DC Comics Bans Batwoman From Getting Gay Married, Creative Team Resigns

2142561845_ed6735a20d_zThose of you who are comic book fans know of Batwoman as Katherine Kane, furthermore as her later incarnation “Kate,” who in addition to being a wealthy heiress (just like Batman) is also a Jewish lesbian in a relationship with Gotham City cop Maggie Sawyer. Well, these two kids may be engaged but they won’t be getting married — at least not under publisher DC Comics’s watch, according to reports.

In this series Batwoman has proposed to Maggie twice (both times on panel). The relationship and engagement has been well-received by both adult fans and the younger crowd, and has been a great jumping off point for discussions on sexuality, gender and orientation in the DC universe.

That might sound great, but in an epic dick move DC editorial is refusing to allow not only a wedding on panel, but any marriage whatsoever. This baffling turn of events seems to be the last straw for Batwoman’s long-suffering creative team of J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. Williams announced this week via Twitter that the team will part ways with DC after finishing issue #26 in December, citing both editorial interference (of which there is a long and well-documented history) and DC’s refusal to allow the two main characters to wed. According to Williams:

gay marriageSince the beginning of this story arc, DC has been hesitant to give any publicity on the matter. That might sound par for the course in what has often been characterized as a bro-tastic industry (unfairly in my opinion) but the funny part is, DC has had no issue publicizing male homosexual relationships in the past, most notably Alan Scott‘s in the New 52 last year.

Williams’ and Blackman’s Batwoman is currently DC’s best title. The art is phenomenal, the format is unique and the writing is superior to anything else out there right now. As for the subject matter, it’s not nearly as risque as the draconian editorial staff at DC may think it is. Marvel comics has been exploring issues of gender and orientation for ages, which has been massively beneficial for young comic readers.

We can only speculate on why this decision was made. Ron Bricken, from i09, posits that it may be due to a desire to placate certain powers that be. Other readers think it’s simply DC’s desire to benefit from the titillation that comes from using lesbian characters without having to delve into anything too deep. Regardless, as a long time fan and mother I am extremely disappointed and I will be hesitant to introduce my kids to DC comics the way my dad did for me when I was a kid. I also applaud Blackman and Williams for standing their ground and I wish them all the best on whatever their next project is.

(Photo:  Foenix)

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    • RayneofCastamere

      Comics in general these days have some sort of allergy to marriage of any type, thinking it will make the characters “unrelatable” or some such bullshit. Apparently, they think that their fanbase is comprised of the stereotype of comics readers from the ’80s: utterly socially inept losers who have never seen a real woman. I don’t think that they know that they even HAVE female readers (like me).

      For further evidence see Spider-man and Mary Jane, Superman and Lois Lane, and the heroes whose spouses have been killed for teh dramaz.

      Oh, DC. I love your characters, but I hate you.

      • Cee

        Maybe they think all their readers have commitmentphobia!

      • DatNanny

        This was exactly my thought. I don’t think it’s the fact it’s a lesbian marriage. It’s a comic book marriage that DC struggles to allow. They don’t want to give up the angst of an ongoing relationship, they don’t want to show married life. They want the drama and intrigue that a stable relationship nixes.

        I don’t read the new 52 at all, and I’ve always been heavily a Marvel girl in general, so I’ll admit I don’t know this couple. But isn’t 26 issues a little fast for any marriage to be considered for a title character? The only way I could see it happening is if they plan to off the spouse immediately, as is sadly the tradition.

        The most troubling part of this article is that you would hesitate to introduce your child to comics. Please don’t forget how much quality writing and relatable storylines are out there, and how many important, relevant issues are addressed in comics. Even in today’s market. If you’ve been out of it for a while, find a very good, respected comic shop that caters to a wide audience and is run by knowledgeable and friendly people, and let them help you find the books your kids should be reading.

        It’s so easy to hate on DC and Marvel right now, but there’s a lot of good out there, even with a lot of crap around. Not all comics are DC and Marvel, either.

      • RayneofCastamere

        I know how many good stories are out there. That’s why I’m so upset at the quality of some of the stories and characterizations now. They can be good and make smart decisions with what to do with certain characters or how to write a story; they just don’t.

    • Paul White

      They’re obviously OK with a relationship, but not marriage. However, DC comics in particular seem to shy away from marriage of ANY combination lately so I’m not sure it’s a gay/straight thing here.

    • Momof3

      Read Williams’ Promethea, written by Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta). This is such a beautiful work, I’m planning on passing it to my own little girl in a few years’ time. Williams III is a standup guy and his work has earned him multiple Eisners. Editors should respect their creative teams so much more than this.

    • A-nony-mous

      Sad, but I’m not surprised. Both DC and Marvel have really been struggling dinosaurs, lost and unable to find their way out of the 1950s regarding character relationships and further lost trying to compete with the digital age where few buy ‘hardcover’ comics.

      Marvel had the same issue back in the 80s or so when Mystique, a shapeshifter, was supposed to shapeshift into a man and impregnate her female lover Destiny and they would be Nightcrawler’s parents. This was considered way too risque and Destiny was written out and Nightcrawler became Mystique’s alone {with a man}. Of course the two fostered X-woman Rogue together later on as a couple but that was only really seen in a couple tiny flashbacks or little-known offshoot mini series.

      DC faced a similar issue in the Wonder Woman series where there’s often been pretty strong innuendo about Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother, and one of the Amazons {General Phillipus}. I believe recent writer Gail Simone intended to try and put them together but never really succeeded. There was also some slight innuendo between {Diana} Wonder Woman and her replacement Wonder Woman Artemis several times in both Wonder Woman and Artemis’s offshoot miniseries ‘Requiem’. But again, implied only.

      Just a few off the top of my head where progressive and open-minded writers started something good only to be stopped dead in their tracks by editors and higher-ups. It seems like titillation but that’s only because they weren’t allowed to finish what they wanted and started. Many fully intended to, it seems.

    • Owen Godfrey

      Their refusal to allow them to marry is not gay related, it is counter to the idea of any married super-hero. It limits how the story can develop. If you do have a married main character, they start having to consider their spouse in every risky decision, and also the spouse becomes a huge target. Also, how is the spouse supposed to react to all the risk taking after marriage? Unfortunately, if they allowed the marriage to occur, then very shortly after they have to kill off the spouse.

      Hopefully, somebody can come up with a decent way around this, but in terms of drama it allows the romance between Kate and Maggie to propogate.