Sunday 8 September 2013

DC Gives Reason For Pulling Lesbian Marriage Batwoman Storyline

One of the great success stories of DC's New 52 was Batwoman's stand-alone ongoing series by J.H.Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, with Elegy being one of the finest stories the company has put out in a while. Now that news has come out that the current creative team will no longer be working on the book because of editorial differences, DC has caused uproar in the community leading to questions about editorial integrity and freedom.

The move came as a result of "eleventh hour" changes to the planned story of Kate Kane's marriage to Maggie Sawyer, which would have been the first depiction of a lesbian marriage in comics, as well as a number of other alterations.

"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," wrote Williams and Blackman in a statement on their respective websites.

"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."

The creative team reluctantly decided to abandon ship, ushering in Marc Andreyko to take the helm beginning with Batwoman 25.

The news of Adreyko's move was announced by Dan DiDio, DC's co-publisher, at a panel at Baltimore Comic-Con. However, DiDio emphasised that the quashing of the gay marriage storyline was never a result of homophobia:  “We got hit with so many different letters and so many nasty emails. We stood behind that character 100 percent, so much so that we made her the lead in 'Detective Comics' and then we gave her her own book. That was back in 2006 and we continue to support that character to this day. Simple as that.”

It seems that DiDio's reasoning for pulling the plot was because “They [the Bat Family] shouldn’t have happy personal lives.”

He continued: “That’s something we reinforce. If you look at every one of the characters in the Batman family, their personal lives kind of suck.”

No doubt there are fans that will vehemently disagree with the idea that every Gotham hero must be a tortured soul like Batman and that having a team of such characters runs the risk of creating uninteresting comics.

However, Andreyko is enthusiastic about the character and the book, as evidenced by a recent Facebook post:

yes, it's true: i'm the new writer of Batwoman! and, as i prepare for the interweb onslaught, a few things: i ADORE J.H Williams and Greg Rucka and Hayden Blackman and the great character they've created so lovingly. i am taking this job very seriously and hope to do right by Kate, Maggie, Bette and the rest of the cast. this all happened very quickly, so i am trying to catch my breath and let it sink in. And i've already had great conversations with Mike Marts and can't wait to work with him again. i hope you will give my run a chance as i am going to give it my all and try to live up to the work those great creators did before me.

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