Comic Cards Project: Day 25 • Batwoman
Now would be a good time to talk about Frederic Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent. Published in 1954, this bestselling condemnation of comic books as a major cause of juvenile delinquency had a huge impact on the industry. It led to congressional hearings on the subject and to the formation of the Comics Code Authority as regulator of comic book content.
In an attempt to dispel the assertions in Wertham’s book that Batman and Robin were homosexuals, Batwoman was introduced as a love interest for Batman. The funny thing was the “interest” was pretty one-sided with Batwoman pursuing a somewhat indifferent Batman. At times, she even seemed to make Robin jealous!
Even though Batwoman saved Batman’s life when they first met, Batman chalked this up to luck and often told her that crimefighting was too dangerous for a girl. The fact that Batman failed to take her seriously might be attributed at least partially to the fact that her weaponry and gadgets were all based on things found in a typical woman’s purse—perfume, hairnets, compact mirrors, and powder. It was as if instead of focusing on the “bat” part of her identity, the writers were more preoccupied with the “novelty” of her being a woman.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Monday: Hawkman!
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