Look no further than your local comic book specialty shop and discover worlds of infinite diversity as more and more DC heroes embrace their authentic selves and gifted talent from across the industry share their PRIDE in the second volume of the celebratory anthology.
Not to diminish the importance of Batwoman, when the character of Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s first cousin was reimagined and introduced in 2006 she was considered groundbreaking. Kate Kane appeared in that summer’s 52 #7 crossover DC event, an army brat turned high society socialite who was discharged from the military for having a same-sex relationship, but by issue #11 she had donned the familiar cape and cowl of Gotham City’s steadfast Dark Knight Detective and found her purpose fighting crime and corruption in the treacherous underworld.
From the moment, the media first laid their eyes on the design of Batwoman they were captivated, and the controversy surrounding her sexual orientation immediately put the light of the Bat Signal squarely on her back. Although she wasn’t the first LGBTQ+ character introduced in comics, Marvel Comics had the X-Men’s Northstar, who married his partner in a very public wedding in the middle of Central Park, and Maggie Sawyer, one of the Man of Steel’s most ardent allies was the head of Metropolis’ Special Crimes Unit. Batwoman’s proximity to The Batman, and the intent that the heroine would not be fighting out from under the shadow of the Bat, but all on her own terms, is what made her unique.
DC had every intention of Kate’s journey as Batwoman to not be defined by her sexual orientation, but by her dedication to truth, justice, and defending those who couldn’t defend themselves. It just so happens that she is a lesbian. Nearly two decades since, Batwoman’s introduction paved the path for the vigilante Midnighter, the newest Aqualad turned Aquaman, the third Robin to come into his own as the Red Robin and embrace his authentic self and for the next generation Man of Steel to find love on his own terms. It’s been a wholeheartedly transformative experience for LGBTQ+ representation among the pantheon of super-heroics.
And as for Batwoman, the caped marauder had three successful seasons headlining her own live-action series on The CW, and on the sister series Supergirl, the Maid of Might was joined in her crusade by the primetime universe’s first transgender superheroine, Dreamer, brought to life by the multi-talented Nicole Maines. With all of this transformation, one would feel that LGBTQ+ people of all kinds now would be met with acceptance across all genres, except in the last four years, states across this very democratic union have introduced legislation that directly impacts the queer community, impacting the freedoms of transgender individuals and even criminalizing the word “gay” in some states.
If there was ever a time we needed heroes, the time is right now!
The Many Colors of PRIDE
This month in recognition of the PRIDE season, DC released the second volume of the widely successful anthology book DC PRIDE 2022 which includes original stories and art focusing on the myriad of characters that represent the LGBTQ+ super community of DC Comics continuity, including Aquaman/Jackson Hyde, Green Arrow/Connor Hawke, Superman/Jonathan Kent, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and more. The book also features a forward written by Nicole Maines, the transgender actress who plays Dreamer on Supergirl and who contributed a story in the first volume of the PRIDE anthology that effectively introduced the heroine into the comic book world.
This year’s cover is drawn by the legendary Phil Jimenez of Wonder Woman fame, and the talent assembled to bring these stories to light is remarkably impressive, giving voice to some of the most dynamic heroes. Some are brand new, but many have recently found their place and joined in a tradition of storytelling at DC comics that is reflective of social change and especially inclusivity for all. This volume also includes a very personal and deeply inspiring narrative written by Kevin Conroy. The actor behind the iconic portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Emmy-winning Batman: The Animated Series penned the final tale in the anthology “Finding Batman”.
After so many years of feeling as if they were looking in and not part of the world of superheroes, fans now can identify with tales that include the likes of Superman and Batman’s own sons, as they traverse the growing community which includes a Green Arrow, a Queen of the Amazons, a Green Lantern, and Tim Drake, now Red Robin. With Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy still sharing a very fatal attraction and Batwoman still on the beat, the DC Universe now has a place for all of us inside the hallowed walls of the Hall of Justice.
DC PRIDE 2022 | is available now at your local comic book specialty story and features new stories, fan-favorite characters, and more PRIDE than ever before for $9.99 | For fans visiting New York City, from August 20-21, 2022 tickets are still available to attend FlameCon at the Times Square Sheraton created by Geeks OUT. Visit FlameCon.org for more info.