It’s been less than a week since J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman announced that their decision to leave Batwoman due to perpetual editorial interference from DC, including the publisher’s last-minute decision not to let Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer to get married. The team planned to see the title through to Issue 26, which they promised would be a “satisfying conclusion” that would “leave a lasting impression.” But over the weekend, they found out that DC has replaced them effective immediately when DC boss Dan DiDio announced at Baltimore Comic Con that openly gay writer Marc Andreyko would be taking over the reins with Issue 25, which, instead of wrapping up the current Batwoman vs. Batman arc, will be the third Zero Issue of Batwoman in the book’s two-year run. (All New 52 titles have had a Zero Issue, but Batwoman has had two so far — the first one bridged the gap between Batwoman’s Detective Comics run and the launch of her solo series.)
Oh, and about that whole “DC won’t allow a lesbian wedding” thing? DiDio addressed that as well:
He’s right: No other mainstream comic book publisher stands behind its gay characters like DC, which is a scathing indictment of the comics industry as a whole, not a high five for DiDio & Co. He’s also right that most comic book characters don’t stay married. Clark and Lois aren’t straight married anymore and Midnight and Apollo aren’t gay married anymore. But both Aquaman and Animal Man are in longterm relationships. And anyway, why in the world is DC continuing to act dictatorial about its own status quo? You know what happens when DC sticks to its decades-old brand and tropes: They follow up the news that they’ve run off Batwoman’s creative team by asking for fan art submissions of Harley Quinn committing sexy suicide in a bathtub. Maybe it’s time to rethink your mandates and edicts and stands, DiDio.
But now lesbian and bisexual comic book fans — and women nerds, in general, really — are in a pickle. Do we boycott the title and stop giving DC our money because they keep making stupid creative decisions and playing into the industry’s entrenched misogyny, or do we wait and see what Marc Andreyko brings to the title. Honestly, Andreyko has a solid track record of writing empowered female characters. He co-created Kate Spencer, who was the first woman to take over Manhunter’s identity in 2004. He’s been writing comics since the early 2000s and has always retained a “fan-favorite” status. And frankly, DC is so notoriously disingenuous that the if Batowman‘s sales drop, they’re much more likely to say “Oh well, people won’t read a book about a lesbian hero” than they are to say “We made a huge mistake letting Williams and Blackman go.”
I suppose I’m just going to wait and see what happens. As bummed out as I am over the departure of the title’s writers and as frustrated as I am by DC’s continued obtuseness, Batwoman is the absolute best thing going for gay lady visibility in the world of superhero comic books right now. Losing her would be an incomparable blow.
Are you sticking with Batwoman or are you through giving DC your money?