“Holy Homosexual Batman”: A Reference List

Batman and Robin Boatride
Panel from Batman #13 (1942)

For my critical literary theory course during my first semester of grad school,  I did a final paper looking at applications of queer theory as it applies to textual and subtextual queer perceptions of Batman.

You know, because I just love a challenge and the fun of blending my fannish interests with my academic ones.

At the end of it all, I came up with “Holy Homosexual Batman”: Queering the Caped Crusader via Text and Subtext. It was almost thirty pages long and super in-depth to make up for the fact that my professor wasn’t a comic person and needed introduction to the genre’s history and culture.

It is, in a word, my baby.

I have so many plans for this paper that it’s ridiculous.

I mentioned from the start that I wanted to share my list of references for y’all to look at and purchase from if you’re interested in working out your own academic thoughts on queerness as related to Batman and Robin. So if you’re interested, continue on!

(Note that all of the links to Amazon are affiliate links so consider buying some books, y’all!)


Boy and Girl Wonders: ‘Robin’ in cultural context by Mary Borsellino (Kindle Version)

Pulp friction: Uncovering the golden age of gay male pulps edited by Michael Bronski

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler

Batman The Complete History: The Life and Times of the Dark Knight by Les Daniels

Superman: The Complete History: The Life and Times of the Man of Steel by Les Daniels

DC Universe: Inheritance by Devin Grayson

The Science of Superheroes by Lois Gresh

Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones (Kindle Version)

The Golden Age of DC Comics: 1935-1956 by Paul Levitz

A critical introduction to queer theory by Nikki Sullivan

Up, Up, and Oy Vey!: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero by Simcha Weinstein (Kindle Version)

Seduction of the Innocent by Fredric Wertham

Comic book nation: The transformation of youth culture in America by Bradford W. Wright

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster collected by Craig Yoe with Art by Joe Shuster.

The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon (Kindle Version)


Domesticity, Homosociality, and Male Power in Superhero Comics of the 1950s by Mark Best

Towards a Truer Representation: Transphobic Casting Politics and the Cis-Gaze in Film” by Aryeh Conrad in Summer Research (2015): 239-259.

The love that refuses to speak its name: examining queerbaiting and fan-producer interactions in fan cultures” (2015) by Cassandra M. Collier

Queering Super-Manhood: The Gay Superhero in Contemporary Mainstream Comic Books” by Bob Lendrum in Journal for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (2004): 70-74.

Batman, Deviance, and Camp” by Andy Medhurst in The Superhero Reader.  237-251. (Note that I got my copy through JSTOR)

Queer resistance, gender performance,and ‘coming out’ of the panel border sin Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman: Elegy” by Paul Petrovic in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2011): 67076.

Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence” by Adrienne Rich in Signs 5.4 (1980): 631-660.

From fan appropriation to industry reappropriation: the sexual identity of comic superheroes” by Gareth Schott in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2010): 17-29.

“Batman and the Twilight of the Idols: An Interview with Frank Miller” by  Christopher Sharrett in  The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to a Superhero and his Media. 33-47.

Notes on camp” by Susan Sontag in  Camp: Queer aesthetics and the performing subject (1964): 53-65.

“”The Loyal Heart”: Homosocial Bonding and Homoerotic Subtext Between Batman and Robin, 1929-1943″ by Catherine M. Vale in Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder (Kindle Version). 94-109.


Grant Morrison says Batman is gay, internet basically shrugs by Charlie Jane Anders

DC Comics’ ‘Bombshells’ Is A Blast From The Past But With Queer Characters by Aaron Barksdale

Is Batman Gay?  by Alan Donald.

The Super Psyche of Comic Book Shaman Grant Morrison by Gavin Edwards

Homosexuality in Comics – Part 1 by Emmett Furey

Superman Is Jewish: The Hebrew Roots of America’s Greatest Superhero by Rich Goldstein

Fabulously Fiendish: Disney Villains and Queer-Coding by Ren Martinez

Detective Comics sales in the 1930s and 1940s by John Jackson Miller

Steve Orlando Isn’t Waiting for Gay Heroes, He’s Creating Them by Jase Peeples

Grant Morrison: Why I’m stepping away from superheroes by Laura Sneddon 

Hear Lex Luthor and Kate Kane in Arkham Knight With Our Easter Eggs List. by Kevin Thielenhaus

A Brief History of Dick: Unpacking the gay subtext of Robin, the Boy Wonder by Glen Weldon (I didn’t end up using this in my paper because I focused more on Batman and subtext, but I love this article SO MUCH.)

Comic Books

Whiz Comics #2. (Fawcett Comics, 1940) C.C. Beck and Bill Parker.

DC Comics: Bombshells #19.  (DC Comics, 2015) Marguerite Bennet and Mirka Andolfo.

Batman: Death of the family.  (DC Comics, 2013)Greg Capullo, Scott Snyder, et al.

Feature Comics #27 (Quality Comics, 1939) by Will Eisner

The Authority Vol 1: Relentless (DC Comics, 2000) by Warren Ellis,Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary.

Detective Comics #27  (National Comics/DC Comics, 1939) by Bill Finger and Bob Kane

DK2 (DC Comics, 2001) by Frank Miller

Batman: Year One (DC Comics, 1987) by Frank Miller, et al.

Batman Incorporated #4 (DC Comics, 2012) by Grant Morrison, et al.

Midnighter Vol. 1: Out (DC Comics, 2016) by Steve Orlando et al. (Kindle Version)

Captain Atom: Armageddon (WildStorm Productions, 2005) by Will Pfeifer, et al.

Grace Randolph’s Supurbia Vol. 1 . (Boom Studios, 2012) by Grace Randolph  and Russell Dauterman (Kindle Version)

Batwoman: Elegy (DC Comics, 2010.) by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III (Kindle Version)

Action Comics #1 (New York: National Publications/DC Comics, 1938.) by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Batgirl #19 (DC Comics, 2013) by Gail Simone, Daniel Sampere, and Vicente Cifuentes


Mystery Men Comics #1 (Fox Feature Syndicate, 1939) Unknown

Now some of the books and articles can be a little difficult to find at a reasonable price and I wouldn’t have been able to get some of the articles that I used without help from lovely people on the internet. That being said, if you’re interested in writing your own paper on queerness as it relates to comics and some of the article or book sources are out of your price range, feel free to contact me and I’ll try and put you in touch with someone that can help.