Queer comic book geeks worldwide are celebrating the news that Batwoman has proposed to her girlfriend in Batwoman #17, written by J.H Williams III and W. Haden Blackman.
And here we did not even know that Gotham City had approved marriage equality legislation.
DC Comics’ Batwoman proposal features in a double special issue with Kate Kane (Batwoman’s alter ego) revealing her secret identity to her girlfriend, detective Maggie Sawyer.
Though the character of Kathy Kane as Batwoman was originally introduced way back in 1956 as a ‘front’ to stop rumours of Batman and Robin being gay, she was reintroduced as a Jewish lesbian in 2006 in her own title which aimed to reflect modern society more accurately than previous comics.
Her story ties into the US military’s former ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy. Kane was at the top of her class at the United States Military Academy when it was discovered that she’s in a lesbian relationship with another student. She’s asked to deny the allegations or be expelled for violation of the military’s code of conduct.
Kate Kane’s response? She bravely cites the cadet honor code: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor suffer other to do so. I’m sorry sir, I can’t.” It was a moment that made her a defining LGBT comic book character for DC Comics.
Refusing to lie about who she is, Kate is discharged and forced to leave her potential life of service behind, soon falling into depression fueled by drugs and alcohol after sacrificing one part of her military career for her lesbianism.
But she picks up the pieces thanks to another strong lesbian in the DC universe, Renee Montoya and begins building a life as a vigilante with the help of her father.
But will Batwoman's girfriend, Maggie Sawyer, introduced in Superman in 1987, say yes? If so it will be the first lesbian engagement in mainstream comics. But with Batwoman popping the question on the final page of the issue, we will all have to wait for the answer in next month's issue.