I love comics. I always have. I love the way they help me dream and believe in good winning, in cruelty being stopped, in wrongs being righted. I love the strength, the courage, the bravery of superheroes, and their desire to make things right–something that I think is also often true in YA protagonists, especially in YA fantasy (and I cover a broad spectrum there) but also in realistic YA. But comics…they have a special, separate place in my heart.
So I was so excited and happy to read DC’s new Batwoman comic which won this year’s GLAAD award for an outstanding comic book. I can’t remember reading another mainstream lesbian superhero–or ANY, actually. Catwoman was lesbian (before the newest reincarnation), but she wasn’t exactly a hero (or exactly a villain). Batwoman (aka Kate Kane) is pure hero–trying to protect kids, people, and do the right thing–AND she’s dating (Detective Sawyer). An active lesbian, not just a token character, with her own book, and a character I really like so far? It feels like treasure!
I think it’s so important that there are good queer characters in books, comics, TV, and movies that we can relate to. We need reflections of our own experiences, and I also think that it helps to normalize us for people who aren’t queer. It also gives a more accurate reflection of our world and is more inclusive. And when I think of all the readers it could help, teens and adults who may feel so alone in being queer, or are facing homophobia–I am so grateful for this series! Comics can be a great escape, and they can also be a great inspiration.
Comics have long been missing queer characters, and not many have had their own books. So this is very, very cool. I have waited SO long for a lesbian superhero, and one I could relate to–and so far, I have NOT been disappointed! Thank you DC!
Missed out on this series? There’s a hardcover edition coming out in June that collects issues 0-5. Your local comic store (or online store) may also have copies. Or if you’re lucky, maybe your library will have copies.
Know of any lesbian superheroes I missed? Especially mainstream ones? Let me know. I’d also love to know about gay superheros.