J.H. Williams III Leaves ‘Batwoman’ After DC Refuses to Allow Marriage With Maggie Sawyer to Happen
Well this day is off to a good start, isn’t it? As I awoke and began cruising my Twitter feed this story from Bleeding Cool blazed across my screen: J.H. Willaims III and W.H. Blackman are leaving Batwoman after DC refuses to let her marry Maggie Sawyer.
What. The. FUCK!?
I… I don’t even know where to begin!? I guess, in order to get everyone caught up I’ll explain briefly. Batwoman, this new Batwoman who was reinvigorated during the DC event 52 and survived the “New 52 reboot basically intact, is a lesbian. At the end of a recent arc she asked her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer, a G.C.P.D. police officer, to marry her. In costume no less, finally revealing her true identity to Maggie. It was a huge moment for not only the book, but the characters. And something fans were excitedly looking forward to because nothing brings such enjoyable drama like a superhero marriage.
Sorry folks, but that ain’t happening now. As artist and co-writer J.H. Williams III writes on his blog (at the time of this article his site was down due to overwhelming traffic),
in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.
We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry – because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.
This is truly disappointing news, and only another of DC’s continuing missteps. One of my Twitter friends put it best,
That has DC done something stupid site is never going to double digits right?
– Daniel Byrne (@Darkflight) September 5, 2013
The site he’s referring to is, HasDCDoneSomethingsStupidToday.com. Yup, a real site which logs how many days it’s been since DC has screwed up. And here’s their list of stupid things DC has done, of which the Batwoman news is at the top.
For me, this is some of the worst news I’ve heard out of DC, yet. The Batwoman title isn’t only a favorite of mine, but considered by many to be one of their best. They created a compelling hero, portrayed real struggles of a lesbian woman (a former military woman at that), and allowed Batwoman to be quite independent from her namesake. And the artwork!? It shouldn’t be surprising Williams’ work on Batwoman has been a triumph. He’s only been working on Batwoman since she returned in the Detective Comics run by Greg Rucka that cemented her as one of DC’s most popular characters.
Since then, Batwoman has won two GLAAD awards for the portrayal of a gay character in comics, something that’s still an unfortunate rarity. And while Willaims did later clarify on Twitter that this decision by DC was in no way anti-gay marriage, it’s obvious this how the story will be spun. So what the hell was DC thinking!? And I’m amazed at how aggravating and inexcusable their editorial behavior is, demanding changes to storylines that have been approved and agreed upon for months.
And now I need to make a decision on whether or not I’ll continue to read, and more importantly buy, Batwoman after Williams and Blackman are off the book. Any other fans of the title struggling with the same choice? What do you think is DC’s reasoning for such drastic and last minute changes to one of their more successful titles?