Lovefool 10.07.13 | Being The Bat Ain’t Easy

Lovefool wades into DC’s latest creative kerfuffle and asks the question: do superheroes deserve to be happy?




Nerdlings! Hello! Where have you been?!?
I kid, I kid. Week One of this little mini-break was because I had a hella busy weekend and JG,FE was in Chicago and I decided maybe not that weekend. Week Two was because my face started falling apart the Friday before Column Day. No, seriously, I was at work eating some cereal (lunch of champions!) and something happened with a tooth that has an ancient filling and I ended up looking at bits of my tooth as they innocently hung out in my palm. Seriously, that happened. I made an emergency dental appointment for Monday and then settled in to freak out.
If I’m being particularly honest, though, I’d have to say that I’m feeling a little quiet these days in general, a little displaced in my own life sometimes, and I wasn’t sure how that would come across here. I knew it would, though. A professional, of course, would get on with it and just write a column but we’re not here because I’m professional, are we? So I just kind of ducked out of my life and spent some time hiding out and hung out with Mr. J and the Catses Collective. And it was good. But I still felt quiet.
Of course, this all happened right around the time JG,FE actually mentioned something I could write about at the last Ink and Drink – an actual suggestion, though dreadfully out of date by now. (Seriously, I’m, like, a month late to this party.) But I didn’t really feel like writing about it. In fact, I stopped, holding a full pitcher of beer, to roll my eyes at him. I think I was avoiding this particular subject mostly because, if I stopped to think about it, I’d probably have to do an open and honest assessment on the importance of happiness in life and I didn’t want to. I know what I should think about this but I’m a little unsure what I actually think about this if I stop to contextualize it, which is a large part of what we do here at Lovefool, Inc.
And, let the record show, I did bring this sort of thing up about a thousand years ago. I firmly recall saying I don’t talk about superheroes most of the time because they’re so goddamned depressing to write about. They are. That ish never works out and it’s sad. But I’m in just about the right place to think about it on this fine Monday Eve, despite the fact that I had a pretty good day.
By now, of course, you all know the story I’m about to recap for you. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman left Batwoman because of editorial differences stemming from DC’s decision not to let Kate Kane, our caped lady crusader, actually marry her fiancée, lady police officer Maggie Sawyer. Dan DiDio said something stupid about how superheroes can’t get married because cape, commitments, blah, blah, blah, Bats “shouldn’t have happy personal lives.” Mark Andreyko came along and was like, “Whoa, hang on. We’re still totally into this whole Kate and Mags 4EVA! thing. Really. We are.”
The internet, naturally, immediately all had a collective record scratch moment, except for one LGBTA progressive blog that, interestingly, pointed out that Kate Kane is hella unstable and might not be the best torchbearer to introduce same-sex marriage into the DC fold. Otherwise, it was pandemonium. I didn’t really have much of an opinion on it besides an initial eyeroll and a horrific lack of surprise. It would’ve been great for DC to follow in Marvel’s footsteps and let love rule but, apparently, being the Bat means no love for you and wearing those rubber ears spells certain doom for your shot at happiness. Happy Bats just don’t happen and it makes sense for them to point that out. It does. I kind of accepted that logic a little bit.
Except, hang on, let’s think about this one. At the end of the day, for whatever reasons, DC is still the company that said that the only openly gay marquee character in mainstream comics couldn’t marry her girlfriend, period, because I guess getting married automatically means you’re happy? Which, what? Really? Please. I bet there’d be betting pools on how they’d get divorced on nerd forums everywhere. Would their Type A personalities get the best of them? Would their overwhelming commitment to their jobs, which is already kind of a thing, drive them apart? Just because you walk down an aisle and say some pretty words doesn’t automatically make you happy and that kind of thinking is pretty naive. There’s a lot more to it. And a lot of people out there are putting that work into their relationships and being denied the right to take that giant leap and seeing what happens.
You know, in writing this, I’ve kind of come around. Just because I’m being a misanthropic crankypants staring into the abyss doesn’t mean that I want to deny anyone else any sort of happiness or…well, normalcy. This was an opportunity for DC to join Marvel in normalizing something that is a big part of a lot of people’s worlds, either purely wistful thinking or day-to-day reality. When I flip open any number of books, I see straight couples doing their thing. Some of them are happy, some of them aren’t but they’re there and I can see myself in that, a little bit, even if I’m not a buff superhero. This is something we have in common, me and those superheroes, trying to balance our lives. Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer’s marriage, happy ending not guaranteed, would give a lot more people that opportunity and it’s a shame they won’t have it. | Erin Jameson

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