Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outed in Batman's Backyard: Writer Greg Rucka Brings Lesbian Cops to the Ongoing Story of DC Comics' Gotham Central. (Culture)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Outed in Batman's Backyard: Writer Greg Rucka Brings Lesbian Cops to the Ongoing Story of DC Comics' Gotham Central. (Culture)

Article excerpt

Many gay and lesbian police officers have exercised the right to remain silent about their orientation due to fears of homophobic reprisal. Imagine then how difficult a place the closet might be if one had to fear being outed not just by fellow officers but by costumed supercriminals as well In a world that includes Batman and Superman, can two lesbian cops weather an explosion of personal closets?

Put away your over-art-directed versions of Joel Schumacher's Gotham City from the Batman films; the atmosphere of the DC Comics monthly series Gotham Central is as gritty, dark, and dangerous as it comes. The day shift of the Gotham City Police Department's Major Crimes Unit is led by Capt. Maggie Sawyer, a recent transplant from Metropolis. Sawyer was first introduced in the Superman mythos in 1987, a creation of writer-artist John Byrne. Although Sawyer has never before been explicitly out--she has, however, been shown cuddling with female partner Toby on multiple occasions--Gotham Central writer Greg Rucka says his story won't beat around the bush, as it were. "Maggie's gay," he says. "It's fundamental to the character. It's who she is, and therefore it influences everything that comes out of her."

One of Sawyer's most trusted squad members is Det. Renee Montoya, a tough young Latina who rose through the ranks of the corrupt police force with all her morals intact. Montoya first appeared in the Batman comic in 1992 and was transplanted to Fox's Batman: The Animated Series soon after. "I've always thought Renee was gay and closeted, ever since I first encountered the character," Rucka says. …

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