DC has just given Batwoman fans an extra reason to celebrate: they’ve recently announced a new ongoing solo series starring Kate Kane. She largely disappeared from the DC Comics universe following the conclusion of her last solo series in March of 2015. James Tynion IV, Eber Ferreira, and Eddy Barrows brought her back to play an important role in training Spoiler, Orphan, Clayface, and Red Robin in post-Rebirth Detective Comics. The new ongoing series, simply entitled Batwoman, will spin out of a two-issue Detective Comics arc. Her solo title begins in February, with the release of Batwoman: Rebirth, followed by Batwoman #1 in March.
The premise for her new series is an interesting one and takes her out of Gotham on a global adventure to prevent a particular bioweapon from being sold. The main writer on the series will be Marguerite Bennett, who is currently knocking it of the park with her work on the “Elseworld’s” title DC Comics Bombshells, with Kate Kane’s Batwoman playing a prominent role (pun intended, my apologies). She’ll join Tynion on Batwoman’s final arc in Detective Comics, and he will join her on the first Batwoman arc. The series will feature art by Steve Epting, returning to DC Comics for the first time in fifteen years.
Mark Doyle, the group editor for the Batman family of comics, spoke about the new series, saying that Batwoman is “yet another example of the character depth, richness and diversity present in Gotham City”. He continued, saying that there has been a lot of fan response to her return in Detective Comics, making it “an easy choice to return her to a solo series”.
Bennett could not have been a better choice for the title. Her amazing work on Bombshells proves that she can do justice to the character, and her enthusiasm for Batwoman is easy to see.
“There has never been a heroine I have loved more than Batwoman. Her flaws, her ferocity, her struggle to rise above her own history and find a way to serve the greater good and those she loves – she always cut me straight to the bone. To be a queer woman to to see a queer woman as just not a part but a pillar of the Bat-family was life changing, inspiring and gave me the courage to pursue this career in comics. The opportunity to add to Kate Kane’s story and legacy is both an honor and a sincere dream come true.”
Epting is also excited to work on the title, saying that he loves her “character design and how she fits into the whole Batman mythos”. Artists such as J.H. Williams III, Amy Reeder, Alex Ross, Jeremy Haun, and Trevor McCarthy have worked on her title before, giving her quite a “rick visual history” — one that Epting is “thrilled to be a part of”.
I’ve written about the importance of queer representation in comics before, and Bennett’s thoughts on Kate’s struggles and triumphs sums it up brilliantly. It can be life changing and inspiring to see yourself reflected in a real, well thought out way in the media you consume. DC Comics has made a number of steps in the right direction, which is encouraging to see. From having Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner (the creators behind Harley Quinn’s ongoing series) confirm that Harley and Poison Ivy are “girlfriends without the jealousy of monogamy” to series writer Genevieve Valentine establishing Catwoman as “canon bisexual” to, most recently, writer Greg Rucka stating that Wonder Woman is queer, it is a good time to see queer representation really start to take off. Of course, there is still work to be done, but it is encouraging to see a major comics publisher embrace inclusivity and diversity rather than push against it.