Why Won’t DC Let Batwoman Marry Her Girlfriend?


The editorial team of long-running comic Batwoman announced today that they are resigning over the refusal of DC to let the title character marry her girlfriend. What the hey?

Let’s back up a bit. Since 2006, Batwoman has been helmed by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, who resurrected the long-defunct character—originally introduced in 1956 to combat gay whisperings about Batman—as a crime fighting Jewish lesbian socialite named Kate Kane. Jewish and a lesbian? How progressive. She quickly became the most high profile queer superhero of all time, as well as a strong female protagonist in a world still largely designed to appeal to the fantasies of adolescent boys.

However, despite the fact that she proposed to her girlfriend Maggie Sawyer in what I am told was a pivotal moment for her storyline, the higher ups at DC refused to let the two actually get married, and this pissed off the editorial team. They write:

“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.”

They clarify that it was never put to them as an anti-gay marriage decision, but it at least seems odd to me, a person without intimate knowledge of the comics world, that there would be this big a schism between the writers and their bosses after years of working together harmoniously. iO9 posits that it could have something to do with DC’s hiring of vocally anti-gay author Orson Scott Card to write an “Adventures of Superman” release, but what?

If DC wants to show they are not homophobic just because they hired a homophobe to work for them, this seems like the wrong way to go about it. But if they wanted to make homophobes happy, why would they have let Batwoman be gay and propose to her girlfriend to begin with? Maybe, like numerous liberal politicians, they’re trying to toe the line between the pro and anti equality camps by saying that lesbians are allowed to exist, but not get married? I’ll admit I’m not super well-versed in the comic books world, so feel free to chime in with anything I’ve missed.

(Via iO9)

Image: DC via iO9


Share This Post:
    • Lil’Fel Rocks the World

      This is an idiotic assertion that places queers in a box for the sake of riding the wave of popular opinion. Batwoman is not just queer, she’s a superhero. How many superheroes have ever gotten married? The decision to not resign your character’s plot to a life of romantic stability and monogamy seems like a good editorial choice to me and anyone who posits that to not make such a choice defaults them as homophobic is a moron. I thought this “You’re either with us, or against us” flavour when out of fashion with Bush.

      • julie32

        I’m not sure I understand your “You’re either with us or against us” comment. You can’t pretend not to be homophobic while claiming that gay and lesbian couples don’t deserve the same rights as you. I don’t see how having a character get married would make the story dull, since the focal point of a superhero doesn’t need to be their love life. If they later found it dull, they could have the couple divorce, or introduce infidelity or something else. To have them get engaged but not allow marriage may not have been a decision that was consciously made regarding personal beliefs, but they should be aware of the message it sends to the public.

      • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

        How many superheroes have ever gotten married? Just pulling a few names off the top of my head … Superman. Spider-Man. The Flash. Cyclops. Ant Man. Luke Cage. Quicksilver. Sentinel. Mr. Fantastic. Professor X (ultimate). Wolverine. Northstar *just* married his boyfriend over at Marvel.