When DC Comics announced plans to relaunch all of their titles with new #1 issues in September, the comic book world lost its collective mind. Classic titles are being dropped, costumes are being overhauled, and minor characters are being pulled from peripheral universes to headline their own books. When I read the news, I wasn’t given over to hysteria; no, I sighed in relief because finally we had an explanation for the repeated delays of Batwoman #1.
As details of DC’s relaunch have begun to drop, we’re uncovering more and more good news for lesbian and gay comic book fans. For one thing, Apollo and Midnighter, a gay couple from the Wildstorm universe are getting a solo title, making them the first long-term same-sex couple to have their own book. And, from that same universe, bisexual badass Voodoo is being propelled into the spotlight with her own solo gig, making her the only woman of color to headline her own title.
It has been over a year since Batwoman handed the reigns of Detective Comics back to Batman, and nine months since issue #0 of her solo-titled comic was released. For a while there, every scrap of news from DC sent me into a spiral of doom. Batwoman #1 was originally slated for February, 2011. Then it was pushed to “spring,” and then it was pushed to “fall.” With DC dodging the why? at every turn, I started to believe they weren’t committed to their highest-profile lesbian heroine. But it turns out the opposite is true.
After Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s award-winning run on Detective Comics, Batwoman #1 was easily the most anticipated title of 2010. And when DC starts rolling out new titles in September, you better believe Batwoman is going to be the first thing to fly off shelves. She’ll be the only familiar character left in the DC Universe. We’ve read issue #0, and Williams, whom we already know we can trust with her, has been working tirelessly with W. Haden Blackman and artist Amy Reeder Hadley to create a seamless transition from her turn in Detective Comics. Fanboys and Fangirls will be reaching for the other new titles out of curiosity; they’ll be reaching for Batwoman because they already know how good her book will be.
Can you even imagine? The most beloved character (and probably the most-purchased book) in the DC universe, right off the, erm, Bat, is going to be the lesbian superhero. Ten years ago that would have been unthinkable.
I’ve got high hopes for Voodoo as well. Voodoo #1, which will be rated T+, goes on sale September 28th. DC is teasing her like this: “Who is Voodoo? Is she hero, villain – or both? Learn the truth about Priscilla Kitaen as she leaves a trail of violence across America. Discover the new DCU through her eyes, because the things she sees are not always what they seem.”
Cover art for Voodoo #2
Now my only question for DC is about, well, The Question. Renee Montoya, former girlfriend of Kate Kane, headlined the second feature during Batwoman’s run on Detective Comics, but as far as I know, DC hasn’t released any information about what (if anything) will happen to her after the relaunch. With DC trying to diversify, I’m really surprised they didn’t give her a solo shot. She’s a well-known, much-loved entity in the Bat-verse, and one of the only Latina characters in DC’s line-up. If she doesn’t show up in one of Batman’s titles early-on, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.
For now, though, things are looking good for us at DC. Are you excited about the four LGBT characters in DC’s new lineup?