So, for anyone that follows comics, and for anyone who has read my thoughts on Batwoman, you all should know the situation involving her book by now. If you don’t, I’ve discussed what happened before, but if you don’t feel like reading all that, here’s the jist of it: At the end of Batwoman #17, released on February 20th, 2013, Batwoman revealed her identity to her girlfriend and police officer, Maggie Sawyer, and the two became engaged. However, on September 5th, almost a year ago, a statement was released by JH Williams III and Haden Blackman that they had walked off the book following creative differences with DC, specifically that they were, and I quote, “prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married.” For historical documentation, I should note that I personally squeed at the news they were getting married, so of course, I took this personally. I was sad, angry, confused, and to this day, I still don’t have a clear, concrete answer as to why, if the marriage was such a problem with DC Editorial and higher-ups, then why was it ever given the green light to begin with, if they were only going to say no later. I mean, it’s been made clear that Dan DiDio believes that superheroes shouldn’t be married, that they should always be fucking miserable in their lives, but again, why was this green lighted if they knew it’d never happen?
*sighs* So, almost a year after we learned that the wedding would never happen, and knowing that DC would likely split Kate and Maggie up, the moment of truth is upon us in this week’s Batwoman #34. So, how does it end? Well, it ends badly, but let’s be honest, we knew it would. However, what’s actually so much more heartbreaking is the fact that this reminds me of One More Day, but in the sense that it almost feels like the antithesis of that story. There’s no deal with the devil, no changes to history, and the hero is ultimately making a personal sacrifice of her own happiness to help the woman she loves. Basically, Maggie is involved in a custody battle with her homophobic ex-husband over their daughter. In the end, the husband drops the case, but Kate leaves Maggie a note saying they need to take a break. It’s revealed that Kate made a deal with the ex (okay, so a deal was made, but there’s a big difference between some homophobic and frigging Mephisto) that she would stay away from Maggie and her daughter if he dropped the case, and she can’t ever tell Maggie what she did. It’s a heartbreaking, tragic end to their relationship…so basically, everything One More Day wasn’t. And the fact is, both of these stories were editorially mandated, so it really shows the difference between JMS and Marc Andreyko in how they handle editorially mandated breakups. Am I happy with it? No, but I wouldn’t be happy with anything Andreyko came up with for how to end this. He was in a no win scenario, people. There was just NO WAY TO WIN in this.
Now, as for the other half of what happened, and I dunno if this was mandated too or if Andreyko just really wanted to tell this story. Basically, while the drama of the custody battle was going on, Kate as Batwoman was dealing with the vampire criminal known as Nocturna. Well, in this issue, she gets a glimpse of Kate’s face under the mask, sees a tabloid with her face on it, and after the Kate and Maggie split, she sneaks into Kate’s house and…
…So yeah, Batwoman’s apparently a vampire now. And frankly, the part of my mind that constantly seeks a joke to break the ice is just thinking of this little gem from Justice League War.
Okay, I need to speak honestly with you right now, because I feel like it would show a lack of respect to my audience if I didn’t. And hell, you wouldn’t respect me if I didn’t. I have an admitted ‘thing’ for vampires. And before you ask, no, I do not read Twilight. lol But yeah, do I find lesbian vampire Batwoman hot?…Yeah. Yeah, I-I find it VERY hot. However, that said, I should also make it clear that just because something is sexy does NOT mean that you should do it in comics, especially when it causes a massive change to the narrative like THIS does. And while it is kinda sexy, it’s also kinda clichéd, almost like I’m reading Batwoman fanfiction. In fact, I’m almost certain this situation HAS occurred in Batwoman fanfiction. That’s why that scene in JLW was so funny to me, because so many fanfic writers have made Batman and the various Bat Family members into vampires.
So, again, I don’t know if this is Andreyko’s idea or not, I don’t know how long this is gonna last for, and frankly, I don’t know whether or not this means Batwoman will continue to be a heroine or if she’s now moving into anti-hero territory. However, I will reiterate what I said before: No matter what Andreyko came up with, we weren’t gonna be satisfied, so I’m not holding any of this against him. But I DO hold this against DC Editorial, in particular my favourite person in the entire Multiverse, Dan DiDio, and his idiotic, insulting, out-of-touch-with-reality viewpoints on superheroes that constantly makes me wonder how the hell he ever got to the position he’s in! And frankly, there’s been a rumour going around that part of Warner Bros. could be up for sale, and that various groups like Disney might be looking to purchase DC Comics. If it’s true, whoever it is, I’m gonna give you a little piece of advice: FIRE DAN DIDIO! He is the source of the worst of the drama and controversy in DC for nearly the past decade, and needs to be removed, IMMEDIATELY. Would it magically fix everything? Maybe not, but it’d be a HUGE step to help things out.
…Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the situation. Leave your comments below what you think about Batwoman #34, DC Editorial, Dan DiDio, Marc Andreyko, JH Williams III, whatever, and hopefully, someone with the power to do something about this will do so. Ja né!
Well, it’s that time again, folks, and this one hits pretty close to the chest for me. So, let’s once again open up…
“So that’s it for what I bought today, but there’s one other thing I thought I’d report, and that’s what happened in Batwoman #17…
“SQUEEE, a wedding!!!… … …*ahem* Anyway, that’s all from me.“
…Yeah, I squeed! What can I say? I’m a sucker for finding out people are getting married and being happy, especially in cases like superheroes that go through who knows how much angst and sadness in their lives. This was a positive note for Batwoman, and it’s what got me to keep a closer eye on what was going on.
So, what do I see on Twitter when I got up at an admittedly absurd time today? Lewis Lovhaug getting into an angry rant on Twitter because JH Williams III and Haden Blackman are leaving Batwoman, ending with Issue 26, because DC editorial decided at the last minute that there was not gonna be a wedding…At this point, I would normally have to warn that an angry rant was coming up, but honestly, I feel more sad and confused than angry, and most of what I could rant about, Linkara already covered. Instead, let’s dig out the brainy specs and cover a few points about why this decision by DC makes no sense.
First off, I should point out that DC has recently tweeted that their decision to not do the wedding had nothing to do with Batwoman’s sexual orientation…and in doing so, it’s thoroughly clear that they miss the point entirely as to why people are pissed off about this. I’m not saying that no one is accusing them of being homophobic or whatever, only that if there is anyone doing that, they’re wrong. If DC had a problem with Batwoman being gay, she never would’ve been gay in the first place. And guess what, people? The modern Batwoman has been gay since her first appearance in June 2006. On top of that, if they were ever gonna undo that, wouldn’t they have done it in The New 52? Plus, we’ve seen women get married in DC Comics before. Hell, Secret Six actually had THREE women get into a polygamous marriage… … …Long story. lol
So no, sorry to disappoint anybody, but DC did not do this because Batwoman’s a lesbian. No, the issue is actually much WORSE than that: DC doesn’t want their superheroes married. Period. The only heroes I can think of that are married right now are Aquaman and Animal Man, and even they have their families royally screwed around with on numerous occasions. Why is that? I DON’T KNOW! I don’t think anyone knows! The closest theory I can come to is the same as why Marvel Comics broke up the marriage of Spider-man and Mary Jane: They didn’t think Spider-man could still be an effective superhero while being tied down by anyone, and they didn’t want the reality of Peter Parker married to someone infecting the escapist fiction of him swinging around a city and fighting bad guys.
And if that’s the case, I have to ask DC to do us all a favour: STOP. MIMICKING. MARVEL. Stop doing things just because Marvel did them. They may put out great stories, but they’ve also put out their fair share of horrible stories too, and One More Day was one of ’em. You keep trying this, to mimic what Marvel does in an attempt to win some kinda war with them, instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your own product and trying to fix it. This is not helping your standings, DC, it’s HURTING it. And while Batwoman being gay may not have anything to do with why you decided against the marriage, it should’ve been a HUGE part of the reason to let it go through. You’ve actually won awards from organizations like the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for Batwoman. You would’ve benefited so much from this, especially given the fact that gay marriage is now legal in a crap-ton of countries, and a recent poll showed most of America was in favour of it too.
But hey, let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment and suggest that there was some reason beyond utter stupidity for undoing the plan to marry Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer. I dunno, maybe they’re planning to have her get together with someone else, or maybe Renee Montoya will finally come back and it’ll become a love triangle of some sort. Well, if that’s the case, then I have a question, and it’s one I actually posed to them on Twitter: If you were against the idea of the marriage to begin with, why would you clear it at all? Like, you realise this issue wouldn’t even exist if they were never engaged to begin with. You could just say they were living together. You could’ve worked something out with Williams and Blackman when it was first suggested, and say “We’re not sure we’re completely comfortable with the idea, but we really like your creativity on this book, so let’s see if maybe there’s something we can brainstorm together that we can all agree on”. This isn’t a hard thing to do.
So, now the question becomes, who is gonna be writing Batwoman starting with Issue 27? Frankly ,there’s only one person working for DC now that I can honestly see taking the reigns of this book with Williams and Blackman gone, and unless a miracle happens, she’s not getting it. And the sad thing is, no matter who it is, they’re pretty much screwed. Snyder, Johns, Rucka, Nocenti, could any of them do anything with this character that could possibly get fans interested in their run with the book? I honestly can’t think of anything. Plus, there’s the whole situation of Batwoman vs Batman and Batwoman being forced to work for the D.E.O. that I honestly feel hold the book down a bit, and I shudder to think that with Maggie gone (‘cuz let’s face it folks, that will probably be the end result, is Maggie either leaving Kate or getting killed somehow) that that’ll be the primary focus.
I honestly do not know where this series goes from here, other than what I just stated. And to be blunt, at this point, with people being as upset as they are over this, if I was running DC, I’d do ANYTHING to try and get Williams and Blackman back. Let them do the marriage. Let them do ANYTHING, if it meant putting the kibosh on the current outcry of pissed-off fans and trying to save this book. ‘Cuz if you think your readers’ input doesn’t matter, I wonder how much you think their money does.
Anyway, that’s my general take on the situation. Vote below if you think this was a good idea, leave comments, whatever. Hopefully, the next Tale of Dumbassery will be less painful than this for me. Ja né.
- JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Quit Batwoman over Editorial Interference (comicsbeat.com)
- Breaking News: J.H. Williams III & Haden Blackman Quit Batwoman (comicbooked.com)
- Batwoman #22 – Review (weeklycomicbookreview.com)
- Review: Batwoman #23 (graphicpolicy.com)
- 2012 GLAAD award winners in New York (plus video of Naya Rivera, Cory Monteith, John Stamos kiss auction) (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- COMICS: J.H Williams III Announces Departure From BATWOMAN Over Editorial Decisions (comicbookmovie.com)
- Review: Batwoman #21 (womenwriteaboutcomics.com)
- 25 Years Later, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Returns With a Prequel (wired.com)
- J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman Announce Departure on BATWOMAN (comicvine.com)
- DC forbids Batwoman’s gay marriage, creative team leaves [Updated!] (io9.com)