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.
Image: DC via iO9