I never thought the day would come when I would find myself explaining the difference between Batwoman and Batgirl to people who do not read comic books.
But over the past twenty-four hours, that has been the case. Friends and co-workers have been coming up to me and saying, “Wow! They’re making Batwoman a lesbian!” To which I say to them, “Please do not confuse Batwoman with Batgirl.”
Because that’s what they’re doing. I know they’re doing it as they’re saying it to me. Then they look at me funny and say, “You mean Batwoman isn’t Batgirl?” I tell them no. And then I start explaining it to them.
“Batwoman was Kathy Kane. She was a character introduced into the Batman mythos back in the late 1950s who disappeared once Batman’s “New Look” began in 1964. She made a comeback of sorts in the late 1970s and then was violently killed off in 1979.” She’s a Batwoman, I tell them, “you’ve never heard about.”
“Oh,” they say. “I thought they were turning Batgirl into a lesbian.”
“Perfectly understandable,” I tell them. “You’re concerned because your nice wholesome image of Yvonne Craig as Batgirl in the old Batman television series may have been jeopardized. No, that wholesome Batgirl character of the comics, known to us all as Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, was violently shot and permanently crippled by the Joker in 1988. Barbara went on to become a computer expert called Oracle. A new Batgirl eventually emerged and now she’s evil. I think. I’m not completely sure.”
“But this new Batwoman,” I continue, “Comes into play because the entire DC Universe has been rebooted so that Kathy Kane can return as a lesbian socialite who during her spare time becomes Batwoman in a Gotham City that doesn’t have a Batman. For a little while. Just a year. I know this because I’m reading into the future.”
And they all look at me funny. Batgirl crippled? The DC Universe rebooted? Batgirl evil? Batman no longer in Gotham? My being able to see one year later into the future? They walk away completely bewildered.
Their concern about Batwoman being a lesbian? Suddenly, it doesn’t matter anymore.