One of the best comics at DC right now is Detective Comics, which already starred the now-legendary lesbian superhero Batwoman, and recently the book has gotten even queerer. Harper Row, also known as Bluebird, came out as bisexual in December; now in Detective Comics #948, a new trans woman supporting character, Dr. Victoria October, is joining the cast. Batwoman, Batman and their team have been fighting off genetically altered monsters and they need help, so they turn to Batman’s old friend, the scientist and “post-human bioweaponry” expert Dr. Victoria October.
The latest issue of Detective Comics, issue #948 also is the launching off point for the new Batwoman Begins comic book that’s going to be written by Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV, who both identify as queer. You might remember Bennett’s previous terrific queer and trans characters like every single person in DC Comics Bombshells. They include Alysia Yeoh, the trans former roommate of Batgirl who saw more action in Bombshells than she had seen before, and the stars of Marvel’s Angela books, Angela, a queer angel and Sera, her trans woman of color girlfriend. Tynion has also written his fair share of great queer and trans characters, including several in the book Backstagers, from Boom Studios. With these two talented writers I always feel confident when they introduce new queer or trans characters and I always look forward to it.
Dr. Victoria October is pretty much exactly like ninety percent of the white trans women I know. She works in STEM, she chose her name because it has “panache,” she’s a nerd but also is snarky, she uses phrases like “pupal stage” and “deadname” (used by a lot of trans people to refer to their birthname) and she hangs out with superheroes. She’s introduced with a smile and a quip, the only that’s missing is a couple puns and a pickle. I like that she’s so stereotypically trans in this way. It’s not in the way that trans characters normally are. Instead she’s stereotypical in the way that real life trans women are, and she’s full of inside references to the trans community.
October also is shown using a cane, so it looks like she’s also representation for disabled trans people, which is excellent. Bennett herself uses a cane, so again, I trust her more than most writers to write a character who also uses one. I’m really excited to see that more and more queer and trans characters are being introduced into the DC universe and specifically into the Batman universe. A lot of Batman villains have typically been coded as queer, so I really really like that now we’re seeing heroes being actually queer. We need positive representation, and that representation is even better when it’s coming from queer creators. With Batwoman, Harper Row and Dr. October, this part of the DC Universe is becoming nice and comfortable for comic fans like us. Thanks to the people who made these characters possible.
New Releases (January 18)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.