Drawn To Comics: “Detective Comics” Gets Even Queerer With Dr. Victoria October, Trans Woman and Bioweapon Specialist

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.

Art by Ben Oliver

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.

Art by Ben Oliver

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)

Angel Season 11 #1

Batgirl Vol 3 Point Blank TP

Harley Quinn #12

Harley Quinn Vol 6 Black White and Red All Over HC

Harley Quinn Vol 5 The Joker’s Last Laugh TP

Raven #5

Powerpuff Girls #6

X-Files #10

A-Force Vol 2 Rage Against The Dying of The Light TP

Black Panther: World of Wakanda #3

Black Widow #10

Gamora #2

Gwenpool #10

Mighty Captain Marvel #1

Mighty Thor Vol 1 Thunder in Her Veins TP

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #14

Scarlet Witch Vol 2 World of Witchcraft TP

Spider-Gwen #16

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #3

Ultimates 2 #3

Adventure Time Comics #7

Slam #3


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.


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Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 537 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. Thanks to my local library, I have finally started Lumberjanes and it is DELIGHTFUL! I’ve also checked out Bitch Planet Vol. 1, which I will read when I’ve finished Lumberjanes Vols. 1-5. FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

    • The Library is always the best place to start with comics. That’s how I got into comics, I was stuck interstate on a business trip with nothing to do for half a day so went to the local library and came across the graphic novel section and read vol 1 of Gotham Central. Been hooked on comics ever since.

  2. I’m in tears because they made Holly Robinson a mass murderer, the first lesbian I had ever read in comics or any books, who I’m pretty sure was DCs first lesbian superhero, I think they even won a GLAAD for her, they made her into a serial killer who killed 237 people.

        • In the Batman books there was a plot that Selina was in prison for killing 237 people and was on death row, which is a terrible story in its own right, and Batman was trying to prove that she didn’t kill those people so he found Holly and asked for her help, she attacked him and ran off to Kahndaq, while Selina rescued him and told him that Holly had killed those people and was set off because of the anger at the terrorist attack on their orphanage and that she was taking the fall to protect her.

          • I just messaged a comic reviewer I know who liked the issue, he feels like her actions were justified since she was killing terrorists and doesn’t think it hurts the character too badly. Obviously your opinion may differ and while I haven’t read the issue, I think it sounds messed up enough that your concerns are justified. I would like to see writing by a queer woman about this to get her perspective as well since the only reviews I’ve found have been by men. *hugs*

  3. I must say I’m not a big fan of Batwoman the stuff I read was too much military blah blah for me. I am a huge fan of Miss Bennett though. Her run on Angela was awesome mainly because of Sera who is one of the best characters Marvel has. I’m still angry with Marvel that they canceled it mid arc but Marvel’s loss is DC’s gain. I’m definitely picking up Batwoman now and let’s hope Montoya gets an appearance too, after Greg Rucka stopped writing her DC kinda forgot about her it seems. Let’s not forget Miss Bennett’s original comic InSEXts at Aftershock. Victorian body horror that’s actually more supernatural superheroes and so much more.

  4. Granted, I had read only the first issue of Detective Comics Rebirth, but it was mediocre at best. And what made it much worse for me: it continued the story of godawful marc andreyco’s arc and that it de facto included Batwoman in Bat-family. She never was a part of the family, and IMO she never should be, because she does not work for Batman.

  5. You’ve got to be kidding. The current run of Detective comics is the almost the worst run in the histroy of the comic (only Azrael’s run can top it for worst of all time). It’s basically The Outsider’s re-branded in what should be “Batman Detective”. Utter garbage. I’d cancel my sub if it didn’t have Detective Comics in the title. But that’s just my opinion.

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