“Batwoman” Writers Quit After Publisher Nixes Lesbian Wedding

Picture 5The comic industry has long been an underrated supporter of marriage equality and LGBT rights, but some new developments suggesting otherwise have caused the Batwoman editorial team to hang their hats and call it quits.

Citing DC’s refusal to allow Kate Kane—the Batwoman—to marry her secret girlfriend Maggie Sawyer, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announced last night that December’s Issue 26 will be their last.

Williams said the decision “was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage,” but we’re pretty sure you can’t get any more anti-gay than vetoing a lesbian’s gay wedding (especially after two proposals!).

Alas, Williams and Blackman released a statement outlining even more beef they have with publishers, including a number of eleventh-hour editorial changes:

Unfortunately, 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.

Both Williams and Blackman go on to say they’re “heartbroken,” as are many fans. The news is only less than a day old, and already DC has been shredded by a number of comic book enthusiasts, including io9’s Rob Bricken.

“I thought DC was only refusing to allow the wedding to take place on panel,” he said this morning, “partially because I couldn’t comprehend DC would not allow the character to get married. But as Williams’ tweet above shows, I was wrong. This is completely insane, and it goes well beyond DC’s refusal to publicize an in-universe, homosexual character’s proposal to her partner.”

In tomorrow’s news, expect lots of Batwoman-themed comic weddings.

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  • hyhybt

    There are potential, valid reasons not to want a character married other than objecting to the sex of her fiancee.

  • longpastdue

    @hyhybt: I completely agree, I just can’t see a bat-character getting married regardless of gender or the gender of the spouse. To me it sounds like they wanted a gay marriage in there just to have one and the producers made the right call in that it would alter the tone of the comic. It’s hard to be dark and brooding as a happy married couple.

  • RSun

    @hyhybt: @longpastdue: I read this title and it is fantastic. The DC Universe is very gay friendly and the reasons for halting the marriage are not because the publishing company is queasy about gay content.

  • bobbyjoe

    They sure as heck didn’t want a gay marriage in there “just to have one;” Kate Kane’s evolving relationship with Maggie has been a crucial part of the story of the past two years. It would be much more unnatural at this point in the story for Kate and Mags NOT to get married than if they did– it feels to many people who actually read the series like a betrayal of both the characters and the readers at this point. The two talented people who’ve been running Batwoman for quite a long time obviously feel like it’s a betrayal. If DC was so against marriage-in-general as some have claimed, then why didn’t they have this same discussion with Jeff Lemire when his popular “Animal Man” was brought back to the New 52? Was Lemire told to drop that marriage? It sure doesn’t look like it, since everything that character does relates back to trying to save his wife and family. The central theme of that comic is SPECIFICALLY the ups-and-downs of its main character’s heterosexual marriage and his wife and kids. Coming so soon after the whole Orson Scott Card fiasco, DC at the very least should have given some thought about how denying a lesbian marriage would look; but in general, they’re p*ss-poor on gay representation (check out the I-think-they’ve-mentioned-it-once-in-twenty-something-issues “gay” member of the Teen Titans, who’s never had so much as a flirtation with another gay character while the rest of the team has been macking all over each other. Think the author of that series got DC’s memo?)

  • bobbyjoe

    @RSun I just disagree that the Dc Universe is “very gay friendly.” I think they USED to be very gay friendly, but I think there have been some alarming signs that they’ve been working behind the scenes to undo some of those advances and are mostly just coasting on a little tokenism here and there. To her credit, Gail Simone DID introduce a transgender character to Batgirl this year, but so far it’s a fairly minor character, and Simone herself has been critical of some of the very kinds of trends we’re hearing about from DC, where they tamper with or defang female and GLBT characters. For Pete’s sake, what was wrong with letting Batwoman marry, particularly as it’s the natural progression of the ongoing story? And we’re not living in a vacuum; editors stepping in at the last moment and denying a GLBT character a story-driven marriage is a loaded decision in our current socio-political atmosphere, no matter what the supposed reason.

  • hyhybt

    @bobbyjoe: Along the “not in a vacuum” lines, apparently they make a habit of last-moment tampering with at least this series, so that one instance of their doing so is to say “no wedding” means much less than it would if it were an isolated happening.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Should DC put it to a vote, like haters do with our marriages?

  • mada

    If they can let us vote to kill off a ROBIN… then…..

  • Charlie in Charge

    When a superhero that is not married gets married they pretty much always depict the wedding itself in an issue (sometimes something cray cray happens at the ceremony). It’s a bad move to not show Batwoman’s wedding.

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