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Sean William Scott

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

That Sound You Hear is a Fanboy's Head Exploding 

The New York Times gets the scoop on the new Batwoman. As I sort of suspected, she's Kathy Kane. It's a nice nod to the Golden Age version of the character, but it's still clear that this is going to be a mostly new character. For one thing, she's now a "buxom lipstick lesbian." I kind of hope that's just how the NYT is describing her, and isn't intended by DC as some sort of personality short-hand.

But, given how generally open-minded and accepting of "that which is different from themselves" comic fans are, how is the news going over?

At Newsarama, reaction seems mixed:

"*Yawn* More Silver Age masturbation at DC. There's schocking news."

"Does anyone else find this sick? Pushing alternative lifestyles on all-ages books? No offense to gays--who anyone sleeps with is their business. But alternative lifestyles belong in non-mainstream books intended for older audiences. DC is truly obsessesed with homosexuality and pushing it on their audience--even more than Marvel. They are totally misjudging their audience. Does comics' mostly male audience want all gay, all the time comics? You'd think so, judging from DC's output. No scene of same sex couples in the bedroom or other intimate behavior is too outrageous for Dan Didio.
If I was in charge of DC this nonsense would stop immediately and Didio and all editors would be fired (or transferred to Vertigo, whose titles are of an adult, mature nature). Potentially pushing this stuff on kids is again, sick. What happened to true heroes fighting crime? That's all gone now. Everyone wants to make a social/political statement.
I've been reading superhero comics for over 35 years. I think that time may be drawing to a close."

"Bastardization of Batman Beyond and the worst aspects of the Silver Age.
Hopefully this joke goes the way that all the post-Matrix / Pre-Current Supergirls went.
I wonder if Dido is asking the important question: What does a Batwoman contribute to the Batman Legacy.
The answer is simply nothing of lasting value."

"What their audience doesn't want to see is two gay men in love, but gay women are a-ok. Manhunter dropped in sales dramatically because it had a gay male couple."

"This just screams a blatant attempt to appeal to the Lady Death-Avatar crowd looking for softcore masterbation material."

"They replaced the original white Batgirl with an asian Batgirl. Now they've replaced the asian Batgirl with a white woman. How is that diversity?"

"I would like to officially proclaim that a lesbian Batwoman is TOTALLY FUCKING HOT!"

"First they show the womens and the coloreds voting and owning property, and now THIS? What's next? A Hispanyolo sit-com? Well, gaaaaaaaawly!"

"What the hell is DC doing...oh my gosh! So fans of DanGarrett/Ted Kord, Ray Palmer and non-lesbian Kathy Kane get brushed aside so that DCU can have diversity. You want diversity than stick your necks out and make freaking new characters we can all like. I'm so sick of this. Classic characters are being bastardized for a lame reason."

"Does the mostly male comics audience want gay heroes? I don't know. I can only speak for myself. I know this straight white male does. I want gay heroes, black heroes, Latino heroes, Asian heroes, Native American heroes, Arab heroes, disabled heroes, whatever. I want a fantasy world that resembles my own, not one that's been white-washed so that everyone will look like me. A character like Batwoman isn't being "pushed" on kids or going to brainwash them. If anything, it provides a chance for discussion. "Yes, Little Timmy, there are people like this in the world. This is where I stand on the idea."

Sadly, at the time I write this, there isn't any noteworthy discussion of this going on at the always reasonable DC Comics message boards. But there will be...

Edit: Here we go with some DC message board reactions:

"Just when I thought comics couldn't sink any lower...."

"well, at least she wont be crossing over with NIGHTWING. last i checked, she wants no interaction with Dick whatsoever."

"DC has descended to the depths of Lady Death and other Lipstick Lesbian/Bisexual ridiculousness. That Didio described her as a "Lipstick Lesbian" shows zero respect for a gay woman character."

"it may be kathy but i find it hard to believe that the times would publish something so trivial..... "

(Be sure to check out that NYT article, by the way. The whole of it is about Marvel and DC trying to increase the racial and ethnic diversities of their universes, and the problems they've run into with that. It's not just "buxom lipstick lesbians.")

Postscript: Yeah, it's now Tuesday morning, and having seen even more reactions to this story, all striking me as insincere sounding desperate bids for attention and snark one-up-manship, I have to say...comic fans are damn annoying.
I feel a Wildcat week coming on...


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