Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jimmny Homunculus on BBC Radio 4!

Lesbian superhero shock! Is more or less how the press has reacted to the reinvention of a Batwoman character which has caused a bit of stir with reports on BBC Online, The Guardian, CBS online, CNN, The Independent, The New York Times. (They all refer to a 'classic' character!mmm that's a bit of stretch)Newspaper reporting on comics 'events' like this does drive me up the wall a bit with the Guardian's Lotte Jeff starting off with:

Holy hole in a doughnut! Batwoman is set to be revealed as a "lipstick lesbian" in the weekly DC comic book 52

How longer do we have to suffer bad 'holy' something jokes in any reporting on a bat-theme?

Anyway a producer from BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour called me and after a few chats (no doubt to make sure I wasn't a crank or lunatic, ahem, I'll let that one go for the minute.)

I have been pencilled in for appearing on the show on Monday 5 June at 10am! I have to go to a studio in BBC Norfolk and have to try and get images of Alan Partridge out of my noggin beforehand. I'm sure there'll be a streaming version online if you can't get Radio 4.

I'm generally positve about this story but will be trying to put in context of DC Comics' attention-grabbing summer crossovers. There's always something like The 'Death' of Superman or 'Batman breaks his back' where a people would come up to me in the street and say things like 'ooh you know Superman's dead!' Where do you start explaining that DC comics are hardly going to kill off their flagship character.

Similarly with Batwoman, it remains to seen if this character will become integral to the DC universe, will her sexuality be mentioned much or dealt with in any depth in the longer term. It's admirable for DC to make these attempts at diversity but their universe in still predominantly white and male. It's always going to be more acceptable to create a lesbain character that's very conventially attractive to a heterosexual audience. I'll also be trying to get across that pidgeonholing superheroes into the confines of human sexuality when some characters are so cosmic in scope and some can change their bodies at will is a bit reductive and undermines the power of some of these fantasies. No doubt some She-hulk talk will also ensue.

Mental notes to self: talk slowly and don't say 'feck' 'arse' or anything worse....


Caddy Powers Jr said...

Jimmny on radio, cool I'll have to get up to listen.

Wow didn't realise this cause such a fuss. Kathy Kane was hardly a major character. In fact, I'm surprised anyone has heard of her. Hell just pulled out my copy of Tales of the Deamon and re-read Detective Comics # 485 where she is killed. After five pages. Off panel.

That's how important she was.

But still why the major spazz over this reinvention. Swamp Thing, Starman and Sandman all took ractically different directions in the late 80s early 90s (although with different main characters in the later two) and no-one batted an eyelid at the changes. Ah yes, lesbianism. I forgot the priorities.

I have a vague recollection that the last animated Batman movie was involving Batwoman. She appeared to look a bit of a cross with this Batwoman and the current Batgirl. Or is she dead? I can't remember. Anyway, haven't seen it but was that the start of the Kathy Kane revival

Lorcy said...

I have The Mystery Of the Batwomen on DVD it's not too bad, there's three characters in it who all might be the batwoman, so immediately this doesn't give the story an epic feeling of a lone heroine who is batwoman

I think it's all about tampering with the periferies but keeping bats and supes the same, like with ted kord, if you're going to kill off a white male millionaire in the DCU universe it's not going to be Wayne so poor kord gets it. I think DCU would still be skittish over making Wonder Woman explicitly lesbian so 'hey presto' resurrect an obscure character and sell a few more copies of '52'...i'm looking forward to buying them all in 10 years time when they're all 10p

on another note, did you check out Dial B for Blog's stuff on Mr A?

badbrute said...

Oh Fuck, this will be brilliant..!

Caddy Powers Jr said...

Yeah but as they already have their most prominent recent outing as a lesbian, Renee Montoya from Gotham Central, in 52 whats the need of Lesbian Batwoman. Love interest perhaps? Besides if you want a major lesiban super-hero, I doubt anyone would really think it too out of character if Power Girl was to come out.

I notice no-one made such a big deal when Obsidian went gay. But of course male homosexuality is far less interesting than female homosexuality.

Saw the Mr A feature. Pretty impressed by Robbie's ability to collect this stuff. The man deserves a knighthood or something. Better than giving these pointless honours to retired soap actors / actresses.

Still of the view that the Question and Rorachach were better characters than Mr A as he did have a tendancy to preach at you.

Actually preach is too light a word. Mr A told you that you were an absolute moron unless you subscribed to Objectivism.

Your comments almost imply an acceptance of Ted Kord's death. To which I simply reply Noooooooooo

Worse yet, I have this horrible fealing Booster Gold isn't going to make it out of 52. He seems to be the most visible hero at the start of 52 (at least acording to my flicking through it) and is overly selfish. Yet he is completely absent in the one year forward part of DC cannon. I'm sensing noble (but pointless) sacrfice.

Lorcy said...

oh god, wouldn't want to imply i'm ok with the brutal and unnecessary death of poor ted kord, Giffen and Di Matiss's justice league work in the late 1980s-early 1990s is one of the most underrated comics of the era while all the critics were too busy praising moore and miller.

I loved his storyline in the opac project -- this second stringer finding out conspiracies and trying to convince the big boys about them, it could have been the basis for a great new blue beetle series, but we all know what happened.

i hope they don't ice booster gold, whose going to be left skeet?

Caddy Powers Jr said...

Diddo on B Gold, hope I'm wrong on this but there'll have to be at least one 'prominent' death.

Just heard your radio appearence. Think the other guest was given the nicer questions but good showing none the less.

I guess the cynical voice in me would point out that the stupid X23 character has claws despite both you and your co guest saying no female superheros have claws, oh my :). But then she is only a wolverine clone. I think anyway, she seemed a bit dull so I didn't pay attention

Glad you did find a way to get She-Hulk into the conversation too ;)

Lorcy said...

I was screaming 'x23' in my brain but becuase I was in a 'lost' style bunker with headphones it's hard to know when you can speak and don't appear to be butting in. I'm not big on Buffy and Xena and always try and clarify that they are slightly different from comic book superheroes, what's the first sentence of the peice'xena buffy and wonder woman'. I think I did ok for a first time on radio four but could have spoken up more about how Northstar wasn't really that popular a character that only gets remembered for this reason.