Gay Superheroes Take Flight

DC Comics introduces several gay and lesbian characters

Batwoman (courtesy of DC Comics)

And here we thought the idea of a gay superhero was mostly just a sub plot in the television series Queer as Folk. Turns out DC Comics, as well as retooling its line of comic books, also introduces a few new gay and lesbian characters into the mix.

Batwoman – known for years as the female equivalent of Batman – is now a lesbian – and so’s The Question. They both join Apollo and Midnighter, a gay couple who were originally featured in the “Wildstorm” line of comics who now appear within the main cast of characters. There’s even a bisexual African-American character called Voodoo.

DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio tells the Advocate: “What we really wanted to do was show the diversity of our audience across the line of books. Right now we have such a wide fan base and we wanted to create characters and stories that really reflected [that] fan base.”

He adds: “I think there is a lot of empowerment that takes place in these stories, not just for gay readers, but for everyone. There’s [the] freeing aspect of when they put the costume on that allows them to transcend their normal life. If their normal life becomes oppressive, this is their escape from that and I think that relates to anybody. More importantly, I think everyone wants to embrace that and run along with it.”

Starting this September, the newest Batwoman comic will be released by DC Comics, according to its website. In the story called “Hydrology,” Batwoman will face new challenges in Gotham City’s underworld, including a child kidnapping ring. The Sapphic superhero will also have to decide whether she’s ready to take on a partner, her cousin Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird).