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Friday, August 09, 2013 

No real Bat-fan would try to turn Bruce Wayne into something he was never intended to be

The UK Independent wrote a sleazy article about an equally sleazy new novel published in Europe that depicts Batman in homosexual relations, along with a few other characters:
There’s always been something more than a little camp about a superhero who sports tights and rubber nipples and enjoys the company of his Boy Wonder sidekick.
It sounds more like they're going by the inaccurate notion that Batman was always written as campy, a perception undoubtably lifted from the 1966-68 TV series. The comics may have taken a slapstick approach during the Silver Age, but I wouldn't say they were solely "campy". They didn't begin that way when Bill Finger and Bob Kane launched the series in 1939, and since 1969, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams brought it back to a more serious approach.
Now Batman has been “outed” as an ageing homosexual who picks up young men for one-night stands and sits next to Sir Elton John at New York charity dinners – at least for the purposes of a new novel.

The whispers about Gotham City’s masked crime-fighter are confirmed in Erotic Lives of the Superheroes, which depicts Batman and Robin as a bickering gay couple whose sex life has gone flat.

Written by the Italian author Marco Mancassola, the novel imagines the erotic obsessions of Superman, Mister Fantastic and Mystique as their heroic abilities are dulled by the ageing process. Acclaimed upon its publication in Italy, the book, which centres on a murder mystery, arrives in the UK this week.

By portraying Batman as openly gay, Mancassola has made explicit leanings which have been tacit throughout the character’s comic book and screen history.
Oh, I'll bet it was "acclaimed". By the MSM in Europe, no doubt. It would have happened in the USA too if this tommyrot had been published there. And just how have those "leanings" ever been "tacit"? Always exploiting absurd perceptions, some of which were cooked up by Fredric Wertham in his sloppy efforts to criticize what he felt was poor taste. Despite Batman's affairs with babes like Vicky Vale, Silver St. Cloud and even Catwoman, they still want to believe all these contrived perceptions, effectively insulting Kane and Finger, who obviously never intended what they wish was true.
Grant Morrison, who wrote Batman stories for DC Comics, claimed that “he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay”.

George Clooney, who played the crime fighter in the poorly received 1997 film Batman & Robin, said he intended the character to appear gay.
No wonder it was such a financial flop, despite taking in $105 million. Clooney's lost my respect. I don't think he really liked what he was playing.
Homosexuality is just one aspect of Batman’s secret erotic life, according to Mancassola. He told The Independent: “Batman has always had a very dark side. And it shouldn’t be a shock that my version of this character indulges in weird forms of fetishism and extreme sex.

“Narcissism is his inner abyss. He let his only real love story miserably fail because he is in love with the mystery of youth – that inaccessible, fleeting kind of spirit that he sees in the eyes of his young male and female pick-ups.”
The worst part is that, as implied, Batman must be depicted having affairs with underaged youngsters in the novel, making it all the worse. And just how does having a "dark side" make Batman automatically gay? Besides, the dark side is only the tone and angle of the storytelling, not of Bruce's personality, though thanks to unfortunate edicts in the 90s, the writers did bring him to the point of being a control freak, which decidedly spoiled characterization.

And there is shock here: the color of the author's own personality.
DC Comics’ lawyers may not appreciate Mancassola’s reinvention of Batman as a fetishist, but the author said: “There was no intention to shock or offend anybody: Erotic Lives of the Superheroes is just an attempt at exploring the complex humanity of a group of characters.”
The only reason they could have for taking offense at this is because they're worried it'll rub off on any future movie projects and toy lines they want to do, and Batman is too major and important a brand name for them to risk being tarnished with sleaze like this European writer's bad fanfic. Otherwise, as seen with Alan Scott, there's little chance they'd object, because the character isn't major enough to for them to care about, despite being around since the Golden Age.

However, I've got a feeling that one day, any objections the DC lawyers might have to a book like that will cease, since the company's already corrupted their own products enough as it is.
In a nod to diversity, DC Comics has already reinvented Batwoman, as a Jewish lesbian, in a 2006 reboot. The fluid sexuality of Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises has also been the subject of debate.
See, the character of Kathy Kane is pretty minor and not as pivotal to the Bat-lore as Bruce Wayne is, so they feel they can get away with that kind of corruption and inconsistency with the earlier renditions. Their ideas for diversity, however, are extraordinarily narrow.
The author admits that there are some hardcore comics fans who “can’t forgive me for what I’ve done to their beloved characters. This is true especially when it comes to Batman, who comes across as the least nice character of the book – egocentric, ridiculously vain, in some way ‘perverse’. But, actually, I depicted him that way because I love him. He is human. He embodies the tragedy into which contemporary society has transformed the fact of getting older.”
If he really loved Batman, he wouldn't have written something so crass. How is this even human to depict Batman as a pedophile? That aside, I'm not sure it's right to say fans are especially offended by the rendition of Batman more than the other heroes appearing in the novel. I'm equally offended by the renditions of Mr. Fantastic and Superman in the novel, if they're depicted in the same crude way as Batman is. Turning them into the kind of things they were created to combat? That's not human at all.

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You are right. The Batman comics were not "always" intentionally campy. The camp comedy fad was a big influence in 1966, but the comics never got quite as self-consciously silly as the TV series. Batman began as a grim vigilante in 1939 (probably influenced by pulp magazines and horror movies), then lightened up and became more of a straight super hero from the forties through the sixties, then returned to his grim vigilante ("Dark Knight") image by the early 1970's. Each version was a reflection of its time.

The idea of Batman and Robin as a gay couple seems to have started with Dr. Wertham, who blamed the entertainment media for just about everything. I never knew any kids (or adults, for that matter) who read any kind of gay subtext into the comics, and I doubt if any was intended. In the Silver Age and earlier, comic book fans were preteen kids who had only the vaguest understanding of sex in general.

This is disgusting. I think the idiot who wrote this Batman fanfiction (that's all it really is, when you get down to it, and really bad fanfiction at that)took Wertham's claims of a gay subtext between Batman and Robin way too damn seriously.

I would say, "at least it isn't sanctioned by DC," but these days, you never know when some hack might decided to make it canon in the mainstream DCU. Such political correctness would completely destroy Batman's marketability, though.

...I'll see your rubber-suited gimps and raise you this:http://www.cracked.com/article_20340_5-iconic-characters-who-got-insane-reboots-in-foreign-comics.html

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