This Wednesday, after one of the most public and bitter creative vs. editorial breakups in comic book history, DC will release Batwoman #25 out into the wild. The GLAAD Award-winning duo of J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman — both of whom announced their intention to leave the book after DC refused (among other things) to let Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer get gay married — are now officially off the book (before they were able to wrap up the highly anticipated Batman vs. Batwoman story arc), and openly gay writer Marc Andreyko has taken the reins of the series. The Zero Year issue will be tie-in with DC’s other flashback/origin stories, which are hitting shelves this month, and the story will also take place in the same continuity as Scott Snyder‘s Batman Zero Year issue.
USA Today has released the first interview with Andreyko since he completed work on his first issue, and they have also previewed four pages form the upcoming issue. It’s different. Really different. The art, the coloring, the dialogue, the character design. It’s actually kind of jarring it’s so different. J.H. Williams was with Batwoman from her Maddow-approved relaunch all the way back in Detective Comics. So, yeah. Different.
It actually almost reads like Batman ’66 to me, to be honest, which is such a change of pace, I’m not sure how I’ll cope with it.
On the plus side, in his interview with USA today, Andreyko acknowledges that he’s got big shoes to fill, that he doesn’t have any plans to make huge changes to the character, and that he knows how much she means to the LGBT community:
On a personal level, Andreyko also connects with Batwoman and her life as a lesbian. As a gay man himself, the writer says he’s watched gay civil-rights movements lead to a lot of change in the past decade — he recalls growing up during a time before his old high school had a gay-straight alliance. Similarly, Kate was kicked out of the military for being honest about her sexual orientation, and now with the policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” gone, the writer feels she might have had a different life if she had not spoken up, maybe even on a path to being a general.
“Gay readers respond to superheroes so much because of the idea of the secret identity,” Andreyko says. “For so many of us, we did have a secret identity before we were out, and that resonates metaphorically. There’s a whole lot of rich stuff to discover and explore in this world where once something that had to be hidden is now not a big deal and processing that.”
He also has plans for Maggie Sawyer, Kate’s fiance-who-will-never-be-her-wife, which is a kind of relief, I suppose — even though her story arc apparently will revolve around her ex-husband.
Kate’s personal life is still going to be a major aspect of Batwoman — in upcoming issues drawn by Jeremy Haun, Andreyko will be delving into Maggie’s life before her new superhero fiancée, specifically the ex-husband with whom she had an acrimonious split and a daughter who hasn’t been seen in Gotham yet.
I’ll be honest: I’m going to be devastated if DC ruins this book, or just flat-out cancels it when sales inevitably fall off after Williams’ departure.
Are you looking forward to Batwoman #25?