Creative duo JH Williams III and W Haden Black are leaving DC’s Batwoman title, citing “editorial interference” as a long-running storyline which was to culminate in Kate Kane’s marriage to Gotham PD cop Maggie Sawyer was forbidden at the last minute.
“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,” Williams and Blackman wrote in a statement.
“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’re both heartbroken over leaving,” they continue, “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.”
Williams clarified on Twitter that the editorial stance on the wedding “was never put to us as being anti-gay marriage.”
No statement from DC has been forthcoming.
Both writers will leave with issue 26, on shelves in December 2013, and for fans this is nothing short of a tragedy.
Starting with Greg Rucka and JH Williams III’s run, Batwoman quickly established itself as being one of the most forward-thinking titles currently being published by DC Comics in terms of art, story, and gender politics.
What’s worse, with Batwoman initially gaining a huge amount of mainstream coverage – followed by their Arab-American Green Lantern Simon Baz and their gay Earth-1 Green Lantern Alan Scott – the place of gender, ethnicity, religion and sexuality at DC Comics looks suspiciously something dropped in to serve the headlines, not serve the narrative.