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Ho Yay / Batman

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What indeed.
  • Wikipedia has a page on it.
  • Lord knows where they got it from, but many people interpret Batman as having plenty of Ho Yay. One Moral Guardian, Frederic Wertham, famously claimed that it was "homosexual propaganda". Some later writers intentionally joked around with this.
  • Reputedly, this (plus the spandex-clad TV series) is how the name "Bruce" became associated with homosexuality. Of course, his original ward's name is suggestive enough on its own.
  • Grant Morrison claims homoerotic themes have been present in Batman from the beginning.

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    Batman and Robin 
  • The Joker makes a couple of Ho Yay jokes about Robin in Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum. After the Joker greets Batman with a slap on the buttocks (throwing him into a rage), he asks, "How is the Boy Wonder? Started shaving yet?" Later, when Batman claims to see nothing in an Inkblot Test card, the Joker says, "Not even a cute little long-legged boy in swim trunks?" Although this probably says more about the Joker than about Batman.
  • In the first issue of Harley Quinn's original solo series, a theme park is opened, with versions of Batman and Robin. Robin is cast as a curvaceous, pretty young woman, which the producer explains that:
    Producer: I know some stories say that the kid's a guy—but in a costume like that? C'mon—this is family entertainment!
  • Batman refers to Robin as being his "partner", and didn't stop even when "partner" took on the meaning of "lover".
  • The relationship between Batman and his Robins is explicitly stated as being not quite father-and-son. Dick's affection for Bruce, in particular, is canonically judged by other characters as being, well, a little too much.
    • Basically the entirety of Outsiders (the Judd Winick one), with a few coy references in Titans (the Devin Grayson one).
    • During the Hugo Strange arc in Batman: Gotham Knights, Hugo psycho analyses Dick's feelings for Batman as being sexual in nature.
    • To be fair, that arc was written by Devin Grayson, who has long held the view that Dick has a deep rooted sexual attraction to Bruce Wayne, despite him acting as a father figure.
    • Also, during this arc, Strange is depicted as extremely, y'know, crazy.
    • Not to mention that the second Robin (who was the first child to be adopted by Bruce, years before even Dick), Jason Todd, went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after he came Back from the Dead that was mostly motivated by his finding out that Bruce hadn't broken his one rule to avenge Jason's death.
      Jason: And doing it because... ...because he took me away from you.
      • Though that's more likely due to Jason seeing Bruce as a father more than anything else.
  • In Batman: Hush, Catwoman refers to Tim Drake as Batman's 'toy wonder' several times. Although the first time she says this, she has just been kissing Batman. The second time, she's in a full relationship with Batman.
  • The first two pages of the 1960s Batman manga have Dick being incredibly angry and offensive just because a random woman starts talking to Bruce at a fashion show.

    Batman and the Joker 
  • Among other things, Joker is occasionally thought to have feelings for Batman that go beyond simple obsession and into romantic obsession. In one scene, he tortures Lex Luthor, and Lex Luthor asks him if he is upset that Batman loves Catwoman more than him. Joker looks almost adorably bewildered for a moment before flying into a rage and jacking up the torture level.
    "Joker, does it ever bother you... really bother you... that Batman will always like Catwoman better? Blow up his city all you want, he'll never take you to the prom!"
  • Subverted in a Batman Confidential, when Batman commits a crime as his criminal persona, Matches Malone, so he'll get sent to jail, get put in the cell next to Joker's, and pick his brains. After Joker recognizes him-in about five seconds-Batman changes clothes right there, causing Joker to turn around and cover his eyes. "Don't worry. I like-a the ladies."
  • More or less confirmed in the Cacophony mini-series where Joker's stated dreams are to humiliate Batman, kill him, then violate his corpse sexually. (What? You were expecting something ROMANTIC or even sane from the Joker?)
  • Then, of course, you have Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. "Batman. Darling."
  • See also the relationship between Batman and the Joker in the New 52. Artist Greg Capullo says in an interview with the website Comic Book Resources (29th April 2015):
    “In “Death of the Family,” using Scott’s [the writer's] words, we had a love story – Joker loves Batman.”
  • In Death of the Family, Batman has an internal monologue about how the Joker's eyes never change, never revealing anything about his thoughts or emotions. Except for love for Batman.

    Batman and Superman 
  • There's a bit of Ho Yay between Bats and Superman as well, which was gloriously sent up in the Superman/Batman Annual #1 (Or, as Slade's parallel-universe twin called it, "Brokeback Titanic"). They even share a bed.
  • Taken to truly ridiculous levels in the Superman/Batman comic series written by Jeph Loeb (oh, and as if that title wasn't putting it in neon lights either), in which pretty much every thought-caption that Superman and Batman have about each other is describing the other in the most ludicrously fawning tones about how the other really is the best hero ever, to the point where it nearly isn't funny any more. But as Shortpacked! shows, it still is.
  • The thing is, Loeb was by no means the first writer to make you doubt the heterosexuality of Superman and Batman. That honor goes to Doug Moench in ''World's Finest'' #289, also covered here. It starts off with the two seeking comfort in each other at the Fortress of Solitude one lonely night and Holy Mother of God, does it go downhill from there (or uphill, depending on your point of view). It ends with - swear to God - tentacles, and the two of them embracing. And with dialogue like this (emphasis is directly from the comic):
    Superman: We're like night and day, you and I, and yet we're closer than we realize, closer than twins because we complement each other... we fit each other... like a hand and glove.
    Narrator: They hold the grip for a long time....
    • As a commenter said, "I think the only way this would be less subtle without actual porn is if it ended with a tasteful shot of them snuggling in bed together."
    • agrees.
  • In Batman Odyssey the framing device is that a shirtless Bruce Wayne is telling the story (along with other nonsensical anecdotes) to an unseen third party who initially seems to be the reader themselves. One could be suspicious of Bruce telling these stories while facing this unknown person with such intense stares, while being shirtless... but then the person is revealed to be Superman. So of course.
  • Superman/Batman pastiches Apollo and Midnighter from WildStorm are explicitly a gay couple.
  • There was an Elseworld comic in which Kal-El's rocket landed in medieval Japan, and the medieval Japanese equivalent of Batman was a woman. The results were...predictable.
  • Further referenced in their animated series crossover, when Bruce Wayne's obvious interest in Superman leads to Lois asking "You want me to fix you two up?"
  • New 52, Batman/Superman #18. The villain wants to break Superman's heart by going after the person Superman is going to miss the most if gone forever. Both assume the villain is going after Lois Lane, until the shot hits Batman.
  • After Batman's "death" in Final Crisis, Clark and Diana have a talk about how he felt about them. Clark thinks that Bruce only just tolerated him. Diana's response? Bruce loved Clark.
  • What about the numerous times Superman carried Batman, bridal style, throughout their history? Such as this, this, and this.
  • In Dark Nights: Metal, Clark says he recognises Bruce's heartbeat "almost as well as Lois'" and seems overtly defensive when he's tricked by Clayface and that ability is called into question.

    Batman and Harvey Dent 
  • There's quite a bit between Batman and Harvey Dent - in both the guise of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Many depictions of the two revolve around Batman's guilt over Harvey becoming Two-Face.
  • In The Long Halloween, when Harvey is suspected of being the Holiday killer, Batman immediately jumps to his defense.
  • In Two-Face: Year One, Harvey states thats through everything, Bruce was the only person who never abandoned him. Also, when faced with the decision on whether or not to kill Bruce, Harvey doesn't listen to the coin. Mind you, he hasn't done that for any of his canonical love interests.
  • The comic Batman: Jekyll & Hyde has moments such as Two-face tenderly caressing Batman's cheek. It certainly looks romantic out of content.
  • Later on, Batman begs Harvey to stay with him after Harvey tries to kill off Two-Face for good by shooting himself. Harvey managed to survive the attempt, but Bruce is clearly quite shaken by the event.
  • The DC Animated Universe is full of it. In the Two-Face two parter, Batman even has a nightmare over being unable to save Harvey.
  • In a later episode, Second Chances, Batman tells Harvey it's "the coin, or me". And Harvey almost chooses him, before changing his mind and falling after the coin. Batman then proceeds to dive off the building after him. Sure, jumping off buildings is an average Tuesday for the Batman, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Later on in that same episode:
    Harvey: Bruce, good old Bruce. Always there. You never give up on me.
  • The comics based on the animated series and The New Batman Adventures don't shy away from it either, many of the issues with Harvey involve Bruce visting him weekly at Arkham to keep on track of his recovery. He even pays Harvey's medical bills.
  • In another issue, when Robin implies Harvey was never close to recovery, Batman responds with this:
    Batman: You don't know him like I do.
  • Some other moments from the animated show companion comics include: Harvey saying that even though he wanted to kill Batman, when actually faced with the chance to do so, he doesn't know what to do and can't make sense of it. There's also that time he took a bullet for Batman, and that time Batman jumped out of a plane for him. The fall down involves Harvey clinging to Batman to what certainly looks like a very tight hug (then again, he is clinging for dear life), as Batman promises him that everything will be alright.
  • The 2017 animated movie based on the 1960's Batman show, Batman vs. Two-Face, also has quite a bit. The movie includes Batman smiling as he takes Harvey's hand, and an exhausted Harvey falling into Batman's arms.
  • In the New 52, the two are childhood friends who met at a rehab center for young boys. The young Bruce and Harvey, who at the time, didn't know each other's real names, promised that they'd kill one anothers greatest enemies. The man who murdered Bruce's parents and Harvey's father respectively.
  • Did anyone mention that lingering shoulder touches seem to be a thing with these two?

    Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy 
  • Three words: Harley and Ivy. There are even fast-food placemats that insinuate these Batman villainesses might be a lesbian couple.
  • Lampshaded by Batgirl once, when she teamed up with Harley. Harley got her right back:note 
    Harley: Oh, Ivy can't hurt me. She gave me a special shot once so we can play and I won't get sick at all.
    Batgirl: You mean you two...?
    Harley: What?
    Batgirl: You and Ivy are... well... *crosses her index and middle fingers in that "I'm implying you're in a relationship" gesture* friends...
    Harley: Yeah...?
    Batgirl: Y'know... friends... like...
    Harley: Like what everybody says about you and Supergirl?
    Batgirl: What?! Who says...? Forget it! Forget it!
  • Harley's expression when talking about how Ivy can't hurt her is effin' priceless.
  • The suggestive drawings of the two by Bruce Timm don't exactly serve to disprove the implications between them.
  • Let's face it. It's not even subtext, it's just... TEXT.
  • Dini has confirmed their relationship as romantic and sexual. Not that Word of God was needed in this case. Unless you were denser than lead.
  • Two throw-away characters in a Harley and Ivy comic (based on the animated series) are depicted as being gay themselves as a sort of joke, a pair of lumberjacks called Slash and Burn (Slash has chainsaws, Burn has a flamethrower). When they try to bring in Harley and Ivy, the two try to get them to let them go free by asking if they would do it for a pair of cute girls like themselves. The two just look at each other knowingly before jumping into combat.
  • In the Batman Black and White backup comic "The Bet", written by Paul Dini, we see Harley saying that she misses men, with pictures of several specimens on the wall of her cell. She asks Poison Ivy, in the next cell, if she ever gets "the lonelies". Red says she has everything she needs. She's lying on her bed with her plants...and pictures of her and Harley. note  Harley's response? "No. I mean, like, for guys." Ivy admits that she does need to "mist her fern" every once in a while.
  • The relationship continues into the New 52: Harley's first annual, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, features her deliberately kissing Ivy to break her out of brainwashing (it doesn't work, but still), and in a separate moment declaring they have a connection beyond what most people can even begin to understand.
  • Then there's the New 52's Harley Quinn #15, again by Palmiotti and Conner, which sees Harley and Ivy getting up close and personal on Harley's floor before they're interrupted.
  • Given the above, it's not much of a surprise that Palmiotti and Conner have said they see Harley and Ivy as being girlfriends who aren't hung up over monogamy.
  • Later on, in the Rebirth era Harley Quinn series, ambiguity was finally thrown away altogether with on-panel kissing and Sexy Discretion Shots.
  • Their team-ups in Batman: The Animated Series hint at this about as much as a 1990s animated series for kids could get away with. For instance, they were repeatedly seen hiding out together in quarters with only one bed.

  • Just look at this. Batgirl is basically made of Les Yay.
  • The Bat and the Cat storyline from Batman Confidential. Long story short, Batgirl and Catwoman chase each other all over Gotham for possession of an important notebook. And at one point, this happens. It certainly does look like angry sex.
  • In one issue, when having fun with The Creeper, Joker mentions to him "That laugh of yours... It just makes me tingle all over".
  • Maybe it's just something about Batman — there are even some moments of Ho Yay between him and Jim Gordon. Such as the scene from Batman: No Man's Land. Tim's right: it does feel like your parents are fighting. Bonus points when you consider Babs has two dads.
  • The relationship between Tim and Dick lends itself plenty to this interpretation. On the one hand you've got Nightwing, who's unbearably friendly, unbearably handsome, and unbearably cool. On the other, you've got Tim, who once saw Dick at the circus when he was three and imprinted so much that he was able to recognize him solely by his acrobatics six years later, and who then proceeded to stalk both his identities for several years.
  • Batman does have a history of sneaking into the bedrooms of attractive, naked young men. See his relationship with Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, when he did so to assure Kyle that the League thought of him as the true Green Lantern. Kyle was a bit of a Batman fanboy, as well.
  • Even Alfred has his moments. In All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, there's a scene where, thinking to himself, he describes Batman as his "black-eyed, brilliant, willful angel". As if Batman's interactions with Robin weren't Squicky enough...
  • Catwoman and Talia's scene in "Hush", with Talia tied up in Catwoman's apartment with Catwoman casually circling around her, kind of gives off these vibes.
    • There's also the flashback of the two together toward the start of the Gotham City Sirens series.
    • They actually had some of this pre-Crisis as well.
  • The friendship between Cass (Batgirl II) and Steph (Spoiler) can occasionally verge on this. Specifically, when Cass is having a Near-Death Experience, she hallucinates the spirit of her friend, carrying her as a groom would carry his bride. Check it out.
  • The notorious Tim Drake/Conner Kent pairing.
    • The biggest amount of Ho Yay came from the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, which Tim obsessing over trying to create another Kon. There was also him dating Conner's girlfriend Wonder Girl after their respective significant others died, which was riddled with problems and came off as creepy.
    • Or the slightly less common Tim Drake/Bart Allen pairing.
  • The Stephanie Brown/Kara pillow fight. Too bad for the boys we only see the aftermath.
  • As pointed out here, Jason (when written by Judd Winick at the very least) tends to have a few bisexual tendencies, making him come off as being Ambiguously Bi on a writing standpoint (as nothing has ever been truly confirmed.) It's notable that when Winick was questioned about Jason's sexuality he shot down the interviewer and openly admitted he wouldn't confirm or deny it because the DC Editorial (at the time) didn't like talking about non-hetero characters. Effectively leaving it up in the air for peoples' interpretations.
    • Possibly Jason and Tim. They've worked together several times and Jason has explicitly stated that Tim is the only member of the Bat family that he likes.
  • Cassandra Cain and Harper Row have gotten their own fair share of Les Yay. Whether it's Harper telling Cass how beautiful she looks, them constantly hugging and holding hands, the time they went to the ballet on a date while undercover, or the fact that Cassie apparently sleeps at Harper's apartment most nights. It helps that Harper is openly bisexual.
  • In Detective Comics #950, it's revealed that Cassandra is seen as a ghost haunting a ballet theater, and she's briefly spotted by ballerina Christine Montclair while secretly dancing with her. Hmm... a performer named Christine being haunted by a masked social outcast on a music stage...


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