Anna Peppard, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellow in Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, had a piece recently published in The Walrus about themes of transformation, disguise and duality in superhero stories and how these themes relate to the LGBTQ community.
“In a film-and-television landscape increasingly saturated with superhero content, the CW network’s Batwoman — which debuted last fall and was renewed for a second season last week — is unique for at least two reasons: the title character, who is a lesbian, is the first openly LGBTQ superhero to headline a live action comic book adaptation; and the show’s star, Ruby Rose, who identifies as lesbian and gender fluid, is the first openly LGBTQ performer to portray a headlining superhero.
This isn’t a case of “in name only” diversity. The lesbian identity of Batwoman, civilian name Kate Kane, is woven into the show’s narrative premise. The show is adapted from a 2006 comic book reenvisioning of the character, which made her a former star recruit at West Point academy who is forced to abandon her dreams of a military career after an anonymous tip outs her as a lesbian. This compels Kate to find another way to serve, which leads to her becoming Batwoman. In the CW show, Kate is additionally compelled by necessity: Gotham City has descended into near anarchy after the mysterious disappearance of Batman three years earlier. Yet she is more directly compelled by love; she dons the Batsuit for the first time in order to save her military-academy ex-girlfriend, Sophie, from the clutches of a supervillain.”
Continue reading the full article here.