In celebration of the CW Network ordering Batwoman (played by Ruby Rose) to series, I’ve decided to countdown some of my favorite moments with Gotham’s Gay Protectress.
10. “God, Look At Her.”
This one is a personal favorite. During the event tie-in Final Crisis: Revelations The Question, Renee Montoya, finds herself at the mercy of The Spectre.
Before he tries to kill Renee, he offers her one final act of kindness and lets her “look upon her for the final time.” She’s then shown Batwoman battling pretty much everyone in existence and is kicking all of their asses.
Honestly, this is just an awesome panel that shows off Batwoman’s immense combat prowess.
I mean…God, look at her.
9. “How About A Justice League of Our Own?”
We’re kicking our list off by stepping outside of the main universe and into the world of the Bombshells, a universe that sees the women of the DCU reimagined as a paramilitary organization of women assembled by Amanda Waller to fight in the battles of World War 2. (Oh, and like 90% of them are lesbians.)
The series, penned by writer Marguerite Bennett, was inspired by a series of “Bombshell” variant covers by artist Ant Lucia during the New 52, which featured several female characters stylized after the pinups of the 1940s.
Our girl, Batwoman, is a professional baseball player by day and vigilante by night.
Towards the end of the first arc of the book, we see the Bombshells for the first time during for the Battle of London to fight a giant kaiju monster made of corpses. (Yeah, you read that right. The Bombshells series is wacky and perfect.)
After the team is assembled for the ‘final battle’ Batwoman asks “Why not a Justice League of our own?” This line not only sets the tone for the rest of the series but is also one of the best punny lines in comics.
The line not only references the Justice League from the main universe but also A League of Their Own, a film from 1992 about women’s professional baseball in the 1940s during World War 2.
This is one of my favorite Batwoman moments because A) puns, B) witty Batwoman is my favorite, and C) I absolutely adore A League of Their Own.
8. “Marry Me, Mags”
One of, if not the, most pivotal moments from Batwoman’s New 52 book is her proposal to Maggie Sawyer in at the end of Batwoman #17.
The two had been dating since the beginning of the book and after Batwoman and Wonder Woman are able to save a group of kidnapped children Kate is so overcome with emotion that she proposes to Maggie. This is also how she reveals her identity as Batwoman to Maggie.
This moment is not only one of the emotional high points of her New 52 book but is also a turning point in comic book history as this was the first lesbian proposal in a mainstream comic.
What happened to the engagement after the fact is a controversial matter, but that’s a conversation for another day.
7. “We Have This.”
Next, we have the beginning of a beautiful friendship (I also like Casablanca). In Batgirl #12 we see Batgirl initially find herself at odds with Batwoman when the latter, while on an investigation for the DEO, finds Batgirl in the home of a corrupt police officer.
After a pretty brutal fight, that ends with Batwoman kicking her ass, Batgirl gives Batwoman the full truth and the two team up to take down Knightfall.
There are a few things that make this team up standout. The first is that this is one of the few instances (before Rebirth) that Batwoman has teamed up with members of the Batfamily and in the first in the New 52 continuity.
The second is the fact that Batwoman, who has taken up Batgirl’s fight and is willing to risk her life for it, is able to restore Batgirl’s belief in heroes which had been faltering over the previous issues.
The moment that stands out the most is when Batwoman and a GCPD officer come to Batgirl’s aid and distract Batgirl’s enemies long enough for her to slip away and confront Knightfall. Batgirl is overwhelmed by Batwoman’s trust in her that she says In a voiceover “Maybe I do know what a hero looks like, after all. And she wears black and red.”
The two would team up again in future in Batgirl Annual #3 and during the Manslaughter arc of Rebirth’s Batgirl & The Birds of Prey, but this is the standout.
6. “I Choose Now.”
In the last few issues of Batwoman’s Rebirth solo, we see her team up with Renee Montoya for one of the first times since the Pre-Flashpoint continuity. (There was the Convergence team up, but those were their Pre-Flashpoint counterparts.)
Kate has circled around Renee since her introduction and her character story is driven, in part, by her failed relationship with Renee.
After saving Renee from a Clock soldier Batwoman joins Renee’s investigation of a mysterious drug called Kairos, which allows the user to see into the past or future for a brief moment. The two immediately begin to circle around each other and later begin full on flirting. The two attend a masquerade, and the romantic attraction between the two becomes fully reignited.
The two are able to take Clock King down, but not before he dosed both women with the drug. They both see their past and their futures.
After Clock King is arrested and after seeing their futures Renee asks Kate on a “first date” and Kate agrees. It’s revealed that Kate saw a romantic relationship between her and Renee in her future.
However, Kate rejects both her past and her future. She chooses to finally live in the moment, something she’s never done. She takes Renee’s hand and chooses that. Chooses now.
This seals their romantic relationship and closes the “will they or won’t they” chapter of Kate and Renee’s story. (This is placed higher on the list than Kate’s proposal to Maggie because this is the ending of a 12-year narrative and Kate and Maggie’s engagement ended pretty poorly.)
5. “You Got A Minute?”
Here we are, Batwoman’s major team up of the New 52! Batwoman’s hunt for a group of missing kids leads to seek out and fight Medusa. Only one person knows how to fight Greek gods and monsters.
Batwoman tracks down the Amazonian princess and recruits her for her investigation, and helps Diana with her own. The two play very well off of each other and we see that they’re more alike than we previously thought. Both are driven women who are expert fighters and hold steadfast to their principles.
This team up was the critical and financial high point of Batwoman’s New 52 run and I don’t want to go too deeply into it because their team up spans several issues and is one of the best arcs in her New 52 run.
But the best part of this team up for me was Kate’s confidence and swagger was she addresses Wonder Woman while fangirl screaming on the inside.
Not only was this a team up that was incredible, but it was a team up of my two favorite superheroes.
Fun History Note: This was not the first time the two have interacted or been on the same team.
(Heh, same team. Get it? They both like girls.)
Anyway…they previously teamed up in the pre-Flashpoint continuity during Gail Simone and George Perez’s Wonder Woman #600 story when Diana gathers an all-female team.
4. “Cassandra, I Want You To Close Your Eyes.”
Ok. This is the one that’s going to get me in some trouble. This is probably one of Batwoman’s most controversial moments.
Now, before you sharpen your pitchforks and run me off of the internet just hear me out.
After being tortured by a member of the Victim Syndicate, Clayface has lost control of himself, destroyed the cuff he used to maintain his human form, and is running rampant in Gotham. The First Victim has riled up the public in Gotham and has sent an unknowing crowd of people into Kaiju Clayface’s path.
The Knights first turned to Doctor Victoria October for a cure. Cass Cain was successfully able to administer it, but it only momentarily causes Clayface to retain his human form. The Knights are out of conceivable contingency plans, but Batwoman has one of her own: a rifle given to her by her father that will destabilize Clayface’s molecules permanently, killing him instantly.
In the brief moments that Clayface is in his human form, he expresses horror over what he has done and urges Cass to flee. Cass refuses to flee, believing she can save him, but Batwoman tells her to close her eyes.
She takes the shot. It hits Clayface in the temple and kills him instantly. The fallout of this decision, as you can imagine, is severe and swift, but she was right.
Again, stop sharpening your pitchforks and listen.
Batwoman took the shot not because she wanted to or because she hated Clayface, she took the shot because it needed to be done. The Knights were out of options. They could have tried to come up with something on the fly, but not before Clayface killed Cass and even more innocent people.
Kate is a soldier and soldiers often have to make tough calls. This was one of those calls. She saved Cass’ life, and countless lives in Gotham. It’s on this list because she holds steadfast to her beliefs and her in her convictions. She took the shot to save lives.
3. “Found My Way To Serve.”
After Kate is expelled from West Point she turned to sex, drugs, and alcohol. She engages in a romantic relationship with GCPD officer Renee Montoya, which ended disastrously. She really has nothing left and is determined to be nothing more than a party girl.
Soon after, she is nearly mugged in an alley but fights off her mugger before Batman swoops in and separates them before helping Kate up off of the ground.
This lights a fire in Kate. She is inspired by her run-in with Batman and begins her own vigilante operations. After 6 months of doing her own recon work and she launches her own operation to break up a gang.
After the operation and a shower, she’s cornered by her father who confronts her about the electronics and gear she’s stolen.
Kate passionately declares, with a fire in her eyes, that she’s finally found her way to serve. Her father agrees and immediately begins helping.
This is the moment is so important because this is when she truly becomes Batwoman.
2. “She Was Talking To Me.”
Our penultimate moment is probably her most badass moment of all. (You will never convince me this isn’t her coolest freaking moment.)
Towards the end of the weekly series 52, Batwoman is kidnapped and is set to be sacrificed by Intergang boss Bruno Mannheim to fulfill the Crime Bible prophecy.
Renee Montoya, as The Question, recruits Nightwing and the two launch a rescue mission, but realize that they are too late. Mannheim thrust the dagger into Kate’s heart. Renee lashes out but Mannheim is able to get the upper hand and pin her down.
Renee then says that “You shouldn’t have done that.” Mannheim questions her but then realizes what has happened.
BATWOMAN HAS PULLED THE KNIFE OUT OF HER OWN HEART AND THREW IT AT MANNHEIM TO SAVE RENEE.
HOW METAL IS THAT?
It’s not exactly an emotional moment for Kate, but it has to be ONE OF THE MOST BADASS MOMENTS EVER.
Not only does she pull this off, but manages to survive this and goes right back to being a vigilante as soon as she’s able.
12 years later and I am still in awe of this moment. My God, what a badass.
1. “I’m Gay.”
Our #1 moment is the moment that truly defines Kate’s story and is one of the most important moments in LGBTQ comic history.
Kate is attending West Point Military Academy and is at the top of her class when she is pulled into her commanding officer’s office and informed that she is under investigation for ‘potentially’ violating Article 125 of the US Military Code.
(For context: Article 125 states: “Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.”
It bans sodomy but was applied to homosexual conduct under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that forbade LGBTQ individuals to serve openly in the military. Violating DADT resulted in discharge from all branches of the US military.)
Kate’s commanding officer gives her an “out” by disregarding her sexuality entirely if she will say that it was a prank or was misinterpreted. She would lose her commanding rank, but would still graduate and still be in the Army.
After pausing for a moment she repeats the Cadet Honor Code (A cadet shall not lie, cheat, or steal, nor suffer others to do so) and tells him she can’t say what he wants to hear.
She says the 2 words that change the course of her life forever.
This is an incredibly powerful moment and strikes at the heart of the injustice and discrimination many LGBTQ servicemen and women faced. (Over 13,000 American soldiers were discharged as a result of DADT from 1994 to 2010. The policy was officially repealed in 2011.)
Kate sacrificed her call to serve because she refused to lie about who she was. She is a proud lesbian, she is a hero, and she is so goddamn important.
Batwoman’s upcoming TV show will make her the first LGBTQ superhero to have their own show. I pray she will be as transformative for TV as she was for comics.
I hope you enjoyed this list and encourage you all to get into Batwoman if you haven’t already.
For a handy background of the character and a reading list you can check out my article BATWOMAN: WHAT TO KNOW AND WHAT TO READ
What are some of your favorite Batwoman moments? Let us know down below!