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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 

It's only because of diversity that some think this Batwoman worth having around

This writer on Comics Bulletin, while he does seem to have a liberal view on homosexuality, still manages to make an interesting point about why certain segments of the crowd still reading DC's output would want to defend the new Batwoman, whose depiction he considers one of the most wooden you can find:
I have come to the conclusion that people defend this "mechanical" woman only because she's a lesbian. I have stated this before, and I'll continue to do so. Get rid of Batwoman. Don't kill her or cripple her. I wouldn't wish any fanbase to suffer like I did.
My thoughts exactly. Just move her to limbo/quietly write her out of the proceedings; that's the most creative and respectable way to retire a character from business. That aside, this particular point about why anybody sees "Kate Kane" worth defending makes sense. Though sales are low enough for her title as it is, as I've sometimes pondered, those who do consider the new Batwoman and even the new Blue Beetle, Atom and Firestorm (and lest we forget, Kyle Rayner, when his definition as half-Asian or Mexican was first brought up) worth defending are only doing so for the sake of diversity. In other words, it's not based on how well written the character is or even how well the baton was passed on, it's based solely on the skin color/sexual orientation that they consider the character's very existence legitimate. If she were defined by being of say, Macedonian descent, the specific backers of Batwoman as she's depicted now probably wouldn't care about her at all. Some on the right feel the left is obsessed with race, and the same clearly goes for homosexuality too. But sexual orientation alone does not an interesting protagonist make, and judging from the poor sales today, there are readers out there who've concluded that already too.

Sadly, the Comics Bulletin writer then goes on to dampen his whole argument with the following:
Simply retire her to some chalet with the woman of her choice, and have Batgirl come out of the closet. Batgirl's decision to pursue this orientation will alleviate audience alienation. Batgirl's established fans will not care, and Batgirl's stronger characterization will make a critical difference. Unfortunately, Batgirl has yet to take that first step. So, we're stuck with a Batwoman guest appearance trying to lure Batgirl readers to the less appealing and less successful Batwoman. This is at the cost of dampening Batgirl's momentum.
It's bad enough already that DC's gone miles out of their way to change the Golden Age Green Lantern's sexual orientation, and if he's suggesting they do the same with Babs, that'll only make things worse. Who says fans of Babs won't care? If I'm any indication...

And turning her into a lesbian could and would affect her characterization, since it is more or less part of said characterization for Batwoman (whose design looks strangely reminiscent of Gel-Sadra, the villainess from the second Gatchaman anime). Nor would it do anything to give alienated audiences any reason to feel encouraged to return. Just like we could do without such forced, artificial monstrosities being forced upon Alan Scott, we could do without making these kind of contrived changes to Babs Gordon. Too bad the Comics Bulletin writer didn't consider that or even the vital belief many experts on serial fiction have that change should be consistent with how things were done before.

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So do you think that Batwoman II is actually a ploy by DC for a, and I quote another Internet persona on this, "Teen Boy Fap Fantasy"?

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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