Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Batwoman Marriage Called Off By DC, Co-Writers Quit

Over the last few days, there's been quite a controversy surrounding Batwoman. To catch you up, what happened was this: Writers W. Haden Blackman and JH Williams III (also the artist) suddenly announced they're quitting the series after two years of issues because DC killed their storyline in which Kate Kanewas was to marry Maggie Sawyer, a police detective with whom she's been having a relationship. Initially, it was reported that the only part being dumped was the actual showing of the wedding in the comic, but it has since come out that, no, the entire idea of the wedding has been killed by DC.

Much ado is currently ensuing on both sides of the issue. DC's Dan DiDio, a co-publisher, has recently addressed the issue of nixing the marriage by explaining that heroes aren't allowed to be happy ... which is part of what makes them heroes. As you can imagine, there are others who take a different view, like Doug Barry over at Jezebel. You can expect some reaction from the LGBT community as DC is doing their best to explain this isn't about same sex marriage, but an editorial decision based on their model of a hero, especially one that is part of the Bat-family.

In DC's defense, they have had no qualms regarding gay super heroes ("Earth 2"'s Green Lantern, for instance). However, others are pointing out a perceived flaw in DC's reasoning, stating that, plot-wise, a marriage leaves fertile ground for all sorts of angsty, gritty story lines. While "Death of the Family" wasn't about marriage, it still brought the whole Bat family together to be tortured and used, which was made all the more effective due to the familial connections of the characters. In reading DC's statements, it appears that marriage was never on the table as a viable plot, but if that's so, why is it that Haden Blackman and Williams feel strongly enough to resign from the series?

How this all affects Batwoman's sales numbers remains to be seen. But, in the meantime, Haden Blackman and Williams have been replaced by Marc Andreyko, who is openly gay. While the original team said they would be leaving after issue 26, DC has announced Andreyko will take over writing duties as of issue 25.

Another question that is regularly coming to the fore is what's going on between DC's administration and their artists? Haden Blackman and Williams aren't the only ones to have quit in recent times. James Robinson, Rob Liefeld, and Andy Diggle, among others, have all left, citing similar reasons for their departures.

-David Berck

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