Warning: This post contains spoiler photos and text from Batwoman #9.
One thing I hear fanboys say all the time about Batwoman is that it’s such a great comic book, it’s easy to forget the main character is a lesbian. It sounds kind of insulting, but what they mean is that Batwoman is not a gay PSA. Her sexuality fits effortlessly into the larger hero narrative. You don’t think about Bruce Wayne being straight and you don’t think about Kate Kane being gay. They just are who they are, and they love who they love, and they sex who they sex — and then they save the world.
I’ve been writing for AfterEllen for almost almost five years, and I have developed an uncanny Lezzer Sense when it comes to queer characters. I can tell you who they’re going to fall in love with, how they’re going to cheat, when they’re going to get pregnant, where they’re going to die. I can spot a lesbian storytelling trope from outer space with only my eyeballs. Also, when a new lesbian character is introduced to a story, it makes my heart go KABOOM! while my brain files the new lady in her appropriate place (“First hispanic bisexual doctor on American primetime network TV” or “Seventh supporting lesbian character to get tied to some railroad tracks and smashed by a train on daytime television” or whatever other classifications).
All photos courtesy of DC Comics
But it took me four rereads of Batwoman #9 before I went, “Wait, they just introduced another lesbian character — an Asian lesbian character!” I mean, she kisses Kate fully on the lips after flirty-touching her in every conceivable way all issue long; obviously she’s a homo. I was just so wrapped up in the story and the art and the seamless saturation of Batwoman’s sexuality, I forgot to be surprised by it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Batwoman #9 continues the non-linear “To Drown the World” story-arc. Batwoman is still locked in her fisticuffs with the mythical Falchion, who has parked his yacht in Gotham Harbor and is throwing high-class ragers aboard it every night. Detective Chase is befuddled about how to board the yacht and dig down into Falchion’s underwater lair without getting gunned down by his security detail, but of course Kate Kane has been invited to attend his shindig and hobnob with other well-to-do Gothamites. Detective Chase instructs Kate to take her girlfriend to the party — “And for God’s sake, dress like an actual rich socialite so you don’t draw attention to yourself!” — but to rendezvous with their new criminal informant, Sune, once she’s inside.
Boom! Instant love triangle!
Sune is smitten with Batwoman already, and she can barely keep her hands off of her when she removes her cape and cowl and starts dressing for the party. They flirt, they banter, Sune proposes the superhero equivalent of marriage when she blurts out, “I want to be allied with you!” And despite her code of ethics and her commitment to Maggie, Kate’s kind of feeling it.
Aboard Falchion’s yacht, Maggie spots Sune and Kate together and gets a little jealous, but Kate calms her fears by making out with her face and calling Sune “an entitled musician.” But then Maggie is off to work and Kate and Sune are off to Falichon’s secret lair. Sune get shot, Batwoman saves her life — kissing ensues!
It’s an interesting dilemma: Be with the one you love or learn to love the one who knows your secret identity?
In other happenings, Bette takes a turn for the worse in Gotham Central Hospital, Medusa gets summoned back to Gotham once more, and Chase is really starting to get off on bossing Batwoman around. There are two more issues of “To Drown the World” left. Hopefully all three — THREE! — lesbians live to tell about it.