It’s official; there’s a gay in the Bat family – and it’s not Batman or Robin. The publishers of the Batman comics have decided to resurrect the character of Batwoman – but this time as a lesbian.

The character is no spring-chicken, having been born in 1956 under the alter ego of Kathy Kane. She was killed off in 1979, but is now – in true comic book fashion – set to make a remarkable recovery from the grave this July.

The sapphic-super hero will sport long red hair and the expected slinky skintight dark costume we’ve come to expect from members of the Bat family. She will be a wealthy Gotham City socialite by day and sexy crime-fighter by night.

Batwoman will also be the most high profile gay character ever presented by DC Comics. While Marvel Comics has included a number of gay characters on its pages in the past, DC has been less progressive in playing with diversity in its mainstream superhero world. In the first issue of the weekly new Batwoman comic book series, Kathy Kane kicks off the hi-jinks by clouting an ex girlfriend. Very L Word indeed.

Dan DiDio, vice president and executive editor at DC told Associated Press that “This is not just about having a gay character. We’re trying for overall diversity in the DC universe. We have strong African-American, Hispanic and Asian characters. We’re trying to get a better cross-section of our readership and the world.”

The massive publicity that comes of re-launching a sexy lesbian comic book character probably doesn’t hurt sales figures. DiDio says, “We had a feeling it would attract some attention, but we’re a little surprised it did this much.”

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