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Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 324  (Vol. 7, No. 23). This edition is for the week of June 5--11, 2006.

Batwoman Returns as a Lesbian

By Nolan B. Canova

OK, so this guy I know comes into my 7-Eleven all the time to drop off print-outs of provocative political material he finds on the internet to incite a debate with me (he's a right-winger). Usually, it's something pro-Bush that allegedly vindicates his own position about something, like how correct we are to be in Iraq or whatever.

About a week ago he arrives all a-flutter. I mean, like, spastic. He throws over the counter at me the latest internet news item determined to pique my interest and elicit a reaction. Iraq? No. Illegal immigration? No.

Something he regarded as far more incendiary. At least to me and my readers.

The source of his giddiness: It seems the once dearly departed super-heroine known as Batwoman is making a comeback -- as a lesbian.

Batwoman - real name Kathy Kane - will appear in 52, a year-long DC Comics publication that began last month.

In her latest incarnation, she is a rich socialite who has a romantic history with another 52 character, ex-police detective Renee Montoya. Batwoman's new look was designed by DC comics legend Alex Ross (see illustration). A less-than-flattering description straight from the PR dept. refers to her as a "lipstick lesbian".

Sweet Jiminy Christmas, he thought this was the shit. "Hey, you're fanboy readers are really gonna get freaked over this, huh? Whatdaya think they're gonna say now, huh? What are they gonna do now, huh?"

I couldn't quite determine, even after questioning, if he thought we were all supposed to get, you know, all pissed off at this revelation or something. But he just knew it was gonna be HUGE.

I patiently explained that this sort of thing isn't all that unusual in this day and age. Yes, old superheroes who come back and have mysteriously changed sexes or races (or both) can be a little off-putting sometimes, but I myself chalk it up to diversity marketing. The Blue Beetle is now a Mexican teenager. Regular characters Firestorm and The Atom, meanwhile, have been reinvented as black and Asian heroes respectively.

Batwoman, who first appeared in July 1956, has not been seen since September 1979 when she was killed by the League of Assassins and the Bronze Tiger.

Regardless, he's been asking me nearly every day, "So, what have all your fans been saying? Has your Message Board melted down yet from all the feedback/objections/heart attacks???"

I informed him this was not the first gay superhero. That went right past him with no reaction. I then had to sheepishly admit I neglected to even post the Batwoman announcement in last week's issue, but pledged to do so this week. I cautioned the feedback may be a bit more underwhelming than he seems to expect.

So.....let me have it fandom assembled......whaddaya think of this Batwoman thing????

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All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ę2006 by Nolan B. Canova.

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