course I read Supergirl, so yeah it could be good too.


    One thing you can say about Marvel, is that they are a lot more likely to have gay characters that are not Lipstick Lesbians fanboys can just lump as a sorority girl's experimentation.

  2. "Don't forget how Northstar got killed in like 4 different universes in the same couple of months."

    good point

    in general, the life of a gay superhero/character in mainstream comics is often filled with retcons, deaths, or eventual obscurity.

    I think it is important that comic book universes reflect the diversity of the real world. I'm not asking for 1/2 of all characters to be gay. But there should be more than the current handful that occasionally line the shelves. And they should have some longevity, some continuity.

    And "Lipstick Lesbians" are a sales gimmick to attract male readers. I've seen 3 covers to this Quasar series so far. There is nothing exploitative about them. She's a Hero, a Heroine, period.

  3. i'd check it out if they did it..a series i mean..of batwoman.

    actually i'd like to write it. i do have some experience writing lesbian characters so to speak. i'd take more of a quasar approach and avoid the bullshit stuff. but then again it's not like DC would ever hire my ass. just as well...i feel at this point i wouldn't totally like being a part of the shit eating baby coat people at the moment.

    i know one thing i'd do is i'd take off that makeup out of costume. make her a little less lipstick lesbo drooly person and a bit more real. and no bondage fantasy shit...

    maybe i should just write it all out and throw it on my blog at some point. not that anyone reads it.

  4. i like batwoman as a lipstick lesbian because it makes for good with Montoya who is a bit more "masculine" although quite attractive...

    But honestly, where are the gay male DC characters who are not villains (even if said villain is more hero)??

  5. "But honestly, where are the gay male DC characters who are not villains (even if said villain is more hero)??

    I have to admit, I was wondering that myself. These days 'Gay' appears to exclusively mean 'Lesbian' in the DC world (and we can all guess the likelihood of why that might be...)

    ...but then i'm not particularly well read right now, so I may be wrong. Anybody?

  6. The new Batwoman could have been an interesting character, but they should have made her an all-new person instead of a rebooted Kathy Kane. Instead, "Kate Kane" is a strange mix of an old character and a new one, with no real origin or motivation established. She's just a gimmick.

    That doesn't mean she's not salvageable, but it's going to take a lot of work.

  7. David: Have you forgotten about The Midnighter?

  8. But honestly, where are the gay male DC characters who are not villains (even if said villain is more hero)??

    Obsidian is the only gay character that jumps to mind...

  9. "Have you forgotten about The Midnighter?"

    Exactly what I was going to say. The DCU could definitely learn from Wildstorm (which is apparently Earth-50 now. Still not sure how I feel about that).

    There is a problem with making LGBT characters more of a gimmick than an actual character. Midnighter is one of the (all too few) examples of "a character who happens to be gay" rather than "a gay character". He's also possibly the most popular character in the Wildstorm U. And to be honest, I think it's because he enacts the stereotypical straight male power fantasy (cracking skulls, take-no-prisoners, etc). That being said, because he's gay, it puts a spin on the whole paradigm in a way that serves to make him even more powerful and intimidating. As one of the guys on the Comic Book Queers podcast once said, "Midnighter appeals to the angry faggot in me". He's possibly the first gay character in history to be given license (by virtue of being a superhero) to beat the crap out of anybody who makes a homophobic remark. Therefore, he takes an historically perceived weakness and turns it into a non-issue, much to the dismay and dismemberment of anybody who thinks they can exploit it as such.

    Can anyone guess who my favorite superhero is? ::squees, fangasms::

  10. I remember the fuss about Batwoman. I also bothered to look at the DC press releases as well as the various media reports.

    The stuff coming out of DC that I saw barely mentioned that she was a lesbian, and did not make a big deal out of it.

    The reports in what what passes for news media jumped on this aspect and wildly speculated, in some cases illustrating their unfounded fantasies with pictures from Penthouse Comics.

    Yes, they picked up on the lesbian aspect, but she would have got media coverage if she was a nun because she'd be Batnun.

    And this all some two months before the character appeared. In the event a lot of what was intended for 52 didn't happen, and one of the "didn't happen" aspects was Batwoman.

    Was this because DC got nervous and decided to play down the character they'd just got a whole lot of free publicity for? I don't know. It does seem like they squandered the opportunity to sell a lot of comics. But then there was no sign that they had anything planned for her beyond featuring in 52 before the hype struck.

    As for the laughable notion that Marvel has any moral high ground here, I'll wait and see what it's like before I make that call. To quote the article you link:

    THE PULSE: What's it like having Mike Lilly working with you on these pages? How well is he realizing your vision for this tale?

    GAGE: I've only seen a few pages so far, but they look great…as he's proven with Vampirella, Mike can certainly draw beautiful women!

    Always nice to know that the writer's priority for the depiction of their characters is that they look good in thongs.

  11. Obsidian is the only gay character that jumps to mind...

    And that's a major retcon; he wasn't created that way. They did the same thing to a minor JLI character named Tasmanian Devil.

  12. Out of HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC the DC Countdown panel gave info on Batwoman, question was asked about where she was.

    She along with the Question will be part of the Crime Bible series spinning out of 52. It seems more of a Question driven story, but Batwoman is an important part.

    Batwoman is scheduled to meet Batman by the fall releases if I remember correctly.

  13. Plus Obsidian is fucking crazy...

    OH and Midnighter is Wildstorm, I was talking DCU proper...

    And as far as takin out homophobes, when Northstar came back from the dead he blasted through the bible belt takin out rednecks and such, which was pretty cool...

  14. I DO wish people would stop using that horrible term "lipstick lesbian." It sickens me every time I see it. Does she utilize standard feminine grooming and clothing? Then she's a FEMME. She happens to be a lesbian femme. There are straight femmes and straight butches, though people hate to admit it.

    The whole "lipstick lesbian" terms suggests that the "normal lesbian" doesn't use makeup. Which goes back to the incredibly offensive "ungroomed smelly hairy bull dagger" stereotype. All through time, there have been PLENTY of lesbians who choose to present as femme. More, possibly, than there are lesbians who choose to present as butch.

  15. you been to a lesbian bar lately? yikes!

    its just a term, so dont get your panties in a twist

    of course to each their own, i mean we have way more subcategories in the gay male world....

    twinks, bears, daddies, average joes, cowboys, leather queens, drag queens, blah blah blah...

    ill stick with the bears myself :)

  16. I'd just like to say, as an aside to the entire debate, that "Batnun" needs her own title. I can even see the character, with the little pointy ears underneath the wimple, so the fabric just sticks up a little...and instead of batarangs, she could have rulers specially weighted for throwing. Brilliant.