J.H. Williams III Leaves ‘Batwoman’ After DC Refuses to Allow Marriage With Maggie Sawyer to Happen

- 09-05-13Comics Posted by Sarah Moran

batwoman

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,

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?

Category: Comics

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  • Loki Lyesmith

    DC does something nearly every week that makes me go “Huh?” And they have for years. But we keep buying them. So they keep doing stupid shit. We, as a whole, WON’T stop buying them. So they WILL continue to do stupid shit. I’ve just learn to accept this as fact from DC.

    • Geo

      Yeah, except I was buying them (30 plus titles) and today I stopped. Canceled everything. And I’m not going back until something serious changes over there. Between the Batwoman fiasco and their fan contest to “draw Harley Quinn trying to commit suicide naked in a bathtub” contest (yes, that’s a real thing), both announced this week, they finally, finally pushed me over the edge. And I’ve held my nose through a lot of garbage in the New 52. It seriously stinks over there. And, yeah, they seem to have some flimsy explanation for every single one of these recent events after-the-fact: “Oh, we weren’t aware people might be upset by ultra-homophobe Orson Scott Card;” “Oh, we’re not anti-gay-marriage, we’re just anti-marriage (and please pay no attention to hetero-married Animal Man and Aquaman, please, please, please);” “Oh, Harley Quinn’s naked suicide contest [during Suicide Prevention Month!] is meant to be funny [haw, haw, haw]” sure feels like a bunch of folks who aren’t at all aware how this is beginning to add up to what sure smells like a misogynistic and homophobic atmosphere, whether they’re conscience of it or not. It certainly smells like a company that doesn’t know how to treat its writers or its fans. [Let’s not even get into the crappy way they treated comic stores and fans over those 3D Villains cover fiasco]. So, see ya, DC. I’ve had enough.

  • Jan Michael Rempt

    I dont think its anti-gay marriage as much as DC doesnt want the character married at all, for much the same reasons Green Arrow and Black Canary could never pull the trigger and why Marvel undid Spidey’s marriage. Still, quite a cock-up for DC; without J.H. that book just isnt the same property.

  • Ian Mark Huisman

    This is a good example of why I read Marvel and not DC. The counter for HasMarvelDoneSomethingStupidToday.com is currently at 0 as well, because a variant cover for Mighty Avengers #1 has Deadpool wearing a banana costume with a pair of maracas (Which is exactly what you expect Deadpool to do to another superheroes’ cover). I’d much rather that be the reason for the counter being 0, than the company saying that the lesbian superhero of one of their must successful franchises can’t get married, and that they need to scrap the series and basically start over. I’ll take maraca banana man any day over that.

  • lennymccall

    I left a while ago when Williams stopped doing the art. It’s a great book but I was really only along for the ride of his fantastic art. Would have liked to finish out the story arc but the replacment art was not up to snuff by the high standards previously set.

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