Lesbian Marriage Too Tough For Batwoman, Authors Leave

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Lesbian Marriage Too Tough For Batwoman, Authors Leave

J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman will leave after issue 26, in December.

"We're both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward," say Batwoman co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. "We can't reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute." The authors put a lot of work into story planning, often working five story arcs in advance, but there were problems at the publisher. DC started putting its foot down over many plot points, including showing Batwoman, Kate Kane, and her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer getting married. This editorial interference forced the duo to drop story lines and plot arcs that had been a year or more in the making, and always "came at the last minute," according to a blog post by the writers. Frustration piled on top of anger, and before long the pair decided to ditch the title. Issue 26 of Batwoman, appearing in December, will be their last.

"We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to work on Batwoman," say the writers. "It's been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of our careers." It's anybody's guess what will happen to Batwoman after December. The prohibition - as the writers describe it - against showing Batwoman's marriage presumably means it won't happen; or if it does, it will be off stage, and out of sight. It was the marriage, Williams Tweets, which was the final straw; "we fought to get them engaged," says Williams, "but were told emphatically that no marriage can result." Williams also confirmed that this problem won't stop him from working on Sandman or Vertigo projects.

Blackman is a writer of two decades standing, who has worked in videogames - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - and co-founded an independent development studio, Fearless Studios, as well as working in comics. Williams is a comic books guy with a very long history. Under their tenure, Batwoman became an award-winning New York Times #1 bestseller. "The thing that really attracts me to Batwoman as a character is her combination of a really strong, personal story and a dark, superheroic one," said Williams when he and Blackman first began working on the series back in 2010. It would seem the strong, personal story was something DC couldn't stomach.

Source: hadenblackman.com

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I'm going to guess they didn't want to jeopardise their no 1 spot by doing anything remotely controversial and completely failed as the writers, rightfully, gave up.

It's time for stupid apparently.

Wow, that's a major dick move. I mean seriously D.C.? Ah well, if AT4W is anything to go by, they've been a bit of a mess for awhile now.

Dark Knifer:
I'm going to guess they didn't want to jeopardise their no 1 spot by doing anything remotely controversial and completely failed as the writers, rightfully, gave up.

It's time for stupid apparently.

Erm... having a prominent, admirable, lesbian character wasn't controversial?

Anyway...

this is just plain stupid. And here I was, going to applaud DC for breaking their own mold for once, and diversifying their cast of heroes.

Silly me to give them any credit.

Its as if they didn't understand one of the main reasons the re-imagined character was so popular to begin with. Morons.

Was Batwoman married in the old continuity? It might be simply that DC didn't want to have such a permanent move made with the character. I mean they mad Alan Scott gay in the New 52 so I'm finding it hard to believe they're a bunch of raging homophobes. So before we break out the torches and pitch forks can we at least consider for a second that this might have to do with story issues. They also broke up Superman and Lois Lane. Remember when Spidey got married? Pretty awful. DC could just be trying to avoid that.

I never thought DC had a problem judging who its customers are and what's best to keep them.

Hey DC guess what? The majority of your customers are male and are otherwise the exact same audience lesbian porn is aimed at.

Lesbians = good for business.

On the other hand Homosexual males are bad idea, because same gender homophobia tends to be allot more common. Which is why gay Superman idea went down rather badly when they said they were making a major character gay. Then it turned out to just be thr Golden age Green Lantern, not really major.

TheDoctor455:

Dark Knifer:
I'm going to guess they didn't want to jeopardise their no 1 spot by doing anything remotely controversial and completely failed as the writers, rightfully, gave up.

It's time for stupid apparently.

Erm... having a prominent, admirable, lesbian character wasn't controversial?

I believe what TheDoctor455 was trying to say, is that in the publisher's quest NOT to do anything controversial, they failed miserably as the writers quit, publicized why they quit, and made a big controversy about it anyways. So...they still got a controversy, and now they don't have anybody to write for for them.

Batwoman is into chicks?

I did not know this.

Then again, I didn't really know there was a Batwoman. I thought she got paralyzed... or something? Or is this one of them alternate universe things?

Eh, comics.

Zhukov:
Batwoman is into chicks?

I did not know this.

Then again, I didn't really know there was a Batwoman. I thought she got paralyzed... or something? Or is this one of them alternate universe things?

Eh, comics.

I am not into comics either but my understanding is that there is Batwoman, who is the character being referred to, and several Batgirls.

I know one of the Batgirls is the police commissioners daughters from playing the Arkham games (she was shot and paralysed, hence the wheelchair) and I know of one other called Cassandra Cain, but beyond that I am clueless.

well, there goes one of the few reasons I had left to pay any attention to DC

Spot1990:
Was Batwoman married in the old continuity? It might be simply that DC didn't want to have such a permanent move made with the character. I mean they mad Alan Scott gay in the New 52 so I'm finding it hard to believe they're a bunch of raging homophobes.

Thing is, acknowledging that homosexuals exist isn't all that controversial these days since it's basically a fact known by everyone, including actual homophobes and people who are against it. But if you haven't noticed, gay marriage is still a bit of a touchy subject. In the US anyway. Most of the rest of the first world got over themselves and moved on.

If it was a simple matter of not wanting her married for story reasons, it could have been far more interesting to have them get married but see the relationship slowly unravel because being married to a superhero can't be easy. But that the writers had to fight to get her engaged to begin with, then were told in no uncertain terms not to have her get married? That reeks of editorial mandate meant to avoid controversy to me. Because let's face it, if the book was popular and the writers were writing good stuff, there's absolutely no other reason to tell them they can't do it. It's not like Batwoman is a big enough character that her being married is likely to have a major impact on a future crossover event or some other silly bullshit that another writer has planned.

But what confuses me is why they'd think that showing a gay marriage would be a problem. Marvel already did it last year and DC is putting their foot down against it? Seems an odd choice to me. Then again, I wouldn't expect reasonable story decisions from a company that reboots it's continuity every five to ten years or so and usually leaves things in an even bigger mess than they started in.

Zhukov:
Batwoman is into chicks?

I did not know this.

Then again, I didn't really know there was a Batwoman. I thought she got paralyzed... or something? Or is this one of them alternate universe things?

Eh, comics.

Batgirl got paralysed decades ago and became Oracle. That was before the New 52 reboot. Still completely different people, Batgirl and Batwoman. Also they replaced Barbara Gordon's Batgirl with others in that time as well.

Spot1990:
Was Batwoman married in the old continuity? It might be simply that DC didn't want to have such a permanent move made with the character. I mean they mad Alan Scott gay in the New 52 so I'm finding it hard to believe they're a bunch of raging homophobes. So before we break out the torches and pitch forks can we at least consider for a second that this might have to do with story issues. They also broke up Superman and Lois Lane. Remember when Spidey got married? Pretty awful. DC could just be trying to avoid that.

sure...
DC avoids doing things that would result in stupid stories. have you read any new 52 at all?

at this point i will just stop reading DC. they either cancelled the books i liked or made stupid story decisions that made stop caring about the books.

Vivi22:

If it was a simple matter of not wanting her married for story reasons, it could have been far more interesting to have them get married but see the relationship slowly unravel because being married to a superhero can't be easy. But that the writers had to fight to get her engaged to begin with, then were told in no uncertain terms not to have her get married? That reeks of editorial mandate meant to avoid controversy to me. Because let's face it, if the book was popular and the writers were writing good stuff, there's absolutely no other reason to tell them they can't do it. It's not like Batwoman is a big enough character that her being married is likely to have a major impact on a future crossover event or some other silly bullshit that another writer has planned.

All conjecture. Fine yeah, showing the unravelling of a marriage and all that could be an interesting story, it's been done a hell of a lot though and even if it hadn't, just because it would be interesting doesn't mean it's the story DC want told. We don't know that they didn't want her married because she's gay or if they just didn't want her married. Again, they broke up Superman and Lois Lane for the New 52. They could just not want to marry off their heroes just yet. It's a pretty big move and if it doesn't work they have to find a way to write themselves out of it, they can't just ignore it. Like what happened to Spiderman and most of us agree that was one of the worst things Marvel ever did. So yes there are reasons not to do it that don't involve homophobia.

But what confuses me is why they'd think that showing a gay marriage would be a problem.

It really is hard to think why they'd imagine it'd be a problem all right. So maybe that isn't what caused the problem?

Marvel already did it last year and DC is putting their foot down against it? Seems an odd choice to me.

Once again, they also broke up Superman and Lois Lane for the New 52 which is kind of a much bigger deal story-wise.

I'm not saying it's definitely not because they don't want gay marriage in their books all I'm saying is there's no evidence that that is the case, there's plenty of reasons for the decision that don't involve homophobia so we could we please not jump straight to calling DC biggots?

I was actually on the verge of buying all of the New 52 Batwoman comics on Comixology, now I'm not going to bother and will probably just invest in some Marvel comics instead. Good move DC.

I think it's less that DC are bigots and more that they don't want to rock the boat. They have a successful book here and if there's anything DC excel at, it's keeping a book stuck in one place and letting it go stale for as long as the money comes in. It's like expecting people to pay to read the same issue over and over again, I guess.

DC aren't exactly full of great ideas these days... The whole editorial is a mess. This is just the latest in a long line of stories from creators who are sick of it.

Peter Parker, Mary Jane, One More Day

That is all.

:(

A shame really I know it is early I know there are still 30 year old hateful religious douchebags but.. somewhere it has to start. Let Catwomen be happy!

As long as we take no risks and push no boundaries, maybe comics will stop their slow decline into obscurity!

After all, nothing ropes in the kids and new readers like avoiding issues they deal with in their everyday life.

I'm glad these artists are sticking to their guns. Also who knew the kinky, leather bound, cat lady was into chicks? It was guessable enough.

itsthesheppy:
As long as we take no risks and push no boundaries, maybe comics will stop their slow decline into obscurity!

After all, nothing ropes in the kids and new readers like avoiding issues they deal with in their everyday life.

The sad thing is, gay marriage is becoming less and less of a "risk." In a few more decades, it'll be about as controversial as interracial marriage is today. As it becomes the norm, steps to minimize or even eliminate it when the plans were in production such as this is more a step backward than a lack of a step forward. DC made a terrible decision, here. They're going to get more condescension for refusing to let this story continue than if they had let it go in the first place, and from all the wrong people. If anything, lesbian relationships are less discomforting than male gay relationships, at least to most males. So if they're worried about offending their primary reader-base, they're sorely mistaken. The group that would have been the most grossly offended by Batwoman being gay would have been conservatives, and mostly older ones, a group which also isn't known for overlapping with their primary reader-base.

They shouldn't be worried about disgusting the people who watch FOX news. If anything, DC doing something to upset FOX would earn cheers from most of the geek universe.

masticina:
:(

A shame really I know it is early I know there are still 30 year old hateful religious douchebags but.. somewhere it has to start. Let Catwomen be happy!

Evil Smurf:
I'm glad these artists are sticking to their guns. Also who knew the kinky, leather bound, cat lady was into chicks? It was guessable enough.

BATwoman. Christ if you're going to get all morally indignant about something at least know what character your talking about. Christ I knew there was going to be a lot of knee jerk reactions from people not questioning whether this actually has to do with homophobia, but I thought it'd at least be from people who know who the character is. Kinda hard to claim you know what direction a character's books should go when you don't even read them or in fact know who the character is.

Lilani:

itsthesheppy:
As long as we take no risks and push no boundaries, maybe comics will stop their slow decline into obscurity!

After all, nothing ropes in the kids and new readers like avoiding issues they deal with in their everyday life.

The sad thing is, gay marriage is becoming less and less of a "risk." In a few more decades, it'll be about as controversial as interracial marriage is today. As it becomes the norm, steps to minimize or even eliminate it when the plans were in production such as this is more a step backward than a lack of a step forward. DC made a terrible decision, here. They're going to get more condescension for refusing to let this story continue than if they had let it go in the first place, and from all the wrong people. If anything, lesbian relationships are less discomforting than male gay relationships, at least to most males. So if they're worried about offending their primary reader-base, they're sorely mistaken. The group that would have been the most grossly offended by Batwoman being gay would have been conservatives, and mostly older ones, a group which also isn't known for overlapping with their primary reader-base.

They shouldn't be worried about disgusting the people who watch FOX news. If anything, DC doing something to upset FOX would earn cheers from most of the geek universe.

Once again, it might have nothing to do with her being a lesbian. Marrying off a character is a big deal that can mess with the status quo of the character and their books. That's why comic book characters getting married is always a big deal. There are plenty of comic book romances who aren't married and who won't be anytime soon. Seriously, if you can't see why her being a lesbian would discourage them from marrying her off then maybe that's not what's discouraging them.

Ukomba:
Peter Parker, Mary Jane, One More Day

That is all.

Exactly. I barely even read comic, but EVERYONE knows the awfulness of One More Day. Even if Batwoman having a gay marriage was a big controversial thing (which in any sane world it wouldn't be) I think OMD would still take the crown for awful handling of relationships in comic books.

OT: Yet another story handicapped in the name of trying to keep the WASP demographic. Sigh. I get really annoyed by this kinda stuff. No work should be trying to take Fox News' or the GOP's audience.

Gearhead mk2:

Ukomba:
Peter Parker, Mary Jane, One More Day

That is all.

Exactly. I barely even read comic, but EVERYONE knows the awfulness of One More Day. Even if Batwoman having a gay marriage was a big controversial thing (which in any sane world it wouldn't be) I think OMD would still take the crown for awful handling of relationships in comic books.

OT: Yet another story handicapped in the name of trying to keep the WASP demographic. Sigh. I get really annoyed by this kinda stuff. No work should be trying to take Fox News' or the GOP's audience.

Exactly, it probably wouldn't be a big controversy. Making Alan Scott gay wasn't a big controversy. So maybe that's not the reason they don't want her married! We have no idea what the writers had planned, how they wanted to handle it. It might have been terrible or it could have just been too big a shake up for the character. There are other possibilities. Can people stop acting like it's definitely the gay thing. Lots of characters don't get married to their SO.

So did DC say no to it because they didn't want controversy, or did they say no to it because they didn't want to screw around with the status quo?

That seems like an odd move, given that they presumably ok'd Batwoman proposing and getting engaged to her girlfriend, given that it happened.

Actually getting married was too much though?

Sounds like a classic case of executive meddling to me.

I'm not familiar with the Batwoman comics (I only knew Batgirl a.k.a Oracle a.k.a. Barbara Gordon up until right now), but I'd say let the writers do what they want. Gay marriage might be controversial, but personally I consider marrying two established lesbian characters less offensive than what Marvel did to Spiderman in order to reach "new audiences".

Spot1990:
Once again, it might have nothing to do with her being a lesbian. Marrying off a character is a big deal that can mess with the status quo of the character and their books. That's why comic book characters getting married is always a big deal. There are plenty of comic book romances who aren't married and who won't be anytime soon. Seriously, if you can't see why her being a lesbian would discourage them from marrying her off then maybe that's not what's discouraging them.

There's a quote in there that makes me think otherwise.

It was the marriage, Williams Tweets, which was the final straw; "we fought to get them engaged," says Williams, "but were told emphatically that no marriage can result."

If they didn't want Batwoman to get married, then why did they concede to an engagement in the first place? Were they just going to have her be perpetually engaged? That doesn't make any sense.

Marvel did it first and they did a good job of dealing with the whole "superhero marriage" dilemma. The next 2 storyarcs in some way involved the new spouse getting into danger and then reconciling that fact afterward. It was not a temporary thing, the characters did not split up or divorce afterward. They are still married and sharing an apartment. DC, grow up and join us in the 21st century. We have cake.

This reminds me of the end of "The Mole People" (MST3K 1003) where the female lead is inexplicably and laughably killed at the end. The commentary on the DVD revealed that despite looking as WASPy as they get, the producers were worried people would be angry that an implied Assyrian was getting hitched to a white guy.

I haven't read any New 52 books the past months due to money reasons, but Batwoman has always been one of my favorites.
I was really hoping for their relationship to get more serious and set another example for the more mainstream part of this medium, that exploring romantic relationships can go beyond the usual crushes, one night stands and stuff. The fact that we are talking about a gay marriage would set another example, too. But if I recall correctly, Marvel already "shocked" the public with a gay marriage between two male characters. So it isn't really a new thing, but it would have been an improvement.

And besides, Kate and Maggie are just lovely written characters. When I was still reading, I wished for them badly that they would get married and have a happily ever after. T.T The fact that it indeed was planned and now stopped by the publisher is so sad. Much respect for the writers to stand up for their creation and leave the project instead of changing it. DC really needs to treat their writers better, anyone remember the Gail Simone thing?

Maybe it's time for me to get into Marvel stuff, despite being big fan of anything Batman related.

I'm willing to bet that this has less to do with it being a gay marriage (and thus controversial to intolerant people) and more to do with the company's crippling fear to disrupt the status quo when they've got a successful book going.

I'm not really into superhero comics and don't know much about DC as a company so I might be wrong.

Wait, if I understand this right it isn't actually about Batwoman marrying or not marrying. It is more about DC changing their intentions all the time and at shortest notice, completely ruining the plans the authors had made and even blocking their plans to later change their direction on this again.

I think they should probably fire/demote/whatever the one(s) responsible for that chaos. It is just an issue of bad management.

Seriously people?

Everyone knows controversy sells and the people in charge of DC probably know it better than most, I'd bet anything that this is a little less black and white than DC being a bunch of homophobes.

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