Batwoman has had a rough time since coming out as lesbian in 2006. There was initial pushback from fans, and the rebooted character had little do except represent “diversity” in DC Comics.
That changed in 2009, when she was finally given her own solo title. But the excitement was short-lived, as co-writers J.H. Williams III and Haden Blackman had to deal with constant interference from the publishers.
The final straw came when editors told Williams and Blackman that they could not have Batwoman marry her longtime girlfriend, Maggie—Even though the storyline was established months prior.
As a result, Williams and Blackman left the comic, citing “eleventh hour” changes to their story. Batwoman was canceled in April 2015.
Kate Kane has been seen sporadically since then, but now the dark-knight damsel is making her animated debut in Batman: Bad Blood DVD, with her sexuality intact.
We’ve seen other incarnations of Batwoman onscreen—like in the direct-to-video cartoon Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman—but this is the first time it’s been the modern sapphic Kate Kane version of the character. Voiced by Yvonne Strahovski, she plays a major role in Bad Blood, and the movie does not shy away from her history—or her sexuality.
Bad Blood doesn’t start at the beginning of Kate’s story; rather, it introduces us to it through a series of flashbacks and tidbits of research it turns out Bruce Wayne has done about her over the years. It’s all there: The “death” of her mother and sister, her expulsion from West Point, her spiral into a booze-fueled depression, and her decision to make something of herself after she met Batman for the first time in a drunken, dangerous stupor in a Gotham back-alley.
And it presents her whole story against the casual, matter-of-fact backdrop of her sexuality. It is not a big deal to anyone inside the Bat-universe; in fact, to them, Kate being gay is the least interesting thing about her.
In the film visits a gay bar and flirts with recurring Batman character Detective Renee Montoya.
Hopefully this is just the first of many appearances from Kate Kane in the DC cinematic universe.
Batman: Bad Blood is available on DVD, BluRay, and iTunes.