Batwoman Creative Team Departs
Gay marriage refusal sparks exodus
Published: Monday, September 9, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 9, 2013 17:09
Down goes another creative tent-pole for DC Comics. J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman will be departing the critically acclaimed, Eisner Award-nominated Batwoman later this year over creative differences between themselves and the DC editorial team.
“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,” Blackman and Williams wrote. “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.”
DC creative and Batgirl writer Gail Simon described the decision as seeming “More of an anti-marriage thing in general” over Twitter. This is probably a reference to the post-reboot DC Comics dropping the marriages of several major characters.
“Gail is right, but it still should not be a story to be avoided, but embraced fully,” was Williams’ response. However, DC has a poor track record regarding such issues.
Earlier this year, there was some controversy regarding DC’s decision to put publicly anti-gay science fiction author Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) on a story for the then-upcoming Adventures of Superman title. The incident eventually led to the departure of the book’s artist, and postponement of the story.
DC has had an astoundingly bad record of editorial interference all-around of late. Recently, the company fired writer Kevin Maguire off of the upcoming Justice League 3000—without telling him first. Maguire was waylaid in favor of a new creative direction for the book, but Maguire himself was only informed via press release along with the rest of the world. It’s a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.
DC’s woes have even inspired the “Has DC Done Something Stupid Today?” timer –modeled after a workplace injury calendar—which catalogues the unfortunate decision of the perennially second-place publisher.
Personally, this is something close to the last straw for me. Batwoman was, and currently remains, my favorite book from the publisher. However, the company’s post-New 52 output has been abysmal almost across the board, with very few exceptions.
Meanwhile, Marvel, Image and even DC’s alternative Vertigo imprint have been astounding over the past 18 months. They’ve been doing so well, in fact, this July was the second best month for comic book sales in the 21st Century.
If DC continues its policy of creative interference, however, that could change rapidly—at least as far as one company is concerned.