It’s no longer news that Batwoman authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman have decided to quit the series. After their long-thought-out plans for a same-sex marriage between Batwoman (Kate Kane) and her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer were shut down by DC, they felt it was time to step down.
A couple of days ago, we all thought that DC was not allowing same-sex marriage, and that upset a lot of people, myself included – especially since the comic seemed to be moving forward towards a very LGBTQ-accepting style. The comic even won a GLAAD award in 2012 for its strong lesbian main character. Batwoman is “a member of the U.S. Military Academy who was forced to leave after allegations arose that she was gay.”
Having a series and characters such as this are very important steps forward for the comic industry and DC, so it was very disappointing when I thought that DC was cutting the cord on a same-sex marriage because they didn’t like it. Also it makes it much harder for subjects like this to become more mainstream in the industry.
It was recently corrected by Williams, however, that DC wasn’t shutting down same-sex marriage, but a marriage in general. It was stated in The Hollywood Reporter:
In a series of follow-up tweets, Williams clarified what he saw as DC’s position on the marriage issue. “We fought to get them engaged, but were told emphatically no marriage can result,” he wrote, adding that it “was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.” Fellow DC Comics creator Gail Simone suggested that “it’s more of an anti-marriage thing in general,” to which Williams agreed.”
So it seems like DC just didn’t want Kate to get married at all, whether it was to a man or a woman. With the LGBTQ community pushing for a more accepting attitude from the mainstream, it’s easy to assume that it was a negative attitude toward same-sex marriage at first glance.
I’m glad it was cleared up, and I’m glad that DC isn’t opposed to same-sex marriage. We can also still be happy that the proposal between Kate and Maggie was the first lesbian proposal in mainstream comics. However, Williams and Blackman will still be stepping down, due to this being just too huge of a change in what they thought was the best storyline for the character. In a post on William’s blog, he wrote: “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. We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last-minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.”
It is very sad indeed to lose two such great writers in the industry on a such a great series. I’m sure we will see more great work on other things from them in the future. You can read William’s whole blog post here. Let us know what you think in the comments!