Tuesday, March 9, 2010
BEATING THE BOYS
Since I did a post on the original "Bat-Girl" I thought I ought to have one for her auntie too.
Original Batwoman's appearance is interesting on a number of levels. It's been alleged (though never proven) that she was introduced to be a regular romantic interest for Batman in order to allay Wertham-esque complaints about the unhealthy relationship of Bruce Wayne and his young ward. About five years later Bat-Girl was introduced as a little friend for Robin and the foursome were all but double-dating before then-editor Jack Schiff was taken off the Bat-books and new editor Julie Schwartz considered the Bat-babes to oblivion.
To be sure, Original Batwoman was kind of a wimp most of the time, though you can't tell it from this cover, where the Dynamic Duo seem positively unmanned by the threat of female superiority. Of course more feminine influence in a superhero book wouldn't have quelled Werthamite complaints in itself, in that Wertham arguably disapproved of female crimefighters even more than he did of proto-gay male crimefighters.
I rather liked how Grant Morrison briefly revived this Batwoman in a BATMAN flashback and endowed her with a certain sassiness in line with the above cover.