FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After More Than 50 Years,
Evidence of Gay Batman Found!
In 1954, the best-selling book Seduction of the Innocent criticized comic books as being harmful to children, and among its assertions was a claim that many parents in the postwar era found shocking: that Batman and Robin are gay lovers. Several examples from Batman stories were provided to back up this claim, but the sources of those citations were not revealed in the book. Claims made by the book’s author, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham, contributed to a United States Senate investigation into the dangers of comic books, and eventually led to sweeping changes in the comic book industry.
Since the publication of Seduction of the Innocent, hundreds of the comic books that it cited have been identified. However, the source of the “gay Batman” references remained a mystery for 57 years after the book’s publication.
The website SeductionOfTheInnocent.org has now revealed the source of several of these quotes, which had long been sought by comic book historians and collectors.
“We’re thrilled to announce this discovery,” said Stephen O’Day, a comic book historian who maintains SeductionOfTheInnocent.org, a website devoted to the comic book censorship movement of the mid-20th century. “There were hundreds of comic books that were criticized back in the 1950’s, and a large number of them ceased publication as a direct result of public criticism and industry censorship. However, Batman is one of the most enduring characters that the industry has ever produced, and remains a popular comic book and movie franchise to this date. It’s amazing that these comic books went undiscovered for more than half a century.”
The newly uncovered Batman comic books that were cited in Seduction of the Innocent are Batman #64 (April-May, 1951) and World’s Finest Comics #44 (February-March, 1950).
The following quote from Seduction of the Innocent
As they sit by the fireplace the young boy sometimes worries about his partner: “Something’s wrong with Bruce. He hasn’t been himself these past few days.” It is like the wish dream of two homosexuals living together.
has been identified as coming from World’s Finest Comics #44. The same comic book also contains a scene with Bruce Wayne on the sofa that is described later in the same paragraph of Seduction of the Innocent.
This quote from Seduction of the Innocent
The atmosphere is homosexual and anti-feminine. If the girl is good-looking she is undoubtedly the villainess. If she is after Bruce Wayne, she will have no chance against Dick. For instance, Bruce and Dick go out one evening in dinner clothes, dressed exactly alike. The attractive girl makes up to Bruce while in successive pictures young Dick looks on smiling, sure of Bruce.
has been identified as appearing in Batman #64.
These discoveries were made by Hector Guerra, a comic book
The assertion that Batman and Robin are gay lovers was first widely publicized in 1954, and remains a common theory to this day, as evidenced by Wikipedia’s entry “Homosexuality in the Batman Franchise.”
For additional information, contact Stephen O’Day from SeductionOfTheInnocent.org, DocWertham@gmail.com.
FAQ regarding the “gay Batman” discoveries
Some answers to questions that have been asked, or may be asked, by the mainstream press.
Q: Why was attribution of these quotes left out of the book in the first place?
A: It’s not entirely clear why Seduction of the Innocent failed to attribute the vast majority of its citations from comic books. It is known that Rinehart, the publisher of SOTI, removed the book’s bibliography from nearly all copies after the book was printed. Dr. Wertham believed that the bibliography was excised in an effort to avoid lawsuits from comic book publishers. If SOTI’s publisher and author were concerned about lawsuits from comic book publishers, then it stands to reason that perhaps there was a fear that listing a title and issue number for each quote would also be an invitation to lawsuits. While this is a plausible explanation as to why Wertham didn’t source his citations, this explanation is speculative.
Q: Are there any other as-yet unidentified quotes regarding the sex lives of well-known comic book characters?
A: If you’ve read Seduction of the Innocent, you’ve seen the assertions that Wonder Woman is a lesbian. On page 192 of Seduction of the Innocent, Wertham states, “The Lesbian counterpart of Batman may be found in the stories of Wonder Woman and Black Cat.” The Black Cat citation comes from Black Cat Comics #27. As for the “evidence” provided regarding the Wonder Woman claim? Keep checking back with SeductionOfTheInnocent.org; we expect to be able to provide that evidence soon.
Q: Which famous actor played Batman as gay in a recent movie?
A: George Clooney said in an interview with Barbara Walters that he played Batman as gay when he played the role of the Dark Knight in the 2006 movie “Batman and Robin.”
Q: Were current box-office successes Spider-man or Thor criticized by Dr. Wertham?
A: These characters were not included in Seduction of the Innocent because they hadn’t been created yet. SOTI was published in 1954, and most of Marvel’s prominent superheroes such as Fantastic Four, X-men, Daredevil, Spider-man, Iron Man, and Thor, were not created until the early to mid-1960’s. Many of the iconic heroes published by D.C. Comics, such as Superman, Superboy, Batman and Robin, and Wonder Woman were criticized by Seduction of the Innocent.
Q: How could these “gay Batman” comic books have remained undiscovered for so long?
A: In the years prior to the Internet, it was often difficult for collectors or historians to find a copy of Seduction of the Innocent. In recent years, however, the book in its original form has become readily available on eBay and at book dealers’ websites for $100 and up. In addition, there have been numerous modern printings of the book sold by Amazon.com at a significantly lower price. As a result, more and more collectors and historians are able to read for themselves the criticism of comic books of the 1950’s. Additionally, two of the citations in the “Batman is gay” section of SOTI come from an anthology title, World’s Finest, rather than one of the two main Batman titles at the time (Batman, Detective Comics). Collectors or historians looking for these references could have been looking in the wrong places.