Batman reboot stars a ‘fabulous’ gay Alfred and a Chinese-American Bruce Wayne
A new Batman adaptation turns the superhero’s butler Alfred into his gay uncle.
The new DC Ink Gotham High comic from author Melissa de la Cruz and illustrator Thomas Pitilli puts a Gossip Girl spin on the superhero – turning Bruce Wayne into a rich Hong Kong-American student trying to navigate life at an American high school.
Meanwhile, Alfred is Bruce’s gay uncle, who takes custody of Bruce after his parents are – in the time-honoured Batman tradition – brutally murdered by thieves.
New Batman spin-off will reflect the diverse world we live in.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, de la Cruz explained: “Bruce Wayne is the billionaire. He’s the richest man alive. So I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if his family was Chinese and from Hong Kong? That made it feel real.
“There’s been a big influx of wealthy Chinese people who moved from Hong Kong to Arcadia in Los Angeles, and that’s where my mom lives, I’m part-Chinese, my brother lives in Hong Kong, so I thought it would be great to put what I know into Bruce Wayne.
“I just wanted him to be a little bit more representative of my background and giving him an authentic family – Alfred is not just his butler but also his uncle, his gay uncle from Hong Kong. It gives it this fabulous Crazy Rich Asians sheen to it.”
Pitilli told the outlet: “[It] breathes new life into the character, especially in today’s world since we’re living in the most diverse world we’ve probably ever lived in, so it’s more representative of Batman in 2020.”
The pair make clear that they’re “set up for a sequel” for the initial comic, which is out in comic book stores on April 1.
The queerness that Gotham deserves, and the queerness it needs right now.
Of course, it’s far from the first Batman adaptation to inject some queerness – with previous comic spin-offs featuring a queer relationship between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
Meanwhile, the TV series Gotham introduced a gay version of Oswald Cobblepot (AKA Penguin), while recent Harley Quinn movie Birds of Prey offered up a cornucopia of queerness – from lesbian cop-turned-vigilante Renee Montoya, to queer-coded villains Roman Sionis and Victor Zsasz, to a tacit confirmation that Harley Quinn is bi.
With that many queer villains and superheroes, the Pride parades in Gotham City must be pretty wild.