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Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Batman has a "Cry for Justice" moment as the new Batwoman kills Clayface

I may not think it was a good example to make the new Batwoman a lesbian. But I don't think this story in Batman #974 was a good idea either:
For fans of Clayface, the cliffhanger in Detective Comics #973 was worrisome. Sure, characters come back from the dead all the time, but with the cover of this week's Detective Comics #974 featuring what appeared to be Basil's dead body - and warnings from the future Tim Drake hinting about this incident - things didn't look good.

This week's issue spells it out - Clayface really is dead.

And Batwoman really did kill him.

Whether some writer in the future decides to revive him or not, for now, the Bat-family is being torn apart by what appears to be one Bat-family member killing another one.

What Happened

After it's confirmed that Basil's not coming back from this, the team joins Batwoman on the rooftop where she took the shot. Readers learn that - even though Batwoman's actions arguably saved lives - Batman's upset with Kate because… you know … no killing allowed.

Tim's even more ticked off
(wishing his future self didn't turn out to be right), and Cass is straight-up freaking out (being the most emotionally attached to Basil).

Kate claims she did the right thing - that she knows the rules of engagement, and it was time to engage. She says she'd do it again, given the same choice, and believes she saved Cass' life.

Cass isn't buying it and rips the Bat-symbol off Kate's chest, saying that symbol means to never kill. She believes Clayface could have been saved. Tim also thinks there is "always" a "better way" than killing.
Reading this, I was reminded of James Robinson's Cry for Justice miniseries, which served as little more than an excuse to kill off Speedy/Arsenal's daughter Lian, whose mother is Cheshire. Something I don't think was reversed to date, and DC editorial must've been overjoyed if it was dropped down the memory hole. Even before that, there was Greg Rucka's defamation of Wonder Woman circa the Infinite Crisis crossover, where she killed wrongfully villified Max Lord to stop him from mind-controlling Superman, and how do he and Batman thank her? By condemning her for breaking the same judgemental rule. This whole no-killing-even-in-self-defense position has long gotten way out of hand. Especially if it doesn't apply to aliens of the non-humanoid variety.

I can only wonder if they would've done a story like this with a homosexual male character taking similar actions? If not, then it hints at how lesbians, by contrast, are seen as easy prey in fiction as compared with male counterparts. I think the story as seen in this Batbook suggests that, because of the social justice elements Kate Kane's character was built on, they must've considered her the character who'd draw the least objections from the audience who'd find her structure a turnoff. But given how the storyline comes at the expense of the other cast members, all forced into standings vehemently opposed to killing even to save lives, that's one more reason why it's a failure, the chances of Clayface resurrecting notwithstanding.

And to think Spoiler and Cassandra Cain had to wind up stuck in an atrocity like this!

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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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