Those 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:
Since 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.