Batman has gone onto become one of the most successful comic book creations. The comic has been reincarnated into a television series, and more recently into several movies. The comic book and television show featured Batman with his sidekick, Robin, as superheros who fight evil and clearly quite weird, lets call them extravagant foes. While the movie versions have seen Batman fight for the side of good alone, apart from the critically panned, and I must say terribly awful Batman and Robin movie released in 1997, the fact remains that Batman, for the majority of his existence, has had Robin as a sidekick. Would you believe though, that in the 1950’s having Robin as a sidekick was harming his popularity. Why would Robin be harming Batman’s popularity? In the 1950’s it was believed that Batman and Robin were gay and that’s why they invented Batwoman, to be the love interest of Batman. The homosexual move against Batman gained a firm foothold following the release of the controversial book, Seduction of the Innocent. It doesn’t really help Batman’s image either that male bats have the highest rates of homosexuality among mammals, but you can read that later.
Before we get into what’s morally and politically correct with the above statement we must first recognise that it was a completely different era, and the world has changed significantly towards homosexuality over the last 50 or 60 years. Back then gays and lesbians would have to conceal their sexuality from society, or face being ostracised from the community. Homosexuality was frowned upon, even if it was only a perception. It could cause significant harm towards a brand or individual. This is exactly what the maker of Batman feared. To combat this they introduced the world to Batwoman, to show that Batman was not homosexual.
Ironically, today Batwoman is portrayed as a lesbian of Jewish descent. This move by the editorial staff is an attempt to connect better with modern day readers. When Batwoman was reintroduced as a lesbian superhero crime fighter, it drew both criticism and applause. She is now one of the highest profile gay superheros.