We felt something stirring when Michelle Pfeiffer slinked around in that skintight body suit. We raised our eyebrows when Anne Hathaway turned tender for Juno Temple in The Dark Knight Rises. And we definitely read it on our radar when she teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. But now she’s here, she’s queer, and she’s canon: Selina Kyle aka Catwoman is officially bisexual.
Even folks who’ve never read a comic recognize the name Catwoman. She is a storied and iconic character in comics, who has often suffered from oversexualization, poor story lines, and Halle Berry. But her character endures because she represents a complexity that female comic characters often lack. Never one to be relegated to the “girlfriend” role, Catwoman has been kicking ass and taking names for over 60 years. As a cat burglar with a conscience, she walks the fine line between villain and anti-hero.
The current incarnation of Catwoman finds her hanging up the cowl to to run the Calabrese crime syndicate in Gotham. When someone else takes up the Catwoman mantle, Selina is shocked to find that this knock-off Catwoman is Eiko Hasigaway, a young woman from the rival Yakuza crime family. The two women have grown close over the past few issues, and in Catwoman #39 we finally see them kiss.
Selina is only the second gay Catwoman, following Holly Robinson, an out lesbian who took over the Catwoman role when Selina was pregnant in 2004. That character would eventually go on to win a GLAAD media award.
Catwoman writer Genevieve Valentine confirmed on Twitter that this isn’t just a fling.
She has also taken to her blog to discuss how the storyline came to be:
Valentine seems committed to bringing a fully realized bisexual Catwoman to life, which is exciting considering DC comics lack of queer lady representation.
After all, we are still reeling from the massive fuck-up that felled Batwoman Detective, one of the greatest queer superhero series ever. But a revolving door of writers and long delays proved damaging. As a result, the Batwoman Detective series was one of 13 titles that DC axed at the end of last year. This left a lot of queer comic fans very angry (including yours truly) and skeptical of whether or not DC could give us the queer comic characters that our audience craves. Fingers crossed that Catwoman fares better than Kate Kane.