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Rucka Departs Batwoman

Update Rucka has commented on his site that his motivation for departure is simply to concentrate on his other, creator-owned projects. Good enough for me. His writing on Batwoman will still be missed, but such is life. A writer can’t be happy if he or she feels a stronger compulsion to write another story while chaining themselves to something else.

Unless you’ve spent the last 48 hours completely immersed in the real world (in which case I admire you), you’ve read the good news about writer Greg Rucka focusing on a few projects like Stumptown and a Queen & Country novel and looking forward to a second series with an arc drawn by the talented Nicola Scott. It’s been a few years since Oni published the last issue of Queen and I’ve missed it. With only two issues to date the writing and art on Stumptown have completely drawn me into that world.

The bad news is Greg Rucka and DC have parted, and the future of the acclaimed Batwoman feature is unknown as it languishes now in publisher limbo. Rucka commented that it was agonizing to walk away from Batwoman but has yet and likely will not publicly comment on behind-the-scenes circumstances. Whatever precipitated the decision may never be known though I’ll guess it happened a few months ago, giving DC enough time to bring Marc Guggenheim on Action (assuming Rucka wasn’t stepping back already). Collaborator J. H. Wiliams alluded to a snafu at Emerald City Comic Con as well as some kind of disagreement between DC and Rucka on his blog.

Meanwhile, Newsarama has posted the following comment from DC Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler and Geoff Johns (presumably speaking as Chief Creative Officer).

[DC Senior Story Editor Ian] Sattler: “We have plans for Batwoman.”
[DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff] Johns: “We want Greg (Rucka) to write it, but he’s focusing on his career right now.”
Sattler: “There’s no shelving.”

The question in my mind now becomes how strongly DC wants Rucka (and Williams) to continue on Batwoman? Do the quartet of Diane Nelson, Didio, Johns, and Jim Lee do whatever it takes to woo back Rucka. In my opinion the answer is an unqualified yes. As a publishing company, DC is the sum of its intellectual properties, the characters we love as fans. However, any publisher is foolish to discount the influence of writers and artists in bringing interest and excitement to its stable of characters. Case in point: a yellow and red clad Batwoman, a campy beard for Batman post Frederic Wertham who was transformed into a compelling (and lesbian) character in her own right in the capable hands of two talented people whose work received a GLAAD award. [Disclosure: Rucka and Williams unreservedly got my vote in the award.]

DC is tarnished until such a time that amends are made and Rucka and Williams return to work on Batwoman.

Comics Alliance first posted the news here

CBR and J. H. Williams

Visit Greg Rucka’s website

April 6, 2010
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