Kate Kane, also known as Batwoman, proposed to her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer, in the latest instalment of the comic strip, amidst controversy surrounding the publisher’s decision to hire a writer with anti-gay views to write for another title.
Batwoman was reintroduced as a lesbian by DC Comics in 2006, which was a move to try to reflect modern society more accurate than previous comics.
After emerging victorious from a recent crusade, Kane reveals her identity to Sawyer. “Marry me, Mags,” she says, planting a kiss on Sawyer before the police captain can react.
Recently, the comics artist, J. H. Williams expressed just why this character’s story means so much to him and comic book readers alike.
“Batwoman is an important character, and a socially important one that has meaning that extends well beyond the printed pages of the world she lives in, reaching out into ours possibly affecting those who encounter her story”
J. H. Williams
Batwoman’s proposal, the first lesbian engagement to be included in a mainstream comic, comes on the heels of DC Comics being heavily criticised (with some fans calling for a boycott of the company, and of the comic), due to their decision to hire anti-gay writer, Orson Scott Card (author of Enders Game). Card is scheduled to write the first two instalments of its new digital-first comic, Adventures of Superman.
DC Comics had responded to the criticism, defending “freedom of expression”, stating that Mr Card would not be a regular writer for the comic, just two episodes. An AllOut petition calling for DC to dump Scott Card had received almost 16,000 signatures.
This latest development with Batwoman’s character has seen some critics accuse DC of not making a bigger deal of the proposal, because of the controversy surrounding Card, others commended the publisher, praising it for what was seen as an attempt to normalise the same-sex proposal. Others have questioned whether Orson Scott Card will complete the work for DC, given his opposition to equal marriage.
Last year, after it was revealed that a major character of DC Comics would come out as gay, lesbian or bisexual, one of the company’s oldest characters, Green Lantern, was reintroduced as a gay man.
Marvel‘s Northstar, the first openly gay hero, tied the knot with his boyfriend Kyle Jinadu in an issue of ‘Astonishing X-Men’, last year, and recently the creators of Judge Dredd suggested that he could be gay.