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Volume 34
Issue 23
 
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General Gayety by Leslie Robinson
THE FRUIT BAT
If you're a Lesbian who's into tall, dark and mysterious women, your ideal gal is just around the corner. The only problem is she's made of ink.

In July, DC Comics is bringing out-in every sense-Batwoman. Yes, the classic character is returning to comic books, sporting long red locks, a skin-tight suit and a Sapphic sensibility.

This could be a baby dyke's dream, a 5-foot-10 female superhero who battles evil, looks hot and likes girls. Or, depending on how the creators proceed, this could be a nightmare, if, say, Batwoman and Catwoman are reduced to playing strip poker for the future of Gotham City and the titillation of het guys.

"We decided to give her a different point of view," Dan DiDio, vice president and executive editor at DC Comics, told The Associated Press. "We wanted to make her a more unique personality than others in the Bat-family."

They've accomplished that. For a start, she'll be totally uninterested in the contents of Batman's bat-briefs. And she'll have the perspective of being a minority (homosexual) within a minority (unpaid crime-fighters who favor fetishistic clothing).

I wonder if she'll be as comfortable in her Lesbian skin as she appears to be in her bat-mask. I hope so-otherwise it's off for some bat-therapy. Will Batman and Robin be supportive? Will they join a Gotham City chapter of P-FLAG?

Shows what I know about the superhero world these days-apparently Batman, as well as Superman and Wonder Woman, has disappeared. It also shows my ignorance that, to me, the really surprising thing is not that Batwoman is returning as a Lesbian, but that she's returning at all, since she died in 1979. You'd think that would be an impediment.

The reinvented Batwoman will have the same name as before, Kathy Kane. She's a socialite, said DiDio, with "some past connection" to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. "And she's also had a past love affair with one of our lead characters, Renee Montoya."

Now you're talking. Bring on the dyke drama. Maybe Montoya, a former police detective, refused to be out and Batwoman hated that. Or maybe Batwoman had a thing for women in uniforms and couldn't keep her bat-hands off cops on the beat.

With her flowing hair, sprayed-on black suit and knee-length red boots with spiked heels, Batwoman is high femme. No mullet on this chick. I realize she's conforming to the hyper-feminine, ultra-curvy stereotype of the female superhero, but any Lesbian, even a serious femme, would consider ditching the happening boots for Reeboks. Indeed, any woman would, if she often found herself running down a criminal or climbing straight up the side of a building holding on to nothing but a bat-rope.

I'm sure Batwoman will continue to battle Gotham's pantheon of mad scientists and colorful evildoers, but she might find time to pursue rightness in other areas. She could, for instance, thwart a plan to raise prices at WNBA games.

Predictably, some devotees of DC Comics are appalled at the company's decision to bring Batwoman out of the bat-closet. And some gays question whether the move is simply a publicity grab.

"This is not just about having a gay character," DiDio said. "We're trying for overall diversity in the DC universe. We have strong African-American, Hispanic and Asian characters. We're trying to get a better cross section of our readership and the world."

Now that they've done just that, I hope the DC folks will understand if drag queens around the country don boots, cape and bat-ears during Pride celebrations this month. Being ignored no longer makes we gay people giddy.



Leslie Robinson lives in a superhero-less city, drat the luck. E-mail her at LesRobinsn@aol.com, and read more of her work at www.GeneralGayety.com.

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