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Troubling News About Batwoman

Troubling news broke overnight about J H Williams and W Haden Blackman walking off Batwoman. According to Steve Morris’ piece at The Beat who first reported the news, the writing duo have cited frustration over last minute editorial changes. The proverbial last straw came when DC informed Williams and Blackman they couldn’t follow through with their plans to marry Kate and Maggie as had been planned.

Blackman and Williams each posted their announcement last night on their blogs. Blackman wrote:

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. 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’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.

As I write this the server for Williams’ blog seems to be down for site maintenance.

Years ago DC originally handed Batwoman to Devin Grayson for development and then without giving notice to Grayson put Greg Rucka in charge. Rucka left the the character and DC over editorial interference before the company’s line wide relaunch two years ago.

Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer being established and well loved characters and both unapologetically lesbian. John Byrne had to rely on subtextual elements to show Maggie’s sexuality, such as putting a cigar in her mouth at times, because of Comic Code restrictions in place before 1989.

Responses from DC editorial or Dan Didio should be forthcoming and I don’t expect anything more than spin and damage control.

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