Batting Her Lashes
That dynamic duo of Batman and Robin, played by Adam West and Burt Ward, were campy, but not nearly as fabulous as Cesar Romero's delectable Joker in the 1960s Batman television series. Yet while they were powing and zapping their way through bad guys' evil plans on the show and in the Batman comic books, Batwoman, who made her first appearance in the 1950s, was also kicking ass and taking names through in comics for two decades.
Batwoman, or Kate Kane, has been enjoying a resurgence since DC Comics decided it was time for her to come out as a lesbian in 2006. Now that she's been on the pages of other characters' chronicles for the past few years, it's time for her to branch out on her own, making DC the first major American comic book publisher to offer a title starring a lesbian character. Starting in November, the Batwoman series will answer the questions that have popped up since she was brought back to life after her three-decade hiatus: Will Kate reconcile things with her dad? Will she be able to move on after her relationship with Renee Montoya, a.k.a. the Question?
DC Comics copublisher Dan DiDio explains why Batwoman is back.
The Advocate: How did Batwoman get her own series?
Dan DiDio: We were really looking at the diversify our whole line of comics. You know, over the years we've watched the diversity of our audience and just the changing attitudes of society, and we wanted was to make sure our characters and our lines reflected our fan base's styles and attitudes. We had a preexisting Batwoman character who was created in the '50s and was around till the '70s. She was huge for a while. We wanted to have not just a gay/lesbian character but a strong character, and one of the best ways we could think to do that was to make it part of one of our strongest franchises, the Batman universe. So at that point we decided and started to rework, with writer Greg Rucka, the concept of Batwoman, and we introduced her first in our book 52, and the reason that we did it in that fashion was that we wanted to first establish her as a hero first — she had more in the heroic situations about how she interacted with other heroes — and then make sure that our fans embraced her in that fashion. As we went back we began to relate better to that character and who she was. Of course we felt that her sexual orientation is a part of her upbringing and the type of character she is.
Is there a particular audience you're trying to lure with this series?
Well, the target is just the regular comic book reader — the people who enjoy Batman, the people who enjoy Justice League, people who enjoy Superman we hope will enjoy Batwoman just as much as those other ones.
Since the announcement last week, how has the feedback been?
Well, it's been interesting. We've had some incredibly positive feedback when we introduced her three years ago, with some negative feedback as well. The reality is that as we've established her more and more within the universe, everything about it has been positive.
Check the following pages for more images of Batwoman.