Catwoman DC Comics writer Genevieve Valentine revealed on her blog yesterday that Selina Kyle, the original Catwoman, is in fact bisexual.
"She's flirted around it – often quite literally – for years now; for me, this wasn't a revelation so much as a confirmation," Valentine wrote. She calls her "canon bisexual," which means the plotline around her sexuality will continue.
For those not up to date, Selina has become a mob boss and abandoned her cat suit to a new Catwoman, Eiko Hasigawa. It is Eiko with whom Catwoman has her first in-comic kiss with a woman.
"Eiko seemed like the right person: intelligent, driven, in that uncanny valley of Almost Catwoman," Valentine said of her decision. "And [she] knows enough about Selina that their honesty has become something of a shelter in a situation that's getting increasingly dishonest for everybody involved."
According to The Guardian, this is the interaction around the two's first kiss:
Eiko warns Kyle that "they're going to declare war on you", adding: "Be careful. Please." Kyle responds "I know", before the two kiss. "Was that for me, or the suit?" asks Eiko. "I don't know," responds Kyle, before walking away while the words "if we survive this, might be nice to find out" hang in the air.
Catwoman was first introduced in 1940 in the Batman comics as an enemy/love interest and has remained so ever since.
"Please be assured that Selina's longstanding connection to Batman has not been forgotten," Valentine wrote. "That is not how bisexuality (or humanity) works."
Renowned comicbookgrrrl blogger Laura Sneddon told The Guardian that Selina's outing is "[a] huge deal for LGBT fans, and for bisexual women in particular who are often hard done by when it comes to non-sensationalised portrayals in our media in general, and superhero comics in particular."
She said there may be some uproar from "ardent fanboys" who might make "boorish comments of pleasure," but all in all she thinks the reception will be quite positive.
"For many women this is a great moment of Selina stepping outside the male gaze in a meaningful and powerful way,” Sneddon said.
Catwoman is by no means the first LGBT character out of DC Comics.
Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, came out as gay in 2012, Batwoman proposed to her girlfriend in 2013, and, a few months later, the Batgirl comics introduced the first transgender DC Comics character.
Even Catwoman has broken some LGBT boundaries before by having an openly lesbian character, Holly Robinson, who briefly became Catwoman just after Selina Kyle gave birth to her daughter. The comic won a GLAAD Media Award for the portrayal.
"But [none] of those characters have the same popular recognition that Catwoman does,” Sneddon said. “This is the real Catwoman, not an alternate-world or different woman, but Selina Kyle herself.”
Catwoman "has flirted around [bisexuality] – often quite literally – for years now," Valentine writes. "For me, this wasn't a revelation so much as a confirmation."
So what will happen to the new lovers next?
"Will they dramatically implode?" Valentine wrote. "I mean, it's comics, it could happen. But it will be a relationship. I'm excited to be here for it."