One well documented problem with the comic book universe is its glaring lack of respect for its female, non-white and non-heterosexual and non-cisgendered characters.
Fans of The Avengers have been begging Marvel for a solo Black Widow movie for years, while DC Comics fans have become increasingly frustrated with offensive plot lines in its comics.
In The New 52 series of comics, DC Comics came under fire when the publisher wouldn’t allow Batwoman to get married to her partner, Maggie Sawyer, explaining that DC heroes have to put their relationships aside in order to do what they do (Superman and Wonder Woman were also dating at the time, it has been noted).
The publisher then followed this up with a controversial storyline in which vampiric villain Nocturna hypnotises and seduces Batwoman – an event that Batwoman then has nightmares about – with many fans calling the storyline out as a rape plot.
As unfortunate as those instances are (Batwoman’s run of comics was soon ditched rather quickly), many had hoped better for Gotham, a show that premiered last year and aimed to be an ‘origins’ story of sorts for Batman and co.
One huge draw for queer viewers was that it starred Renee Montoya, a lesbian of colour, who was caught up in a love triangle with (the then-fiancée of Jim Gordon) Barbara Kean and fans were keen to see them get together.
And though they did reunite, the breakup was messy and Montoya was criminally underused on the show afterwards, leaving many queer viewers disappointed.
It comes as little surprise then that neither Montoya or her police partner Crispus Allen will be returning for Gotham season two.
Gotham‘s executive producer John Stephens tells After Ellen that
… the show began as a police-centric show with a lot of cops, and as Season 1 evolved and definitely as Season 2 began to take shape, it became more of a Gotham supervillain-centric show”.
That will be hard to hear for many fans, but Stephens does say that the characters do still exist in the world of Gotham.
Even though they’re not series regulars anymore, if we need to, we can go back and see them again”.
As for what this means for Barbara’s love life going forward, her bisexuality isn’t suddenly being glossed over as Gotham season two will put her in the middle of a bisexual love triangle with the season’s two big villains, one of whom is a man and the other is a woman.
The love triangle will play out over 10 episodes, starting with the season premiere and although Stephens didn’t provide many details, some are speculating that Barbara’s female love interest will be Tigress, played by Jessica Lucas.