Sometimes a social issue overrides spoiler warnings. Headlines across the web have announced the news: In Batwoman #17, which came out yesterday, the superhero proposed to her girlfriend. It's a first for DC comics. But is this too little, too late for the company that has outraged fans by hiring anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card as a writer?
Kate Kane, wearing her Batwoman costume, proposed to her long-time girlfriend Maggie Sawyer in the issue's final panel. It was a sweet moment, and one that finally catches DC up to Marvel (whose superhero Northstar married his beau in May of 2012) and Archie (whose character Kevin Keller married his boyfriend even earlier, in March).
While some fans may be confused at the lack of press DC gave the proposal, I'd like to say it's a positive step forward from the company, whose last foray into promoting sexual equality in their comics was to make a week-long event of "WHICH MAJOR DC CHARACTER IS NOW GAY?!" with the answer eventually revealed as original Green Lantern Alan Scott, who's not only the fifth most popular human Green Lantern, but also doesn't even live in the mainstream DC universe (he's on Earth-2). Comparatively, Batwoman's engagement is simple, tasteful, and presents itself as an event that shouldn't be considered news because it is simply normal.
While I'd like to say this, I can't, unfortunately, because I'm 99% sure the only reason DC hasn't mentioned Batwoman's marriage to the press is because it would call attention to the furor caused by the company's recent decision to hire Orson Scott Card, scifi author and ardent detractor of gay rights, to write Adventures of Superman. Angry fans and retailers alike are planning to boycott the Superman comic in general, and some DC in particular unless Card is removed.
It's too early to tell if Batwoman's proposal will at all mitigate DC's public relations problems with Card, or even if Card might have a problem collecting a check from a company whose works seemingly condone gay marraige. But at the moment, at least Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer are happy, even if nobody else is.