In what could provide further fuel for those inclined to psychoanalytical readings of comic strips, a writer who revamped Batman for DC Comics has said that the titular character is “very, very gay.”

Grant Morrison, who writes for Action Comics, spoke about the comic superhero during an interview with Playboy magazine, when the topic of a possible gay relationship between Batman and his sidekick Robin, came up.

Mr Morrison said that Batman was “very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant.

“Gayness is built into Batman,” he said, adding, “I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay.”

The writer also said that this very “gayness” was responsible for the near-universal appeal of the character. “I think that’s why people like it,” he said. “All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care — he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.”

On Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, he said: “He’s Batman’s perfect opposite, and because of that he’s as sexy as Batman, if not more so… I quite like him, because he’s a pop star—he’s like Bowie.”